Bumping all the way to the school this morning, there was chatter and laughter, but all of us were thinking about the day ahead. With only two days last week, a five day week seemed overwhelming. As the village and the school came into view, the anxiety dissolved because there were children everywhere waiting for us. Village adults watched, children waved frantically, young girls swept the dirt with their straw brooms, and the school children began to line up for morning assembly, all in an effort to welcome us back to Bakpa Avedo School.
The day was an amazing high for us. There was singing and dancing, playing games and reading books, All the while the communication barrier was disappearing.
The morning consisted of work in the classroom. Some of the classrooms were as full as you could imagine a classroom to be, many of the classes split into two and three groups, using the surrounding terrain as an enormous outdoor classroom. We planted seeds in Dixie Cups, made colorful, beaded bracelets to support learning counting and color words, learned rhythm games and songs. Our two resident artists guided the children in creating chlorophyll printing and Picassoesque face collages.
At lunchtime, the BSC crowd gathered together in the kindergarten room to share sandwiches, cookies, and lots of water. Though the children typically go home for lunch, many stayed in the classrooms. Older ones showed younger ones their science projects, read books, and chose to stay through the break. A third-grader, racing back to class after most of the teachers had returned from lunch, yelled, “Sorry teacher I took it home to read!”, as she waved one of the books being used in class.
The children do not have recess or PE built into their schedule. Our students saw this as unacceptable. Today for “movement class” our students recruited a drummer and commenced teaching “the wobble”! In return the children taught us a popular Ghanaian dance.
After school was dismissed, some of the teachers led us on a walk to the village pond, where village residents fetch water many times a day. Emmanuel shared that this pond was one of four water sources and the last one to dry up in this, the dry season. He also told us that it is common for school children to make two round trips before school and up to four round trips after school. It is amazing to think that before we ever see these children in the morning, they will have walked up to two miles to fetch water for their family.
These students continue to impress and amaze us. They are a credit to BSC and their families- Forward Ever!