Time Capsule Letter
Dear Ghana COA 14 Session 2,
Oh how time flies… doesn’t it seem like just yesterday you were opening your first water bag? Or taking in that view of Krobo Mountian from the rooftop for the first time. Just think back to that walk from the top of the hill down to Asitey park, screaming kids jumping to greet you and beaming with joy. These, I hope, are the vivid memories that have stuck with you over the last few weeks and will stay there as you go on.
Thanks to your hard work and commitment to this program, we were able to pack so much into just 14 days, from local market shopping to batik making and so much more. In our discussions, we tackled tough issues and put forth bold ideas.
We discovered more about leadership, pushed ourselves and expanded our perspectives. We put in work at our service sites and left behind real, sustainable impacts. The new classroom floor at the primary school was put to use almost immediately after finishing- they were very thankful.
The nursery kids are still singing your songs you taught them. You better believe the kids at the park have asked about all of you, by name, every single day since you left Asitey!
Alongside everything during our time in Ghana, we had so much fun. Who could forget everyone serving looks at the fashion show? We kept the rhythm going all program long, singing, dancing and absolutely crushing it in Battle of the Bands. Nana Ama’s tuck shop is overflowing with chocolates and ice cream without you guys.
“By July 9th 2020, we will have made a conscious effort to lead by example in order to foster/create/inspire the positive change we wish to see in our world” – One Meaningful Goal. After spending quite some time at the end of our program talking about knowledge we’d gained, we transformed that knowledge into real, SMART goals.
As quoted above, your group goal tackles leadership head on by striving to implement it into your daily lives. Having spent two full weeks with all of you, I am surely confident that you’ll achieve this goal and see incredible results.
We’ll be wishing you all the best of luck as you move along in the next big steps of your lives. With all sincerity, thank you for choosing to make GLA CoA14 with us one of those steps. It would not have been nearly the same without you.
Always remember… “A selfie a day keeps the haters away” – Sassy Jazz
Brendan, Dee and Jazz
Friday June 28, 2019
On this first full day in Ghana we celebrate Tori’s birthday and that we all got here safe. We spent a good part of the day getting oriented to the GLA way of doing things at Home Base and in Krobo. We also visited all the places we’d be doing service and got to choose between either the nursery school or primary school. It rained quite heavily in the afternoon but just as quickly as the rain came the sun broke out amongst the clouds and we we took that chance to go meet the kids at the park. We had a good day getting to know each other here and all feel its the start of something beautiful.
Sunday June 30, 2019
Yesterday we went to Cedi beads and learned how recycled glass beads are traditionaly made here in Ghana. We then got to make our own beads and while we waited for them to be completed, we did fun team building exercises with our felllow GLA students. We then had the opportunity to buy some of the beautiful beads from their shop.
In the afternoon we played with the local children in ther park and introduced some of the games we played when we were young. After that we had dinner, which was Kontomire, a traditional meal in Ghana (it was soo yummy!). We watched and participated in a dance demo shown to us by a group of prefessional Ghanaian dancers which was definitely a highlight of the day.
Today, we all attended a church service in the village and were warmingly welcomed by the locals. We took the long way home in order to see more of the village as we walked back to home base. It was super neat to see the traditional church clothes and all the bright colors.
When we returned home, we were taught how to do batik (the waxing and dying of cloth) and were able to make our own sample pieces. Additionally we played with the children again and today it was nice to see some of the older children join our games 🙂
We ended the night by participating in a Naming Ceremony and learned more about Dipo, a traditional right of passage for Krobo girls. Each GLA student was given a Krobo name and was welcomed into the family.
Two more incredible days have passed here in Ghana and we continue to be grateful for the kind and welcoming local community.
Lots of love from:
Djabakwor (Abby) and Terkwor (Yoko♧)
Monday July 1, 2019
Seamstress came this morning and fitted us all for custom clothes of our choice. So many beautiful and colorful fabric options for us to choose from. Our choices ranged from headbands to fashionable dresses and skirts (of course there were options for guys as well).
Boti falls was our next activity! One of the directors there told us the story of the settlers finding the waterfalls and the first building dating back hundreds of years. The hike was to some landmarks that Boti has much pride in having, consisting of umbrella rocks and a three headed palm tree. Getting home a little behind schedule left us with some time to rest and prepare for the big first day of school tomorrow!
-by Tori and Addie
Wednesday July 3, 2019
Today we had our first day of service. 6 out of 17 people in our group went to the daycare and the other half of us went to the local villages primary school which essentially holds grades k-12. Up until our service we have created lesson plans to teach to our assigned classes. At the primary school the GLA volunteers also began working on repairing a school floor. Our first step in doing so was to pick axe the broken concrete floor; which we completed in about 30 minutes. We all found peaks and pits in our first day of teaching and we all have ideas on how to improve.
Additionally, we all gained mutual respect for substitute teachers as that’s what we felt like as we took over the classroom for a part of the time. This teaching process is teaching us the power of education and the privilege it carries. After service we had a wonderful lunch and had a large break afterwards where most of us napped and recuperated from our first day of service. Our service will go through Monday and everyday we are given a different subject to teach to the kids. After our break we met with our host families.
The host families are various families in Krobo who have agreed to take us in groups and teach us some of the language and culture. After our host families we went and played at the park with the local village children and today it also included some more of the kids from our host families. As a group we are networking among the tiny part of Krobo that we have been exposed to. To end our day we watched a Ted Talk on the Dangers of a one sided story. This ted talk taught us that your perception of stereotyped can either build or break your mindset, as well as teach you new things as a global citizen.
Friday July 5, 2019
hello friends and families! welcome to today’s GLA ghana update. today began with another day of service for students at the primary and nursery schools. At the primary school, our service project of completing the classroom floor was accomplished! after lunch, a sample of market goods including paintings, statues, and musical instruments were laid out at home base for us to purchase some souvenirs to take home. then we spent another amazing afternoon with our friends at the park playing games and drawing! after dinner, we had Monica, the owner of the nursery school at which we have been volunteering, speak about her experience as a female entrepreneur and challenges she has overcome in her life. Hi Mom!
-By Ella and Isabella
Saturday July 6, 2019
We started the day with breakfast and then made our way to the market. We were given the challenge of shopping at one of the biggest markets in Krobo for ingredients which would be used for dinner. It was amazing to experience the diverse array of items being sold, which included everything from scarves to shoes to okra to mango (Grace’s favorite). It was very crowded but the bustling atmosphere and friendly locals made for a fun and enlightening experience.
Oh, did we mention that we got to practice some of our krobo? In order to get more from the venders, we learned the art of negotiating while also learning their names and getting to know them. After gathering all that we needed, we returned to home base for our hawking and cooking lessons. Hawking is the skill of balancing all kinds of items on your head without losing balance. She was the only one to walk a full circle while balancing a bucket of water. The kitchen staff taught us how to prepare dinner for that night using the market ingredients. After the lessons we all ate lunch, followed by a long, relaxing break.
Many of us napped and journaled during this time. We headed to the park after being rejuvenated by our rest. Spending time at the park with the kids was super fun (per usual). We returned to home base and ate the dinner that we prepared. GLA activities took up the rest of our evening. We discussed leadership, personality types and how to deal with personal triggers. After this we showered and headed to bed. We send love and well wishes to our family and friends at home!
Ellie and Grace
Sunday July 7, 2019
Today we had a very exciting day at Sajuna Resort. We started this fun day off with a nice late breakfast and started our journey. At the resort we made sure to put lots of sunscreen on before we swam, played beach volleyball, and played ping pong-WITS! Everyone had a lot of fun thanks to the good ice cream, music, and happy people. We also played a game of marco polo in the pool which was exciting. After lunch and the fun morning/afternoon activities we added on to a good day by having an awsome boat ride through the incredible Volta River where we passed a really cool bridge along with hotels and lots of beautiful scenery.
After the boat ride we headed over to a bead store where we were able to buy beautiful bracelets, anklets and necklaces. Then we had park time with the children which like always was so exciting and full of laughing, talking, and games. A delightful dinner was waiting and afterwards we prepared our last lesson plan for our classes tomorrow:( Then on top of an awesome day we had a movie night where we watched Free Solo which was a movie about a rock climber-the movie was very incredible and inspirational. We definitely recommend everyone should watch it. Overall the day was so much fun and the perfect balance of relaxation and fun!
By Emily and Felix
Wow. Our time here is coming to an end. We’re in the final stretch ;((((.
Well, my day started at 5:30 in the morning. Jazz, D, (both mentors lol) and I ran with the kids from our host families- Abraham, Andrew, and Erica. Krobo’s mountainous landscape at 6am does NOT get old.
Breakfast today, as EVERY service day usual has it, was at 7am. We had french toast, oats, sausage, and watermelon. Nothing we eat for breakfast beats toast with TopChoco (a nutella-like spread). After breakfast, the kids who help out at the nursery headed on to their last day of service.
The rest of us teach primary students and work on building a classroom floor at the primary school. Since we finished the floor last Friday, we were planning to make mud bricks at the home base today before we left to teach the primary students. But, of couuuuuuurse, it started to downpour just as we finished breakfast.
We got to rest for two hours before we left to teach at the primary school. Teaching fourth grade, we have LOTS of fun today. The more fun we have, the more we realize how much we really are going to miss these kids when we leave ;(.
After we got home, we had ate up: roni rice with golden fried chicken and watermelon! It was the first time we had roni rice and it was amazing!! Never had one complaint about the food here- always a clean plate from me hehe. After lunch, got to watch the second half of Moana that the nursery kids started because they came home early!!!
We also got talk in our mentor groups about knowledge and how it can be utilized after lunch . Is knowledge truly power? Or is it a tool that can empower us? We spoke on how our experiences here have shaped our knowledge- and how if we utilize this knowledge in the right way, we can build power and use this power in the right way. We also created our own OMG goals: one meaningful goal. We wrote down things that we need to stop, continue, and start to act upon to achieve our goals. We even got to create a 12-month group goal that we can all aim for individually.
Today was also our last day at the park; we taught the kids how to play kickball had a blast running around our “bases”. The park is usually the highlight of all our days!!
Dinner today was just like all our other meals: amazing! We had vegetable noodles with chicken and mango today for dinner. The vegetable noodle are so similar to ramen. Thankfully, Tori brought sriracha sauce- NOTHING, and I repeat- NOTHING- tastes better sriracha with noodles.
After dinner, we sat in an “appreciation circle” where we faced outward and closed our eyes. 4 people were alternatively chosen to stand in the center and tap on people they appreciated for specific things (i.e. someone who “makes everything fun”, “is a good listener”, “thinks on their feet”).
Everyone also got to stand in the middle while everyone shared what they appreciated about that specific person. The activity in general boosted everyone’s self confidence and put everyone in a good mood before Felix and Jackson leave tomorrow for their second GLA Program: Building Healthy Villages in Ghana.
Goodbyes will be tough tomorrow. We’ve been having so much fun, busy with so many activities and our daily service, that homesickness has not had time to hit. It sounds so cliche that the trip went by in a blink of an eye, but it really did. We’ll cherish these last few days as much as we can.