ARE YOU PACKED? YOU TOOK YOUR SHOTS? LET’S GO GHANA! AND THE BEST PART IS… YOU DO NOT NEED TO GET A PASSPORT!
Coming to Ghana Day 5 – The stormy night
Today, I felt a lot better after feeling sick in the heat. I had the best sleep since arriving in Ghana and I was grateful! Shalom came with our breakfast and checked up on me. I did not want to stay home and let the kids down so I got up and got ready for the day.
The motorbike taxis came for us and we sped through the busy roads to get to school where the kids were already waiting. They all ran to the front with excitement for another school day to begin. Shalom explained that today was sports and recreational day. She handed out bright orange vests and gave them a football. The children organised themselves into teams, made their goal posts, took off their shoes and started the game. The other children sat in the shade and watched on. We grabbed our chairs and joined the children. Marie went to join their game.
I asked Shalom if I could give the school some presents for the children. I gave her pencils, colouring pencils, stickers, colouring markers and crayons. She stored them in the office for the students to enjoy later on. I was happy that I could give some things to them that they can really enjoy. I returned to my seat to spectate the game but the football game ended due to the morning’s sweltering heat.
Behind me some of the girls began poking and teasing me. They touched me and looked away then I’d guess who did it and they all would start pointing at each other while laughing. After a hour of this game, one of the young boys, Joseph came over with a paper plane he found and showed it to me. We decided to have a paper plane competition to see who could throw the plane the furthest. They loved it!
The lunch ladies came to the school like clockwork to sell lunch. Shalom bought us roasted plantains and bananas while she got the children soup and banku (corn and cassava dough). Everyone sat in the classrooms to eat and regain energy before continuing with the afternoon games. Around 1 pm, the children played clapping games, others played fight (there were a few injuries and tears), sharing jokes, and others rested or took naps.
Marie’s blonde hair became the subject of interest. Two girls came over and started styling her hair before they began braiding her hair into single plaits. Marie was enjoying this wonderful experience. A small group gathered to watch this new entertainment including Dorkus, the teacher, who helped the girls with the braiding. Marie was their real life Barbie.
I wondered across the playing field to sit with the little children who found their fun in collecting leaves and sticks. When they saw me, a few ran towards me to hug my legs and waist. I carried as many as I could under a shaded area where they welcomed a rest on my lap and bosom. We went through nursery rhymes they knew. Some older ones came and joined me asking to test their maths. I gave them tough and some easy equations and they were quick with their answers. I was blown away how excellent they were at maths. As a reward, I taught them hopscotch with chalk and collected stones. They enjoyed this new game to add to their pass-time and I felt like I gave them something to remember me by too.
Dorkus called the students to line up to be dismissed. They sang and prayed before collecting their bags and walking home. Shalom asked if I felt like walking. I felt I could do it so I replied, yes. I came prepared with bags of water, shades and my cotton scarf to shade my head. Three siblings decided to come home with us, Aram 5, Adam 7, and Wassi 9. Shalom took us through backyards and short cuts. As usual Marie created a buzz with local children who saw her.
We pass the Catholic School’s football field where young people from all over the town came to socialise. There were food, drumming, and people lying under the trees. I wish we could have stayed but we were all tired.
I survived the walk with a badge of honour. The 3 children played on our porch. I gave them water and Shalom gave them a big bun to share. I brought out my laptop so they could see photos of my life in London as well as photos of their school and town. They pointed out themselves and others they recognise with zeal.
Later that evening, while we were waiting for dinner, lightening flashed through the thick grey clouds with faint rumblings of thunder. Within 30 minutes the storm came closer and our roof started rattling as the winds became forceful, lightening cracked through the skies and the rain beated down on our tin roof. It was far from soothing but instead terrifying. The howling just got louder and louder. We closed our windows, put down our cups and tray to collect the leak and waited for the storm to pass. Marie and I got bored and decided to go out on the porch to see the storm and she took pictures. I was praying that the storm would pass us quickly.
Around 7pm, the sun had set and the winds died down but it was still raining heavily. Shalom ran over with our dinner, spaghetti. We decided to eat our dinner outside since our room was considerably darker than outside. We could not turn on the lights as the town’s electricity was turned off because of the lighting. As we shared a small bottle of drink, the teacher rode in on his bike and greeted us before running inside his room. After our night cap, Marie and I retired to our beds under the nets and slept.
I was not sure what the weekend would bring but I was hoping to see more of the Volta region.
Stay tuned for days 6 and 7 to find out what we got up to this weekend.
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