Day 4 – Thursday 12th
Today again began with an early morning run, and this time I woke at the right hour. Sammy and I decided to run to the left out of our hotel instead of to the right this time which brought us to what looked like a village. It sort of felt like we were intruding by running through what felt like the living room of people getting ready to start the day. All eyes were on us as the only two white skinned people in the villege. When we returned, we learned that we were not intruding as the Ghanian people are very inclusive and happy to have Abronie visitors.
Today we met with the Health And Life Protection agency (HALP). Emanual gave us an orientation on their organization, and what we would be doing to help. We would be teaching students at various schools lessons on sanitation, sexual education, drug and alcohol abuse, and more. Apparently, having a foreigner teach the lesson impacts the children that much more.
We went over how to and what to teach. In one part of Emanual’s orientation, he spoke about common misconceptions that come with teaching and learning sexual education. The people of Ghana tend to speek with colorful metaphors or vagueness for certain areas of the body for which they feel uncomfortable discussing. Therefore, if a Ghanian professor or one of us tells the students not to put their stick where it’s not wanted, then they may refrain from poking their friends with sticks off the ground, but may still practice activities that may cause unexpected pregnencies, STD’s, and shame. Emanual shared this serious topic with us using humor.
Listen here for a sample of his lecture
How important it is to say what you mean. It can seem funny and harmless when thinking back on what we were taught, but I did take from this an important lesson. No matter what the subject matter one is discussing, leave as little as possible to be assumed. Even if I feel that what I am talking illustrates my point, make sure the audience understands the connection.
In my short time in Ghana so far, I have observed other things about my surroundings other than what I’ve learned in my orientations. The following is what I wrote in my hotel room in my journal after seeing more of Ghana on our outings:
So much can be said about the last few days; it’s a little overwhelming. Here I would like to describe the beaches, the slave trading, the sightseeing, and the food. All of these things are wonderful and amazing. Let me begin with culture I have experienced and the things I have seen. Moving from place to place in Ghana is almost like going through portals that can transfer you to completely different realms; but the people are related, and the weather is always hot and humid. What I mean is, I wake up in my beautiful hotel which overlooks a semi-developed forest area. Here the people are either trying to show me new things like how to speak their language or make fufu, or they are going to school just outside of the confines of the hotel. Then, as I trek a little further out of Jangles facility, I find the streets lined with small markets, homes, cars, and people of abra. Each person is working out of and, as far as I can tell, living out of a structure that is tall enough to walk into, and each could be no more than ten foot by ten foot. Each structure varies from wood, to brick, to metal. Then we travel a little farther into town where the streets are literally packed with people and cars, and everywhere is someone selling something. We then travel a little further to the coast where the large waves come crashing down onto the sandy beaches and wonderful rock formations are lining the coast. Here we can see palm trees, castles, and a different type of merchant commonly known as hustlers. Multiple people have come up to me with customized gifts they made after finding out my name, expecting me to pay them for what they have done. They themselves explain to me that they do it because they just need money. However, I think they could possibly find a different way to make their money; but that is not for me to decide.
For the rest of the night, I worked on making a lesson plan for the children I’d be teaching the next day about sanitation. I would be teaching the children of St. Siprins about Cholera, other germs, and hand washing. I created a detailed plan which included what I would say and write on the board first, both the topics and sub topics I was going to go over, how I would make the message speak to them, and three short songs to go along with each of the main topics.
Now I felt confident to teach and significantly impact children in the foreign country which I am a visitor.