ErinCraig's Travel Journals

ErinCraig

  • 32 years old
  • From Idaho, United States
  • Currently in Idaho, United States

Erin's adventures in Ghana

Many people have asked how they call follow my experience in Ghana. I'm hoping this blog will be a good way for everyone to read about my journey.

Rolling with the punches....

Ghana Elmina, Ghana  |  Sep 06, 2012
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Today was pretty chaotic. It was my first day getting to Eguafo by myself. I thought that maybe I was in the wrong car at first. Then when I switched I almost got on the tro tro and not in the shared car. Ohhh my :) I think that tomorrow I am going to walk to the market and my friend Kwame is going to meet me and walk with me. I finally made it to the school and realized that it was going to be pure chaos today. It was the first day back. The school was not set up yet. The students were cleaning up the rooms, setting up the desks, cleaning out the weeds and running around like crazy :) The school is 3 separate buildings. The only walls are the ones that separate the classrooms. There is also a roof to keep the rain out. Some of the rooms have wooden desks, some have boards that are held up by cement blocks, and most of the classrooms have some type of chalkboard. My first project was to work on the library. When I arrived, I saw the books all over the floor. Since there is nothing to keep the dirt and bugs from entering the small room, everything was dirty. We started to take all of the books and stack them outside. I saw some HUGE spiders. Ewww! A rat also ran across the floor and scared the crap out of me!! Once we got all of the books stacked outside, we put them into piles, and finally moved them back into the library and arranged them on the shelves. A lot of the children asked what my name was. They were all very sweet. It was hard to determine who the teachers were. All of the children were pretty much doing whatever they wanted. I met 2 other volunteers that are here through another organization. One of them is from Cali and he is leaving tomorrow. He has been here for 3 weeks and was a great help today. He told me some important information that they do not share in the project description :) Its always good to have an insider give you the scoop. I was definitely surprised by some of the information that he shared.  The other volunteer is from Australia and she is here for the next month. She seems nice. We wondered around and talked to some of the children to see what they were doing. We were in the PreK classroom talking with a few of the students. The teacher (or at least I think she was the teacher) pointed at me and said "TEACH". I had absolutely no idea what to do. So, we did number 1-10 in english and they spelled them. Then we did the alphabet and practiced some english words like watch, car, balloon and heart. The images are drawn on the walls so those were the words we practiced. I'm not a teacher, don't have any teaching background and have no idea what to do. I was warned that this could happen quite often, even though my volunteer description is to help students one on one. While I was teaching, one of the women (not sure who she was or why she was there) asked to hang my bag for me. Instead of hanging my bag in the room we were in, she hung it on the opposite wall. I didn't think much of it until the other volunteer went and got it. She later told me that the women was standing back behind my bag for a period of time. I found out that the women has stolen from other volunteers before. Just have to remember to be extra careful. I don't carry much with me normally but today I had to go into ProWorld after work so I had to take my iPad, camera and the cords so I could update my blog. I don't care any identification with me, no debit/credit cards, and just enough money so in case I lose it or it gets taken, I will still be ok. After that, we just kind of hung around with the kids and watched them play. The kids just come and go as they please. They leave to go home for lunch. Just kinda crazy. We will see how things go :) I don't feel prepared to teach, but I am going to try to get a few resources to have in case I end up teaching. I'm definitely going to have to get creative. We left early today because there was nothing going on. I headed into town with the other volunteers. We went to "town" in Cape Coast and met up with the other ProWorld volunteers. We hung out at the beach and even saw a whale jumping out of the water. It was awesome. :) I love the ocean so much! We walked around for a bit and I bought a dress and some leggings. Hopefully I will be able to wear them for school. We had another Fante lesson at the ProWorld house with the other volunteers. I'm definitely struggling with it. It's good to know the basics but I'm sure it will take me a very long time to learn it. I still have 2 months so maybe I will learn a few words. After dinner we headed to One Africa. It was SO delicious. Not to mention, absolutely gorgeous!!! We sat right on the ocean while the sun was going down. I got some great pictures. Too bad my computer is making it extremely difficult to upload them (hoping to put them on my friends computer and uploading them that way). After dinner our Tro-Tro dropped me off at my home. There was a church service going on in the center. It was very interesting to watch. They had all the chairs set up, a band and a lot of dancing. I didn't stay outside too long. I got ready to meet up with Nana and Kwame so we could go to the internet cafe. We hung out there for a while and then walked around so they could find something to eat. It was too late and everyone was out of food for the day. I accidentally said "I will steal you some food from my house" but I really just meant that I would get him some of my food that I brought from home. That is a big big no no here and I felt pretty bad for saying it. Luckily no one heard what I said. I'm constantly learning what to do/ what not to do. The left hand thing is a huge one...no shaking with your left hand, no waving, no taking things from people with your left hand... nothing!! Its a lot more difficult than it sounds, you should try it :)I'm not sure what the plan is for tomorrow. I'm just going to show up and see what they want me to do. Hopefully I will just get to love on some children and have a productive day. We shall see! Goodnight :) XOXO

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