Ghana- Week 10: Round 2!

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March 29th 2013
Published: March 29th 2013
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Last week was a bore, at the beginning of the week, as I was trying to catch up on my sleep from traveling to Kumasi, the week before. But the boredom did not last too long as my friend, Sena, (who I finally have a picture with!!) had a dance performance at Alliance France. This was on Wednesday evening, so of course, I found my way over to the Alliance France complex to see the beauty in dance and the arts as a whole.

I was in a whole new world, (not to steal from Aladdin) when I entered Alliance, the atmosphere was like GIS (the International School that I’ve mentioned before) in the sense that it hid the pollution of the streets of Ghana, and there were so many posh internationals! I was once again, part of the majority, (to an extent of course…I mean, I was still clearly the only Asian in the place, but we were close) not the minority. And I mentioned that to my fellow dancer friends from the University, and they just laughed at my observation…so I was glad that the performance just started…

It was incredible, the dance performance was of all women dancers, and it was showing how the role of women have changed/should be allowed to change, from the traditional housewife in Ghana, to the female professional, who could bring home money. As the dancers sweated, you could feel the deep emotions that they wanted the audience to capture from each step and each gesture. (Yes, I do love art and dancing…I’m obsessed and clearly miss it- even if I wasn’t very good)

The performance ended successfully and I just had to make it home safely, as my host mother was waiting for me.

The next day (Thursday) PAUSE! Have I mentioned that I started to officially teach JHS1, BY MYSELF?? It started the day before, on Tuesday. I thought that the teacher would be coming back, that she was just away for that one day, but no, she’s gone until school ends. So, now, I have the entire class of 24 students to myself, and I had stopped observing the class weeks before. It was pretty terrifying, since, you know, I’m not an actual English Teacher.

Anyways, I have begun to take the creative teacher side into things, I have started to make the students try to use their imagination more on in class assignments, like writing/ drawing / making advertisements, as well as trying to teach them from the textbook by having group competitions, like one of the American schools’ favorite activity, Jeopardy. (Oh I can’t wait for next week’s blog, since I get to tell you what I did with the class this past Tuesday!) But going back to last week, there were definitely some starting fails. I was told numerous of times to pick up a cane; instead, I drew on the children (granted this is an equivalent 7th grade English class) with chalk… I know, not one of my best moments… but it happened.

Then on Thursday… I ended up having the students who weren’t listening, interrupting…you know, the trouble makers, to stand on the corners of the room. But, my mistake was letting them stand, sit, or “do whatever” in the space that was given to them….In the front of the classroom, as I spoke to the other students, my back to the troublemaker(s), they started to stretch…and make a scene, causing the rest of the class to laugh and giggle…making the situation, altogether, entirely worse. So I began to think of another “punishment”…a quiz…I sent them home for the weekend with the knowledge that they would have a quiz the next week (see! Don’t you want to read next weeks’ blog already?!)

BAGELS! Wow, I almost forgot, on Friday, we got out of Ashesi early, and so we went on an adventure with our driver, Neil, to find a bakery that had bagels!! I have been craving a bagel for sooooo long! We first went to the store, to only find out that it moved! Only a mile or two away though. So once we got there, we were in heaven, not only did they have bagels the size of my face! But there were cupcakes, croissants, cinnamon buns, and a few other baked goods. I indulged and got 2 bagels, a chocolate cupcake (with frosting of course) and a chocolate croissant. YUMM…until….my body decide that the food was too rich, a little too “eggy” and….well… just not what I had in mind…. So now I am still craving all types of sweets that come from an oven!!

The weekend…Let’s see, I went to some dinner/fundraiser for the English Department’s literary magazine. Then I stayed over on campus at Sena’s room, because I was going to wake up at 5:00am to get on a bus at 5:30am at ISH (the international student housing dorms on campus) to head back to KUMASI (explains the title…round 2…if you didn’t get it…). I was going to go to the Ghana vs. Sudan Futbol game with a bunch of other international students.

While the ride was extremely long both ways, it was definitely worth it. The stadium was packed, Ghana WON! 4-0. I was geared up in all kinds of Ghana items and the fans were insane by causing a lot of brawls. The fights were mostly of fans being “rude” (we’ll say) and threw water, from bottles, or just even an entire Sachet- creating the best water balloon ever! At strangers/ different parts of the crowds. Once there was even a glass bottle that flew and hit someone, it was pretty intense, and should have been somewhat more scary for me…since I was in the crowd, but luckily, nothing was really thrown too near us…the fights happened feet away, but nothing hit the 3 person radius around our group, or at least me… which was nice.

(I know...I'm doing great on these picture titles)
(And side note, I made a couple of new “Obroni” friends from other study abroad programs- yay!)

As soon as the game was about to end- we all pushed our way out of the crowds and found safety in the bus and made it back to campus just after midnight…

And since then (and well the last visit to Kumasi) life in Ghana has somehow become less mundane and slowly more interesting, with new activities and new people.

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