Indeed, we are here! In so many ways it feels great! Our friend the hot sun is a bit too friendly. I am wondering how long before our bodies learn to sweat enough to cool us through out the day. Besides the joy of smacking a few tiny bugs that get through our mosquito net at night, the biggest highlight has been my first visit to the new high school facilities now placed near Pelungu. Classrooms have ceiing fans that work and lights, two features lacking at the old site.
Still, the students struggle with lack of living space. I saw the girl’s dormitory. Bunk beds are set in rows about 20 inches apart. This is good compared to the boy’s living conditions. Their accommodations are the same but the overflow of about 100 boys are left to find a place to live on their own by appealing to the community. The school enrollment is about 425, with the Freshman ( here they are called Form1) coming in late November or December not yet counted. Once the slow-moving ed system compiles the list for who goes to what school, they will come. The term “It is not easy” is said so much here that it loses meaning.
THE POWER OF KIDS TO MAKE YOU SMILE. Having ‘motoed’ (to ride a motorcycle) to the school in time for Monday Assembly, the greeting puts a smile on my face hard to erase. The remaining members of the choir that I assembled two years ago present to me two of the songs I taught them. One a “Kongo Tongo, Bongo Round,” an original that speaks of peace from village to village. It is sung in Nab’t the local language. Bravo! Bravo! It was well done! I myself had forgotten some of the words. The other was a shortened version of “Oh Susanna!”. It was really quite touching. I hope to start a choir again.
FAMILIAR FOOD! Yup! We ate our first self-prepared meal last night! Lisa did her magic tricks with tomato sauce, onions and a few other things thrown in for a great vegetarian pasta dish. Prior to this we have been eating ‘native’. I wish I could say we enjoyed that. Maybe too old for this dog to learn this new trick.
NURSE AND TEACHER’S COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP/LOAN. It is an understatement when I say there is a need. Just today, 5 people have asked for application. Were we to satisfy all, our funds would be depleted in no time. Though we mantian our desire to ‘stay small’, I am planning to make an appeal to those contributing to spread the word to get a few more contributors. I would rather do that than ask the gracious contributors for more. Plans are under way to register our own NGO in Ghana. In a perfect world, the NGO in the U.S. has a corresponding registered organization in Ghana.
SCHOOL FEEDING AND NUTRITION CENTER. We will soon take our moto across the grassy savannah to meet with the Guanwarre community about the feeding program. Reportedly, the feeding program is crucial to the success of this remote, new school. In addition, we are working to obtain information on academic achievement to help us know if the feeding is actually helping in the ways we hoped it would.