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Published: July 24th 2013
This morning I went to school as usual. Lucy, the teacher I work with was off, as her son Elijah (who is 2) is in hospital. He has malaria. So there was a teacher in there from the nursery, setting work. Except the students didn't have books or anything. I helped as much as I could, based on what we'd been doing the last few days. Breaktime came as a welcome relief, as the kids weren't getting much done, and we couldn't find half of the stuff they needed to do their work, so they were just sitting there annoying those who were working. Alfred actually wrote a whole word, copied from the board, which was a vast improvement from normal At breaktime, I got out my camera. The kids were so excited and they wanted to be in every picture. I agreed to have a picture taken with a student in the playground, and about 10 others just crowded into it. They were pawing at my camera, and I was like "Get off! Don't touch!" Thankfully, I emerged unscathed, as did my camera. Breaktime was suddenly called off, when rain started bucketing it down. It's been really muggy for the last few days, so it was a welcome relief. I just wish my washing wasn't out on the line...
Because the huts are outside and they leak, the children were all ushered into the one main classroom. This room was no bigger than your average sized living room, yet it had 50 kids in. The teacher that had been covering my class before break was roaming around, hitting any kid that so much as made a noise, even the two and three year olds. She was nasty and vindictive with it. She seemed to smirk when they cried, and hit them as hard as she could with a big plank of wood, both on their hands and on the backs of their heads. I understand that this is a different culture, and I respect it, even though I'd never hurt a child. But regardless, this lady took it too far. She clearly hated her job and hated the kids. It made me feel sick.
The headmaster got the older girls (included 11 year old Georgina who had sung for me at break) to sweep up the water down into the drain. They use branches, all bunched together, to sweep here.
I was glad to go home at lunchtime to be honest. Mavis had made pancakes for lunch today, which are SO good. Better than any other pancakes I've ever had. And a welcome relief from the usual eggs and rice that materialise at every meal....in fact, yesterday's dinner was boiled eggs in a sauce, served on a bed of rice....
I suggested to a couple of others that we went to the mall this afternoon, and Freya, Claire and Meg were up for it. So we got a taxi there. The mall is Accra mall (Accra is the capital city, about 30 mins or so from here, and it's where I landed in Ghana). The drive there was interesting to say the least. We saw police motorbikes rushing by in convoy (13 of them) as we approached Accra. Then we stopped at traffic lights, and the taxi died. Wouldn't start again. The police were trying to direct us, but we weren't going anywhere. So the policeman was gesturing angrily at our taxi driver, who proceeded to get out a pair of pliers and fiddle under the bonnet. Thankfully, the car started again then, and we were on our way. That was until we had to stop again because the driver had tried to wind down his car window and it fell out! So he had to stop and put the pane of glass back in...I had heard these stories about taxis, but thought they were over exaggerated until today's experiences!
It was great being in the mall. As much as I love Ghana, it was nice to "step into Europe/USA" for a few hours. Things were expensive, but I managed to find myself a Chicken Soup book, and bought lots of snacks (chocolate bars and crisps, which cannot be found in Ghana generally!) and some drinks (Mirinda, which is an orange drink I loved when in Poland, Coke and fruit juice). We finished off our visit by going to the food court, where I happily bought a veggie pizza, chips, and ice cream....the best food I have had in a long time! Our journey home was much less eventful than the way there, apart from a taxi driver who we were haggling a fare with getting hit by a car! (not badly, he was fine, it just clipped him).
So now I am back home and everyone has decided to play drinking games....me, being the typical geek, has decided it's more fun to discuss the differences between the English and Spanish education systems with Gorka, outside chilling on the patio! They sound like they're having a great time, but I like my chill time in the evenings. I have sprayed my bed with bed bug spray, as I've seen little black bugs crawling on my mattress, which does not please me....flashbacks to Australia!
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