My first weeks in Abokobi, Ghana


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Africa
February 12th 2009
Published: February 12th 2009
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Let me start off by saying- What an experience this is! Nothing like anything I've ever experienced so far!
The first week here in Abokobi didn't go so smoothly... I was constantly frustrated with the disorganization of the school where I'm working and its classes, not to mention the rediculously hot and sticky weather. I shower 2 times a day with cold water bc there is no hot water (which normally would bother me but I'm actually grateful to not have it in this heat). I have 2 kittens who wait outside my door for me to come home after school and they always jump right into the shower with me.
The food is basically the mush I'd imagined- but surprisingly its not that bad. Some of the things I've eaten include: Jollof rice with stew, fried and boiled plaintains (I prefer them boiled), and Indomie (which is sorta like a non-soupy, mushier Raman noodles).
The family I'm staying with is real great: Caroline (age 44), her husband (whom I barely see or talk to) and their son, Nii Otoo (11). I walk about 10-15 mins to school each day- on the way, I'll sometimes here kids call out to me by saying "Hey white" or "Borofo" (which means "white person" in their language). I know that sounds derogitory, but they don't mean it that way... They're just not used to seeing white skinned people. I mean after all, me and this other volunteer, Bethany, are the only white people in this whole village and even the only ones you'll find out of all the surrounding villages as well.
At school I teach French to grades 1-6 and English to grades 2-6. I also do P.E. And games with the kids. As my dad had told you, I took 2 trotros (which is their public transportation- they are like 20person vans, not pick-up trucks) for a 90 minute ride to a mall in Accra (the closest city and capital), and bought a few supplies. One being a slipĀ & slide for the kids foe their gym class. I'm planning on teaching the kids baseball and using the slipĀ & slide to teach them how to slide into home plate. The teachers at our school are addressed as "Aunty" instead of "Miss" or "Mrs". Ironically enough, believe it or not, there is a teacher named Jamaima-who is therefor called "Aunty Jamaima"...hehe, I got a kick out of that. So the kids called me Aunty Jaymie at first, but now every time I walk in the room, they stand up straight and all together they say, "Bonjour, Madame Jaymie. " Then I say, "Bonjour classe, you may be seated."- what a drastic change from the first week, right?!!
I get home from school anywhere between 4-5 and Caroline (the lady I live with) usually gets home from work around 6:30ish. We sit and split a beer together while discussing our days before she makes me dinner. The local beer here is called Star. Caroline pours half the glass with star and the other half with coke- something I would of never thought to do and that probably sounds really weird to most of u- but I'm telling u- its fantastic!

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12th February 2009

Aunty Jemima
All we have are Jemimas Witnesses. Y'all want any pancakes?
18th February 2009

Miss u much love ;}
Well I definitely got a kick out of Aunty Jamaima ;} LOL!!!! It's really cute how the kids are now calling you Madame Jaymie...I really wish I could participate in such a volunteer experience. I miss u very much, but I am happy that things are going well my darling ;> Much love always!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo
25th February 2009

Hey, it's Jenna (the volunteer that left the day you arrived) I was searching for info about Ghana for a paper I am writing and came across your blog! That is so cool! I read through all of it. It is so exciting that the children are engaged with their French lessons. I am glad things are going so well for you! I can't wait to keep hearing about your trip! I really miss it there! Say Hi to everybody for me! -Jenna
26th February 2009

Your the BOMB, BABY !!!
Never say die kiddo, thats what you instill in all of us. That one person CAN make a difference. I miss you
10th March 2009

YOU ROCk
Jaymie you rock and its so cool that your doing this for the people there
31st March 2009

Abokobi
Hey! I know you don't know me but I'm going to be going to be living with Mrs. Caroline Antwi in a few months for 12 weeks this summer. I was wondering if you had any advice for me, I would love to talk =)

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