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.

The best shower I think I've ever had....

Ghana Elmina, Ghana  |  Sep 06, 2012
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 I just took one of the best showers of my life and it feels amazing :) I have been taking bucket baths since I arrived in Ghana. I was actually able to stand up in the shower tonight. The water was out this morning so I wasn't even able to have a bucket bath. I feel so clean right now...its a pretty great feeling. 

My friend Kwame met up with me this morning to walk me to the taxi station, or at least I thought that is what he was doing. He ended up riding all the way out to work with me to make sure I got there ok. He's pretty awesome. Everyone has been so helpful here. Oh what a day. It was another semi-frustrating day at the orphanage.  We arrived at the school to find out that the children were without teachers again. There were a few teachers, but not the full staff. Kate and I took the KG2 kids and started working with them. We didn't have anything planned but just went with it. Noah pretty much lead the class so I tried to pay attention to what he was doing so I would have some idea of what to do. He left this afternoon and I'm pretty bummed. The other thing that was frustrating for me was the way they discipline the children. I have to continue to remind myself that I am in a country with different cultural values that America. They still "cain" the children when they are misbehaving. I had to turn around because I could not take seeing that happen to the children. It was horrible. It definitely works, but there is absolutely no way that will be happening in my classroom. Makes me so sad :(After lunch we had a mini orientation. In the middle of the orientation the director called me out and said that I was dressed inappropriate and was not being respectful. I was wearing a skort to my knees but I guess it needed to be longer. I was pretty embarrassed. The other teachers started speaking Fante and were laughing. I can only imagine what they were saying.I did not bring anything that is appropriate for the school. I have a ton of clothes that would have been great but did not know that is what I needed to bring. I'm hoping that I can get some new things this weekend with my sista/roommate, Stephanie. I had a long talk with the director. He wanted to talk about where my project money was going to go. They are in the middle of building a new school for the children. He wants the money to go towards that. I am not sure that is where I would like the money to go. I want to see something more immediate. Something that I will be able to see the children benefit from. The children have no school supplies, no pencils, paper or anything for them to practice what they are learning. It is very difficult to teach children when there are absolutely no resources. I think the children need to have of those immediate needs met before they move into the new school. I am going to talk to my program manager about it and see what she thinks. On a super positive note, I'm absolutely in love with the children. Love, love, love them climbing and hanging all over me. No matter how frustrating everything is, having them to cuddle up next to me makes me forget about everything. They absolutely love using my camera. They love taking pictures and then they always have to look at them. It's pretty funny. They also love my tattoo on my foot. They love playing with my fingernails. They are always trying to pull them off. I guess not many women have long nails in Ghana?After I got home from work, I met up with Kwame. He took me to a futball (soccer) game. It was pretty awesome. My brother would have loved it. I took pictures and a video. Hopefully he will enjoy it. I was definitely the only white person at the game. There were probably 500-600  people at the game. Kwame was looking through my pictures at home and it was fun to tell him about different things. He asked me about the election and celebrations in the US. It's pretty fun to share those things. We also talked about how different it is for white people to be in Ghana, compared to black people in America. The name for white person is "obruni". The children are constantly calling me that. It doesn't matter where I am. That's all I here. I just smile and wave. They are always very sweet. I just can't imagine white american's saying "black person" every time they saw a black person. Definitely different :) It's taking some time to get used to everyone staring at me. It's also very difficult not knowing what they are saying. I'm hoping that will get better with time. I went to a new little beach spot with Steph, Nana, Kwame and some other friends tonight. We weren't there very long because the electricity was out and I had to get back before Mama Teko went to bed. I'm pretty exhausted right now and am hoping I will get a good nights rest. I have a busy weekend coming up. We get to do some traveling :) I'm looking forward to seeing my ProWorld friends!Goodnight :) XOXO

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