Monday, January 20, 2014

The Beginning of The End

Greetings!  Today has been an incredibly sucessful teaching day, albiet a hot one.  You know it is hot when the native Africans suggest that we stay in the shade!  BSC teachers began to warn their children that we would be leaving Wednesday as each class prepares for short presentations at the good bye ceremony.  We are hoping for the traditional dancing and drumming from the community as we say good bye.  The English the Bakpa Avedo children have learned during the last two weeks, particularly in the upper grades is impressive.  Each of the older classes begin their days with conversations about everyday events, which has given us the opportunity to get to know the students while they practice their English.  The younger classes have made progress as well, working on adjectives and adverbs, body parts and functions, and simple math. 
Jessica reads with her fifth graders.

The theme song, which all students have learned through music, is "Draw the Circle".  The harmony that the older children sing is beautiful.  Extracurricular activities have included singing many new songs in music, acting out English words and playing "Zip, Zap, Zop" in theater,and making self portraits and mosaics in art. 

It is a joy to stand and watch the school as BSC students make connections with these children.  Each of us has been blessed to be a part of such a beautiful partnership, Bakpa Avedo and Birmingham Southern College.

Mary Kate and the sixth graders work on a project.
Corti works with her students underneath the tree.

This weekend was indeed a bit of a respite from work.  Though Saturday's trip was long, the Wli falls were magnificent.  After a walk through the jungle where we saw bananas trees, mango trees, and cocoa pods, a dip in the pool at the base of the waterfall was exactly what we needed.  The water was refreshing and peaceful.  Finding restrooms on the road in Ghana is a new phenomenon to Americans, so having Charles, the bus driver and Tori, our guide was indespensible.  After our 12 hour day, the Shekena Glory Hotel was a welcomed sight.

The team at Wli Falls

Sunday was our day to sleep in and rest.  Getting up at 6 am every morning and staying up late to plan makes for tired travelers.  After a late breakfast and some needed planning for the three days of teaching this week, we struck out to find a new resort,  Aqua Safari, located about 45 minutes away.  The resort is nestled on the shore of an estuary of the Volta River.  As we arrived, John and Tori announced that we would not be allowed to swim in the river  because there was reported to be a flesh-eating bacteria in the water that damages the liver!  Wait, what? So, we enjoyed relaxing, listening to music, talking, playing cards, and WATCHING the water.  I am here to report that NO ONE got in the water!   The chef featured grilled kababs and french fries for our dining pleasure.  It was a fantastic day.

We are winding down at Bakpa Avedo school but gearing up for our vacation at Cape Coast.  Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.  You would be proud of your BSC representatives.  Forward Ever!