Thursday, December 27, 2012

Walking thru the Village to School

The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.
Down the highway into the morning
Fast food breakfast spot
The first term of academic year 2012-13 is completed.  Experience is indeed a wonderful teacher as I felt more comfortable in the classroom this second year.  The desire to inspire my students to earn and value an education and to gain self confidence and discipline has increased.  

I have included some pictures along my route to school each day.  Classes start at 7 AM.   I am usually out the door at 6:30 for the 10-15 minutes walk. This is a farming Village and although the road looks empty there is plenty of activity.  

The road to the Primary and Junior High Schools

Children in school uniforms are waiting for their bus or joining the line with other villagers  to get a quick breakfast snack.  This stand sells take away porridge in a plastic bag (chocolate, sugar, water and soft rice or maze) and fried bread made from yam flour.  A little like corn bread and delicious.  The students and teachers are always ready to snack at anytime during the day and vendors stop by school frequently selling oranges, nuts, frozen yogurt, and more fried bread.   

Off the main street (highway) I take a right turn down a dirt road to the Schools.  To the left is the Village Park,  soccer field, and behind the bright blue wall on the right is a beer garden.  The playing field is very much like the road, with only sparse grass, and hard as concrete when dry, but red soup when it rains.  The large building on the far left is the Catholic Church.  Football (soccer) is a passion of Ghana and most activity slows when a match is going on as everyone wants to watch and help the coach manage the game.  

Getting water and the latest news

Near the end of the road I pass a water point.  There are four bore holes (water wells) in the village and most house holds must visit frequently.   It is a gathering place where relaxed communications happen and villagers can catch up on the news.  I doubt there are many secrets in the village due to these spots.  I am fortunate that the young woman who lives in the house where I stay fetches the water when necessary.  It is not an easy chore so I have learned to conserve.

Teachers Grading End of Term Exams
Study Hall for End of Term Exams
End of the school day is at 2 PM.  Students assemble, take down the flag that reminds them to be alert to risks of HIV/AIDS, and head for home.  I teach a section on HIV/AIDS education every other week as a part of the computer skills and mathematics classes. 

HIV/AIDS Alert Flag
Under the Mango Tree for Dismissal
Going home.

Many students go home, change out of the school uniform and head for the family farm or help around the house.  There are few recreational activities after school such as organized sports or clubs.  I have opened the room where the school's two computers are located to give them some free time to practice what they learn in class.  However, like many teenagers, they love to play computer games or listen to music.  

On my walk home I can take care of some business; get a haircut, shop at the market, buy some items at the mini-mart, load some call time on my phone, or get a snack of fried yams.  The dry season begins in early November, so on most days I just want to get home and out of the blazing sun.

The barber shop.  Haircut, $1
The Village Market.  Fresh eggs, 20 cents each

From Soap to Fresh Water
The Phone Store, 20 minutes call $1

 The Village has a number of these little businesses and when possible I like to shop here rather than the large market city 15 minutes away.

Fast Food Stand with Some Fresh Hot Peppers Drying

In less than a year I will complete my service here and leave for my home.   Unless I move into a large city, I will likely not experience anything like walking to work each day, seeing and greeting familiar folks and taking care of some of the daily tasks as I move from home to work and back.  I think I will miss that.

Thanks for taking some time to share what my school day looks like.  I continue to enjoy excellent health and am eagerly anticipating the remaining two terms in this school year. 

Hope you have a wonderful 2013

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