Saturday, August 21, 2010

Week 3 - being sick, teaching, and traveling!

Current Location: Nsawam, Ghana

So first, I finally got a picture loaded! This is from several weeks ago when a large group of us went to Cape Coast. This is right next to Elmina Castle that we toured, and for those who don't know, the picture is of Lucy, myself, and Claire. I will post lots more when I get back home and have real internet!

What a week. So last time I posted on our official blog,, on Sunday, I said how happy I was that I hadn’t gotten sick yet. Well, way to jinx yourself Jenni. What do you know, but on Monday, I get really sick. I made it to school and got through my first class, but I was feeling so awful my second class that Chelsey told me to just rest. It was a good move, because I started throwing up about 10 minutes into the second period. Clay went home with me, and I spent all day both Monday and Tuesday in bed. I really can’t imagine a more miserable way to be sick. At least with the stomach flu in the states, I would have air conditioning, cool water, flushing toilets, and cool showers to lower my temperature. Instead I was laying in a hot room with only a fan and a latrine. Not so fun, but I made it through. Luckily it was only a 24 hour stomach bug and not something more serious!

The rest of the week went pretty well. I was weak from not being able to eat for 2 days, but I have gained back my strength now. Classes on Wednesday and Thursday consisted of me teaching the kids how to use Microsoft Excel. It was a lot of fun, and I think the students found it useful. I was trying to teach probability on Friday with blackjack, but it was such a short class that it was hard. Also, the students had never played blackjack before, so I ended up just teaching them how to play blackjack the whole class and not able to tie it into probability. It was a fun class though, and the students really seemed to enjoy it a lot.

The design project continues to keep going. My group has decided to use a water wheel powered by a motor to circulate the water from the bottom back up to the top. It is a good idea but might be hard to implement in the last week. I have faith in them though, and I think they can do it if they really put their mind to it. It should be an exciting last week with our last 2 classes, design project, and a field trip that we are trying to organize.

Yesterday we had a fieldtrip with the kids. We took them to Obodan to read to the children in the village. Students are not always exposed to service opportunities here like we are in the states, and we wanted to encourage them to give back and help students that are not as privileged as themselves. The bus ride over was quite the experience – the bus seated about 30, and I think we had 55 on it. Kids were sitting 3 to a seat, standing in the aisles, and sitting on the steps and floor. They were all singing and clapping and having a lot of fun. They were even making up some songs about PiT which were really funny. When we got to the village to start reading, some of the students seemed skeptical at first, but they really got into it. I think when they saw about 100 little children all so excited that the older kids were coming to read to them, they got a little more excited about it. It was really cute to see – they were holding their kids in their laps and being patient and teaching them to read and write. The kids can be rowdy sometimes in our classes, and it was great to see them so quiet and helpful for the kids.

After the reading we played a soccer game for the PiT kids against the local Obodan Senior High age team. It was pouring before so the field was really muddy, and it was raining steadily throughout the entire game. The PiT team lost 3-5, but the refereeing was awful – 3 of the Obodan team’s goals were not legal – one offsides, one pentalty kick that was not a penalty, and one that went 2 feet over the goal and the ref counted it. So frustrating – I was yelling on the sidelines!

Today we are currently at school watching over and helping the kids with their design projects. The evening we are planning on heading into Accra for the night because it is Clay’s birthday! Going to get some good food, stay at a hotel with a shower, and go out to see the Ghanaian night life in Accra! I am sure we will have great stories from that. Sunday we are going to go to a crafts fair to do our souviner shopping, and then its back to Obodan and Nsawam for our last crazy week!

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