Tuesday June 12, 2018
Maakye from Krobo!
22 students arrived safely at home base in high spirits and are settling in their new home for the next two weeks. Today they will be spending the day getting to know each other, their leadership team and getting orientated on the program.
Our team has been in contact with Hannah and Nkemdilim who will be joining the group tomorrow after we pick them up from the airport! We are very excited to have them join our group!
William (International Director) and Henry (Local Director)
Thursday June 14, 2018 (Part 1)
Two more students arrived yesterday, and now the our group of 24 is complete! Here is a photo of all of us from yesterday.
Thursday June 14, 2018 (Part 2)
We started this morning with a delicious breakfast of muesli, donuts, sausage, and fresh fruit juice. Then we headed out to the village where we visited our service sites. The first was a preschool with kids from 6 months to 5 years old. We were able to talk to the headmaster of the school about why and how she created the school. We played games with the children in the school yard and sang songs.
We then walked to the local elementary school, which serves first through ninth grade students. The school is divided among three buildings surrounding a large field for the kids to play in. When we arrived the teachers were in a PTA meeting so we had time to spend with the kids. We got to sit in a classroom with one of the teachers and ask him questions about the school and how the children learn in Krobo.
We headed back to home base for lunch and afterwards did a team building activity and leadership workshop. These activities allowed us to become a closer community. When we were done we headed to Asitey Park to play with the kids, which has become our nightly routine. We play soccer, volleyball, braid hair, sing and dance, and get to know the kids.
After the park, we went back to the house and took cold bucket showers, which feel amazing in the heat. We had chicken, avocado salad, sweet potato and yam fries, and chocolate and vanilla crepes for dessert. We finished the day with a bonfire outside and more bonding activities like card games in the den and group discussions about what we’re experiencing. We’ll head to bed around 10:30 where it’s too hot for a blanket. The trip has been amazing so far and we can’t wait to bond more with each other and the kids!
Kate and Kenzie
Friday, June 15 2018
Last night we had a blast around the bonfire. Henry taught us traditional songs where we sang and danced. Also, we each contributed to the fire by adding a stick, uniting us as one. The happy vibes around the fire assured us that everyone was having an amazing night. Before bed we enjoyed eating popcorn.
Today we began our day at 8 o’clock with sausage, plantain chips, and fresh watermelon. We then proceeded to quickly gather our things and take the bus to Cedi Beads. We were greeted by the staff and given a tour of the grounds. Then, a staff member gave us a tutorial of how to make the beads. It consisted of explaining how the glass powder and the clay pot molds were made. We then saw the oven that fired the beads. Soon after, we got to make five small beads and one large bead to take home. We were each given two sets of molds and six different colors of glass to make the beads. Everyone worked meticulously at making sure the glass was just how they wanted it. Finally, we were able to send our beads to be fired.
The beads took about three hours to completely cook and then cool. Although it took a while, we were excited to hear of the events we will be participating in down the road. In the free time we played volleyball and soccer with some of the neighborhood children. After cooling, we sanded and polished the beads until we were happy with the outcome.
We drove back to the home base where we ate lunch and went to the roof for some downtime. While on the roof, it started raining! Everyone was super excited to “bless the rains down in Africa.” The children were excited to see us at the park because there was no school due to a national holiday, Eid al-Fitr, the last day of Ramadan.☺
-Audrey and Michaela
Saturday, June 16 2018
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Because we had an egggggggggcelent breakfast this morning! After our eggcelent breakfast, we all piled into the van and traveled to Boti falls. During the hour-long drive we got to see more of the beautiful eastern region of Ghana and the trip was filled with many scenic views of the Akwapim mountain ranges. Upon arrival, we listened to a local guide recite the history of the falls and the land surrounding.
Our hike consisted of three stops. The first stop was the caves about thirty minutes in. They are named “The Talking Caves” after the holes in the cave walls that echo when you hit them. Following another thirty-minute hike we reached “Umbrella Rock,” a natural rock formation that overlooked a beautiful valley. Our adventure drew to a conclusion as we approached our last stop, Boti Falls. The river splits into two 75-foot drops, with the left believed to be the “female” fall and the right the “male.”
We enjoyed a packed lunch before heading back to home base. Upon arrival, a big thunderstorm hit and a lot of people took a fat nap. Unfortunately, due to the storm, we were unable to make it to the park today, but Henry made up for it with a wonderful presentation on Ghanaian history. Sending our love to our friends and family back home.
-Erin and Mackenzie A.
Sunday June 17, 2018
Greetings from Ghana and a happy Father’s Day! Today we got to sleep in until 9. As a result, the group was much happier, and overall better prepared for the day. Everyone dressed in their Sunday best and we took a 15 minute walk to a local church. We were welcomed with warm arms for the service. Members of the congregation even shook our hands and kindly found extra chairs for us. The service began with the worship group singing and we were encouraged to join in and dance. The service continued with a guest preacher from the Krobo community. GLA was blessed by the church and thanked for our time in Asitey.
After the service, we walked back to home base for lunch, which was another delicious meal made by Charity and the whole kitchen staff. We then had down time before a local business came to teach us how to make Batik prints. We split into three groups, which cycled between Batik making, brick making, and mini mentor groups. Then, we quickly changed and met the kids outside to walk down to Asitey Park. When we arrived, a soccer game was in full heat. It was fun for the group to witness the talent of the local players. Once the game ended, we had time to play with the kids on the field. After our time at the park, we returned to the home base for a delicious dinner. After dinner, we prepared for our lessons at the schools tomorrow and met in our mentor groups. The day seemed to be passing by in the blink of an eye, but the experience has been so incredible!
Your fearless leaders of the day: Calvin Brauer and Olivia Nash
Monday June 18, 2018
Today we woke up early and embarked on our first day of service. Half of our group taught at a local nursery with students with ages ranging from 2-5 years old. The other half of our group taught at the local elementary school with students in 4th to 6th grade. The group at the elementary school also made bricks before starting their day of teaching.
After our service, we enjoyed a delicious meal, which consisted of traditional peanut butter soup, rice balls, and pineapple. After our lunch, we relaxed for an hour and regrouped to watch a Ted-Talk. We then split into smaller groups and discussed our thoughts on the video.
Later in the afternoon we met with different locals, and learned a bit about their local culture and language! The words we learned will be extremely helpful in upcoming lessons and daily interactions within our community. After our time with host families, we went to the park and played games with our favorite children. After about an hour and a half of this, we headed back to home base to enjoy another meal. Our meal consisted of fries, roast chicken, and pasta salad. We wrapped up the night by planning our next lesson for school.
Lex & Ethan
Update: Here are some photos from Monday!
Friday June 22, 2018
The last day of service ended with a bang! The students of the nursery greeted the kids with open arms. Their lesson plans consisted of dancing, singing, finger-painting, learning the ABCs and blissful last games of duck-duck goose in the field.
The elementary school volunteers began their day with topping the record of the most bricks made in a volunteer session: twenty-three! Seventy-two bricks were created in all over the course of the week. The volunteers then taught lessons for the first half of class, and played games and sang songs with the kids for the second half as a fun last day. Goodbyes were hard at both the nursery and the elementary school, but we hope we left our mark on them and we know they left their marks on us.
Returning home, the seamstress came to do final fittings for our one of a kind dresses, skirts, pants, and shirts made with fabrics we handpicked ourselves. We then joined each other for a Peace Circle under the tree in the front yard to strengthen our bonds and better our final days together.
Following that we gathered children at the park in a ‘clean up day’ to pick up plastic bottles and trash from the local areas. The kids were fully involved in the activity and excitement brewed as we handed out gloves as we walked all around town. From 4:30-6, kids were running and laughing while cleaning up their community.
Tonight we will have a guest speaker come into the home to teach us more about the Krobo culture and way of life here. Afterwards we will begin our Capstones, on the roof, speaking about our experience here and how it has changed us and what we will take away.
Today, we started the morning with getting ready to go to the Sajuna Resort. The resort was filled with trampolines, swimming pools, and spaces for soccer & volleyball under the sun. GLA students formed teams with the locals and GLA staff in a volleyball game full of smiles and laughter.
After spending the day by the pool and playing games, we took a group boat ride. As we headed down the beautiful river a downpour came upon us even through the rain there were still smiles, laughter, and dancing.
After a day at the resort GLA students traveled to a local bead shop where students were able to buy local beads for there loved ones back homeJ The store was filled with bunches of colors and beautiful beads. After the shopping GLA students headed back to home base to spend the penultimate day with the local kids at the park. During dinner, we celebrated GLA student Ethan Mazursky ‘s birthday! Happy Birthday!
-By Clare, Simon and Evan