project review

Baptism of Fire

Review submitted by Isabel Sunnucks, Emma Haynes
Review date 9 Aug 2010

header

Our arrival in Ghana was a culture shock from the start, but the heat, the dust, and the much to be desired traffic system all failed to dampen what was a very warm welcome. After an hour and a half we arrived at the homestay and then shortly after having fought to put up our mosquito nets we fell straight to sleep. Not for long...At 2am every night the village treats us to community serenades; howling dogs and crowing chickens, then at 4.30am the preacher on the radio springs to life at 20,000Hz.
This rather intense style of wake-up every morning sets us up for a busy day at the local school. Both pupils and teachers have been enthusiastic, happy and welcoming. The children played spot the obruni (white person), and greeted us like a chocolate starved volunteer might greet a giant bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk! The blondies have been especially popular, being swarmed around and having their hair stroked.
At assembly time we received our ‘Baptism of fire’ in which we were all welcomed into the Christian school with our Ghanaian names, and we were invited to the schools’ weekend graduation ceremony. Throughout the rest of the week we enjoyed teaching a variety of children’s songs, with the interesting addition of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” by Adam. Our pro-active attempt to teach songs dropped us in the deep end for the graduation ceremony, celebrating Kindergarten 2 moving up to stage 1. At the social even to of the year for the school, parents and pupils, we decided to try and ‘blend in’ and dressed in traditional Ghanaian clothes. Nevertheless, we failed to disguise our Englishness with a beautiful performance of “Wheels on the Bus” ahead of a procession of thirty 6 year olds!
During our evenings we’ve enjoyed spending time with the host family (that seems to grow by the day) and our stomachs are slowly adapting to the Ghanaian spice and style of cooking. We’re looking forward to the week ahead running a summer school for the local village children.

Find out more about the Ghana Orphanage, Teaching and Community Development project