Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
Hello Hello Hello!
I’m hoping this letter finds you all happy and healthy! Can you believe it’s already fall?! I can’t! There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think back of all the memories we made together this summer. I frequently find myself telling all the people in my life about GLA and how awesome the students were (Hey! That’s you guys!) and about all the wonderful things we did.
One of my main highlights (of many) included all of the great community service we did as a group. It was hard work, but it was all worth it in the end, not only for the local community but for us as well. All of the service we did contributed to a greater sense of community that we built together. I’m so proud of every single one of you. We did it! Nice work!
What a rockin’ summer! I can’t believe how much we did in the 3 weeks we had together! Let’s all take a moment to remember all the delicious food we ate (thanks Maxy!), the beautiful places we explored, all the laughs we shared, the local children we played with, the many aspects of Ghana we experienced and learned about, the monkeys we fed (kind of scary though), the adventurous boat rides we took, and most importantly, all the new friends and memories we made.
I hope this summer has left you with sprouting seeds of not only self-development, but also community development. I hope you continue to do great things and you have a greater spark to explore the world and yourself. Don’t forget to appreciate the little things in life, because often those are the best.
You made my summer so special and I thank you all so much for it! I came away a different person and it’s all thanks to the students, the mentors and the local community. This summer was simply unforgettable!
I wish you all the best of luck this school year! I hope our paths cross again!
- The ice cream man
- Casey and her annual Ghanaian hospital visit
- Amanda’s shoe tying demonstration
- Annabell’s calligraphy
- Anu jumping into the water at the River Tour
- Lizzie and Julia getting the same pants as Stu
- The Ghanesses “We African!”
- Hitting Joe in the head with a beach ball
- Jack’s Shack
- Lucy’s great MCing skills
- “Hi, I’m Max… I know I’m tall”
Summer Blog Posts
All of our students finally arrived safe and sound. Our friend Joe is our new blog assistant and volunteered to help us through the program with it to help our families stay connected. Jane will also be sharing the responsibility and stepping up to this exciting role.
Today the GLA volunteers accomplished their everyday task of serving humanity by introducing themselves to the lovely people of Ghana’s nearby elementary schools. Volunteers split up into mentor groups and visited three primary schools to greet the teachers and students that they will be working with over the next three weeks. School staff members put amazing effort into instructing students how to mold concrete to make bricks, and how to act culturally with the students. The staff also courteously provided students the corresponding textbooks. Later in the day, GLA volunteers engaged in fun physical activity, like football, with the Ghanian children, and played friendly sportsmanlike games that were creative as they were competitive.
June 28, 2016
Hi family and friends! It’s been a another wonderful and adventure-filled day for us in Ghana! Today some of us got up bright and early at 6:30 to go for a run or to do yoga down at the beach. Then we all sat down to another delicious meal served by one of our cooks, Max. Breakfast was toast, egg, cucumber salad, mango, and watermelon.
Then, all three mentor groups set out for community service at their individual sites. There, we all made bricks for around an hour and a half, played with the school kids during their break, and then got changed into our more formal clothes and set out to spread knowledge and fun to our students. Even though it is only our second real day of teaching our kids, we are already forming bonds with them and learning just as much as they are.
After community service, all the mentor groups sat down for a reflection about their day so far and thought of questions they had for our local guides. Then we played games, talked with each other, and bought ice cream before heading to lunch. At lunch we ate “red red”, with avocado, rice and plantains, and pineapple. Yum. After lunch, all three “shoe groups” (named after the groups that were formed when we played the “shoe game,”) set out on different adventures. All three groups are rotating among three different activities. The activities are a tour of a nearby island, visiting the Father’s Home, and cooking dinner with Max along with optional cornrows and wifi! The groups that went on the island tour got to learn how to basket weave from the locals and met an elder whilst learning more about the ways of the people we were visiting. No pictures were allowed on the island, and some students may or may not have shaken the elder’s hand incorrectly. However, no legs were crossed in front of the elder. The students who went to the Father’s Home met kids who, for the most part, were rescued from a lake region where kids are trafficked for fishing. They also spoke with an elder and had a fun time playing with the kids. The students who stayed at home base learned how to cook a delicious meal that was served for dinner from our amazing chef, Max, enjoyed wifi for a limited amount of time, and some students got corn rows in their hair. The “shoe groups” arrived back to home base at different times, and when they did they all played with the children for the last time of the day, before heading in for dinner. Dinner was another wonderful meal from Max and his lovely assistants, consisting of tuna stew with crispy yam balls along with fries and apple slices. After dinner, students met up with their mentor groups and teaching partners to plan the lessons they will teach tomorrow in school. Once finished with their lesson plans, students enjoyed free time and found many resourceful ways to have a good time and enjoy the lovely outdoors of Ghana. Some students played soccer outside. They played a game of “Bull” as one of our French students, Max, told us. Students also played “Heads Up!” on a phone while still others enjoyed some quiet time to have nice conversations with one another or to continue planning their lessons for the following day. Everyone here is really getting in the groove of things and already dreading the day when we have to leave Ghana, not that we don’t miss you guys! We are just really enjoying ourselves and the people around us. The Ghanians are so friendly and everyday we learn so many new things.
Thanks for reading along with our journey! We appreciate all of your love and support and can’t wait to share all of our stories and pictures with you!
July 9, 2016
Today some students woke up bright and early to see the sunrise. Unfortunately, the fog was too thick to see anything, but we still had fun together outside. Then we took a road trip to the monkey sanctuary. There we fed the monkeys bananas and some of us even had a monkey or two (or three) sit on our shoulders.
Afterwards, the GLA volunteers continued their journey to the tallest recorded waterfall in West Africa. Students hiked over bridges and trails, experiencing the wonderfully exotic plant and animal life that Ghana has to offer. Students were guided by experienced and diligent tour guides, who led the students to the waterfall. The gratified volunteers swam and took photos in the waterfall, and were amazed by the experience of a strong spraying outburst of water coming from it.
The GLA volunteers had a blast today thanks to the hard and effortful work of the mentors, staff, and in-country guides.
-Joe and Jane