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Published: November 7th 2014
Here is the first part of my Larabanga adventures:
October 6, 2014
I arrived in Larabanga yesterday after about 18 hours of bus, trotro, and taxi. I was wiped out, but I was greeted by one of the Salia twins. Hussein and Hassan run the Salia Brother’s Guest house that I’m staying at. Hassan lives in the town, while Hussein lives at the hotel just outside of Larabanga. The interesting thing about them being twins in Ghana is how they consider which twin the older. Hussein was born first, but is considered the junior or the younger because apparently they believe the senior twin sends the junior out first to see what the world is like for the senior. Hussein has a wonderfully welcoming family. He has about 8 children living with him, but I’m still not quite sure who’s biological, adopted, or extended family. There’s also another one on the way in about a month, so I could be here when the baby arrives. One of his children is 4 year old Ibi (short for Ibrahim). Ibi is so cute and has a lot of energy, like most typical 4 year olds. One of his cousins,
who’s 21, Inusah lives with them and helps out at the lodge. Even though today is a Monday school isn’t in session due to a holiday, but I’ll start tomorrow. Currently I make 4 volunteers teaching at the school here. Two of them are from Spain and the other is from Austria. They’re all here for a lot longer than I am, and I have no idea how they do that. I’m already wondering how or even if I can last for 5 weeks. I’m missing people in Accra and there is very little to do. I was told what to expect when it came to being bored here and I brought lots of stuff to read, but still I don’t know exactly how I’ll last.
October 7, 2014
My first day of teaching in Larabanga was today. However, tomorrow is supposed to be another “holiday” and Friday could be another one. I put that in quotes because Hussein said it’s something that is being done for the local public schools, but the kids were told by their families that they don’t have school so they won’t be coming. School was okay, and the
craziness reminded of teaching at Faith Academy. I was given the P5, which stands for Primary 5, class. They definitely tested me as a new teacher.
October 9, 2014
Life here is so peaceful, albeit a bit boring. I still need to adjust to my class. Today Hussein came in my class and asked me “Do you cane children?” I’m sure you all know what my response was and he’s aware of what our culture thinks of that. I don’t want to put Hussein or Ghanaian teachers in a bad light, but I wasn’t surprised when he asked me that. I’ve been teaching in Ghana for 4 months now, and I’m very aware of their forms of disciplines. I knew coming here that I might face different discipline methods.
Anyway, Baillahu is Hussein’s wife, and as I previously mentioned 8 months pregnant. She is a wonderful cook and an even more incredible craftswoman. She sells her own work at the guesthouse and even tailors clothes for people. I have to be careful or I will spend all my money buying Christmas presents for people.
October 11, 2014
I left Accra a week ago, and this is my fist weekend in Larabanga. It’s actually really quiet since Hussein, the other 3 volunteers, and all but two of the kids left this morning to visit a friend in the city of Kintampo. The other 3 volunteers are very nice and have been helping me through the troubles I’ve having teaching my class. Agnes is from Austria while Laura and Nerea are from Spain. Nerea is actually the coordinator for the Spanish organization that Laura is volunteering with. Right now she’s dealing with some trouble due to the Ebola cases in Spain. Apparently there were supposed to be 8 or so volunteers coming at the end of the month, and now she’s not sure if any are coming. I want to reiterate that Ghana is safe. There have been no cases in Ghana or any of the surrounding countries.
Okay, you probably want to hear about my typical day up here in Larabanga. I wake up when the roosters crow at 6 A.M., and then I take a walk because it’s still cool enough then. School doesn’t start until 9 A.M. and goes until 1 P.M. every
day except Friday when school ends an hour early. The rest of the day is spent trying to fill time. Larabanga is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The major attraction is Mole National Park where you can take a safari. They have elephants there, but I’m waiting for a few weeks to go because I found out that mating season isn’t the best time to spot them. They have a hotel and a pool, which I went to with Agnes, Nerea, and Laura the other day. However, you have to pay the full park entrance fee even to just use the pool and it can start getting expensive if you go all the time. When it comes to living at the Savanna Lodge, as the place outside of the village is called, there are chickens and children all over the place. If a door is left open then it’s prone to have chickens coming through. I’ve gotten used to chasing chickens out of the bathroom and my room already. When I was sweeping my room yesterday I actually swept up a couple of feathers. That was new.
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