Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
Your session was such a blast! I can’t believe it’s over and we are already back into our everyday life, albeit with a new perspective. How is it possible that we felt like we were there forever, yet as we returned to the airport it felt like you had just arrived? I remember our first few hours together spent sitting in air conditioning and drinking coffee drinks at the local mall. Such an odd, but meaningful, introduction to the country considering what was yet to come. You already dismantled a single story within an hour of your arrival!
The days that followed were absolutely magical. We met so many cool people and experienced many new things. Four of us spent our days teaching through immersion nursery, while the rest made bricks and taught mixed group classes. Even though we had a long trek to the nursery our energy was instantly restored the moment we walked in to 40 small children cheering for us. Everyone else left the home base in their athletic gear as they spent their first couple hours building bricks before teaching in the classroom.
The fun didn’t stop just at service. One of the most exhausting but rewarding hikes to a beautiful waterfall. To reward all of that effort, the next day we relaxed and kayaked on the Volta at Sajuna. Those are the active parts of our days. The evenings were also jammed packed with info: we made our own Batik, learned Krobo history from the source, visited the community with host families, got our own Krobo names, and got the chance to process it all in discussions I facilitated. Also, remember when you were all local students at Krobo Girl’s school? It wasn’t too hard to spot you in class. We even got to so some less conventional activities such as going to a local funeral.
Here are some of my favorite memories of you all:
- Gentle Bella with a sweet little baby in her lap at the daycare while getting so tough on the volleyball court in the afternoon.
- Sarah M. whose secretly awesome at volleyball and has a great sense of fashion and also the one who learned about gravity the hard way during our super fun bonfire
- Sara W. our equestrian champion and grade A face painter. Who knew someone could paint 100 faces in 2 hours
- Nina who is always easygoing and in a great mood, even when she didn’t get her precious sleep that she wanted ☺
- Mika who with her baseball gloves and combination of cheerful demeanor was a magnet for 4-8 year old boys
- Conner’s beautiful eye for photography and patience needed to help the little ones power through one of the most difficult test of their life
- Emery’s friendliness and her kind spirit that attracted all the little ones
- Ally whose effervescent energy was just what everyone needed to rally up and put the fun in fun day
- Eliza the scissor queen that made sure everyone remembers each other by making a collective creation of Batik head bands to share
- Katie who got the park looking good by having the initiative to pick up trash and get the local children to help as well
- Sara H. who got to shine with her ease and naturalness during our dance lesson with the local staff
- Brady’s natural charm at the Krobo girls school while being the only guy around
- Alex when she surprised everyone in the room for actually knowing the answer on how to take a bad guy down. Who would have guessed that she was a black belt?!
- Nora the Russian history bluff and her wealth of funny stories to keep the group entertained
Here are some of my favorite memories with you guys
- Chairs in the living room
- Heads up seven up around the bonfire
- Our discussion and reflection time
- Political debates in the living room
- Are you finding nemo? Are you Eat Pray Love?
- He was a sticky moose full of juiiiiiiiiccccceeee
- Bom Bom Bom Badika I saw your face!
- What does a goat say!?
- Looking at my own hand made beads and remembering that day we got to roast glass beads
Plus there are many, many, many, more. Even though you are now back home, the amazing impact on the community and the legacy you left in Krobo will live on long after your departure. I will certainly miss each and every one of you as I continue my journey to China. Thanks guys for making my summer job awesome.
Summer Blog Posts
July 30. 2016
Everyone has arrived safe and sound.
Our students had a great meal upon their arrival to Home Base. Once the students settled in a bit, we took a stroll around the village to orient everyone to their ‘home away from home’ for the next 2 weeks. On our walk, students were met with smiles and hellos from every passerby. They soon realized what a friendly and safe place their new home is going to be. About halfway through our village walk approximately 20 local children came sprinting toward us – our students were wondering where they were running to so fast, only to realize they were running to us!
Hellos/squeals/screams rang through the air as the children approached us. Immediately our GLA students realized the unconditional love that would be thrust upon them throughout their stay in Asitey Village. As we walked back up the hill toward Home Base, I didn’t see an empty hand. Most of our students had the hand of at least 2 children as they walked up the hill.
This is going to be an incredible experience for our GLA students as well as the people of Asitey Village.
Stay tuned for exciting news about the Service, Culture and Adventure of the July 30th – August 12th GLA Children of Africa group! The next blog will be written by: Mika and Alex who have volunteered to be our Group Bloggers for the next 2 weeks!!
International Director, Children of Africa
PS – Jordan, from GLA Headquarters, is visiting us and is on the left of the photo in the gold T and red skirt!
I am writing this quick blog from my phone while the students are enjoying time with one another around the campfire!
We are having technical difficulties with our internet and as a result I have been unable to share the blog written by our students Mika and Alex. Rest assured we are making every attempt to rectify the situation as soon as possible.
In the meantime – please enjoy the photo’s below from our excursion to the Cedi Bead Factory where we spent the morning creating our own beads under the leadership of the country’s master bead maker.
As an added bonus – bead craftsmen Mark and Michael shared their knowledge of palm nuts, palm trees, coconut and paw paw (papaya) with us while we waited for our beads to ‘cook in the ovens’.
Special thank you to Michael who climbed the coconut tree to pick the coconuts for our students to enjoy fresh coconut water!!
Don’t worry parents —- none of the students scaled the coconut tree or used the machete!!
Thanks for your patience with our technical struggles —- hopefully we’ll be able to send a student blog and fabulous photo’s shortly.
Today was our second full day, but our first decently rested, Ghanian-time zone day. We had a late start with oatmeal for breakfast at 8am and from there we hiked down to the nursery where 4 of us will be doing our service. The nursery is a private preschool, created by a woman named Monika. She created this nursery for children from 6 months – 5 years so that parents would have a safe caring space to send their children while they are able to further their careers. After an ice cream, we panted our way to the elementary school and explored the area where the rest of us will be teaching.
The Krobo children actually ended school last week, but the elementary school has partnered with GLA to offer extended English literacy classes to the grade 4’s, 5’s and 6’s. The extended program is beneficial for everyone: Krobo parents have an outlet for their children, and they are able to work knowing their children are safe and entertained; children are able to learn more; and we are able to have an amazing volunteer program.
We then went on a tour of our village of Asitey – saying hello to all those we passed on the red dirt road. We headed up to Home Base for a fabulous lunch.
We continued with our GLA Orientation program facilitated by our Director Wendy and our Mentor Larissa.
From 4-6pm every day we spend time in service at Asitey Park. At the park we play soccer (football) and baseball (catch) with the children as well as sing songs, dance and chill with them. It’s great fun for the local children as well as the GLA students!!
During the evening we learned the history of the Krobo people from 2 members of the community. They took us through their history as well as took our questions from the floor. It was very informative.
Stay tuned for more from us!
Mika and Alex (GLA student bloggers)
It is Laundry Day for the CoA program.
Laundry is washed by hand for the students and hung to dry, by the sun and the wind, on the roof of Home Base.
Fingers crossed that it won’t rain today!
The first full week of this program has been fun, busy and inspiring. The daily trips to Asitey Park help to build connections between the GLA participants and the local Ghanian children – which also proves to be helpful in the classroom. All of the GLA participants are enjoying being teachers, helping children in grades 4, 5 and 6, as well as the nursery, develop their English skills. In addition to working with the village children, we have gone on multiple excursions to learn about typical Ghanian life. Such excursions include joining a class in the Krobo Girls Senior High School, hiking to Boti Falls and Umbrella Rock, and visiting our host families where we learn the local language and customs.
The Home Base also had guests such as a tailor and Krobo history experts to further expand our knowledge of Ghana and the Krobo people. The other night we received our Krobo names in an ‘official naming ceremony’ led by Henry and 2 guests. Our Krobo names are Dedo and Koleki.
The second week of the program promises even more guests and experiences that will remain in our hearts forever. Upcoming events include: Sajuna Beach resort, dance classes, teaching, craft workshop, guest lecturer on women in Ghana (past and present), classes at the Krobo Girls School, Asitey Park, organizing a Fun Day for the children of the village.
Stay tuned for more updates and photo’s as we are able!
Your student bloggers – Mika and Alex
Kayaking on the mighty Volta River!
Boat cruise, complete with dancing, on the Volta River!
Teaching summer school at the local elementary school:
A glimpse into our village — our home away from home!
The red earth permeates our entire being – our clothes, shoes, skin, ……..
It is the feeling of this beautiful earth below our feet (and most often between our toes) which makes us know we’ve worked hard and played hard throughout the day!
Below are photo’s from our Batik experience last week — we finally have service to upload our photo’s:
Our Krobo Naming Ceremony where each GLA student received an official Krobo name! Please ask your son/daughter what their Krobo name is when they return home:
More shots of our time in Asitey Park.
It’s the CHILDREN of Asitey Village than make our program AMAZING!
August 11, 2016
As the students are nestled into their beds for their last night in Ghana I am sending you one last blog – with a few photo’s.
Today we ran a Fun Day for the students we’ve been working with for the past 2 weeks. We had over 90 students show up – with another 30 wishing they too could join in the fun!! The students enjoyed games, relay races and face painting!
Although exhausted, our group of GLA students all went down to Asiey Park to play with the children of the village for the last time this afternoon. The children walked us back up the hill to our Home Base as they always do, but this time instead of ‘see you tomorrow’, there were many tears shed and hugs which will last a lifetime.
I hope all the friends and family will take the time to comb through the thousands of photo’s and listen to the heartfelt stories of our third and final program of the season.
All the best,