Greetings from Ghana to family and friends from around the world! Today we launched our final program session of the summer. Our new group of students arrived tired but full of excitement for what promises to be an engaging, challenging, and fun three weeks to come.
– Laura Ribitzky
The local staff in GLA really know how to start off a trip! Our first days in Ghana have been filled with laughter from both the students participating in the program and from the children of Ghana. Today, we started off the day with the option of participating in the church service for the village we are staying in or going to the beach with whatever neighboring children decided to follow. On the beach, we played various amounts of games ranging from soccer to a crab catching contest, and for those who chose to attend the church service they got the amazing chance to listen to the locals praying, speaking in tongues as they do so (not exactly something you hear every day in America).
After our relaxing activity in the morning, we went to an orphanage named Father’s House International and learned a bit about the current slavery conditions happening in this region of Ghana. The orphanage is all boys and only has eleven of them, but each and every one is filled with love and acceptance and it was all so easy to bond with each and every one of them. We played football (soccer) against them, but really it was no trouble for them to kick our butts in the game. We also played a game called cornhole which is where you throw beanbags into a hole for various amounts of points.
When we returned from the orphanage it was time to recharge with a beautifully made host dinner. We had two men, one of them with their son (who was sixteen). We were split into two groups and chatted with our host fathers for about an hour and a half, talking about a range of things from their village’s norms to showing pictures of their own families to telling old myths that they believe in. On Tuesday, we will be able to go to their house and meet their entire family and spend a few hours in the shoes of a Ghanaian.
Author: Brianna Frierson
Today was our first day working in the Ghanaian school house. The kids seemed to enjoy our company and were eager to learn more about the white foreigners entering their school. The day started with brick making… a back breaking effort by the whole team. After brick making we proceeded to get into our long skirts and fancy shorts and go into the classrooms. Today was mainly a day to get to know each other and become comfortable with the new situation. We also went to a market to purchase fabric that a tailor will then make into an article of clothing of our choice. Everyone is getting closer and feeling that Ghana is quickly becoming our “home”. 6 days to go and no one wants to leave. Ghana is beautiful along with the people and everyone is having an amazing time.
P.S. Hi mom, take care of Hamlet…He’s my flame.
Author: Nicole Prager
Today we rolled out of bed around 6:30 and had a refreshing breakfast that consisted of toast, boiled eggs, veggies, and avocado. It was delicious as always. We then got ready for the day and headed off to the local school to complete our community service for the morning.
Once there, we worked hard making concrete bricks for the new classrooms that were in the progress of being built. We were lucky enough to have some school kids help us carry the bricks, they are always eager to lend a hand. Once we were all covered in sweat, we changed out of our dirty clothes and got ready to teach the kids for the rest of the morning. Today my class learned about the importance of plants in the Ghanaian environment, we also covered math. We said our goodbyes to the school kids and headed back to the home base for lunch. Lunch consisted of African fried rice with meat and shrimp, it was so good I had to get seconds. After lunch we did a leadership activity that showed us how important team work is. Next, we headed off to our host families’ houses.
Once I arrived at my host families home I learned how to fetch water from the well and also how to make a traditional Ghanaian meal called banku. Our host family was very welcoming. We then headed home and played outside with some of the local kids, they were very excited to see us. We then finished the day off by eating dinner and lesson planning for the next day of school.
Olivia G, Ghana
Author: Olivia Henry
So today we had a difficult time at service but we all worked super hard to get through the morning. Then we went on a boat ride in these rickety boats in lagoon to visit an island. This island was very poor but we learned from some of the local mother’s how to basket weave and how to make mats which was so interesting. Then we talked to a priest while at a shrine about their religion and their culture. We were able to ask him whatever questions we liked (translated by our wonderful staff) and we found out so much awesome stuff. His father died when he was twelve and that’s when he officially took the leadership role he has. The shrines were pretty interesting because they put alcohol and cigarettes in some of them to please the gods and make them happy. Overall, it was a successful day!
We ended the day with a leadership workshop called cross the line or step into the circle which allowed our group to get extremely deep and made us all much closer. Quick s/o to my wonderful fam back in rochacha in the NY: I miss you guys and love you so very much – don’t worry please because Ghana is absolutely amazing and I am loving my time here.
Author: Kenneth Wah
Hello from GHANA
So today we started the day by breaking backs, but we had successfully created fifty bricks. We then went to our assigned classrooms and proceeded with our magnificent projects. From robots to mixing mentos and coke, each had their own way of managing their class and teaching their students.
In the afternoon, we visited a slave fort. In the emotional slave fort, we could connect ourselves to what we learned in our history class. We had then ended the day by a visit from the local chief. Chief Agbotaidua Kumassah had discussed marriages and other family issues in Ghana.
All students have departed and are on their way home!