Teaching at the fishing village

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July 29th 2013
Published: July 29th 2013
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This morning was school. The students have exams this week, yes, even my teeny tiny 4-6 year olds. I wasn't expecting to have to do much, but the exam papers weren't yet ready, so they will be starting them this afternoon instead. So the teacher hadn't brought the class' exercise books, which meant that we just got the students up to the board to write letters that we told them to, in chalk. One student wiped the chalk with her sleeve, and Lucy (their teacher) said "No, don't do that. You get cancer. Cancer!" which I found amusing.

At breaktime, Steffi came over and got me to go and see a little girl who was poorly. This girl had ulcers all over her tongue and lips, and the school had put the purple liquid on her. I'm not sure what it is, but every time a kid gets a cut, they dip a piece of cotton wool in this purple liquid and smear it all over the cut. So they'd covered this girl's tongue and lips in purple, and Steffi thought she had some horrible tropical disease and needed the hospital! The headteacher agreed she did need medical treatment at the hospital though, as it's not normal to have massive ulcers in your mouth - also she had pains in her head. The headteacher went off on a rant, mainly to himself, about the fact her parents should not have sent her to school, and then arranged for her Mum to come and get her and take her to the hospital (not sure how, as this girl said she doesn't have a phone).

I met the cutest little boy in the playground today. His name is Yau (not sure how to spell it) and he is in the nursery, so I think he is about 2. He just beams and beams with the cutest smile, looking up at you. I instinctively gathered him up for cuddles, and he just carried on looking at me and beaming. Steffi says he is in her class and is labelled as naughty, as he doesn't listen, but instead just keeps beaming at people. She also says that he and his family live up on the rubbish tip - I believe that means that their livelihood is made by scavenging from the tip, I am not sure.

I chatted a lot to Lucy today whilst the students were taking their turns at the board. By the way,I find it so strange, as one student is writing on the board and the rest are running riot and hitting each other, but Lucy just turns a blind eye. Anyway - she was asking about whether I was married. She found it very shocking when I said that people don't necessarily get married in England, and if they do, sometimes it's not until their thirties or forties. She laughed lots each time I told her new facts. She was also stunned and impressed that education is free in the UK.

I left at 12pm to get back home for lunch. Whilst Mavis was cooking my scrambled eggs and veg, I was sitting out on the patio having a cigarette when the headmaster stuck his head over the gate and asked for me. I was like, "uh oh! I wonder what I am in trouble for!". So I hestitantly went over, and he told me he had forgotten to give Steffi, Gorka and I a little present before we left today. And he handed me a bag with 3 cartons of juice and 3 packets of crackers. I thanked him, but told him I'd still be in school for the next week. He said he knows that, but it was just a small token of his appreciation for all our hard work, which I thought was lovely!

I had the afternoon off, as I was going to be working in the evening.

At 5.30pm, Freya, Jamal, Peter (a new guy from England) and I went to Teshie fishing village to teach. The children there go to school in the day, but they want to better themselves. So in the evenings, their teacher does a class called "brain strengthening" or something like that....but they've been on holidays for the last few weeks. We got there and the children were seated at tables outside, waiting for us. One of the students led us in a prayer (in Ga language) and then they all introduced themselves. Then we started work. Peter took the older kids for maths (seeing as he is doing his PGCE in Science and maths back in the UK) and Freya and I had the younger ones. She did some maths, and I did English, getting them to write about themselves. We stayed until about 7.15 and then came back home.

In other news, seeing as Peace is still missing, Jamal said we could bring a puppy back from the orphanage. The boys brought back the female pup, thinking it was male! So she has to go back tomorrow 😞 She is so adorable and tiny, she is the runt of the litter and is picked on by the bigger dogs! I don't want her to go back there!


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