project review

Colour, life, warmth and spontaneity

Review submitted by Kim James
Review date 23 Aug 2010

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After an eventful and fun weekend at Cape Coast, two of us depart today for British soil. Although we are looking forward to returning home and seeing our nearest and dearest, we will miss Ghana and our current family.


The past three weeks have been amazing with visits to schools, running a summer school, painting, and paddling at beautiful waterfalls in our spare time. The past two weeks have been spent teaching children at a local school during their vacation. Teaching Maths and Science has been a challenge for all of us, and children are the same all over the world – eager to learn, yet full of mischief. The students at the school are like sponges, soaking up every word and phrase that you teach them, willing to learn but with an old age respect that seems to be disappearing in the classrooms of Britain.


Recently a girl arrived who had raised some money back in England that she wanted to put to use here in Ghana. She offered to buy some paint for the local school where we have been teaching vacation classes. This was received with great pleasure from the headmaster and his face beamed with delight at the thought of a newly refurbished building. This soon disappeared when he saw our first attempts at painting, but towards the end of the afternoon, the grimace had turned into an enthusiastic and grateful smile.


As a group we’ve seen much of Ghana, travelling to different regions, which has allowed us to see the beauty and wonderful scenery that the country has to offer. This country may be laid back in its daily life and runs on “Ghana time” rather than the English hectic and busy schedule, but it has colour, life, warmth and spontaneity. The people live off the land, fight for survival and have a ‘care-free’ attitude that would be shocking to some other cultures, especially the British.


Overall, our experience has been one that is inexplicable. If a person asked me to describe my experience of volunteering in Ghana I would find it difficult. Mentally and physically exhausting, scary, pushed out of our comfort zone, and at times, uncomfortable. Yet this is what makes an individual grow as a person – and isn’t that what we all aim to do in life? I’d recommend this type of experience to anyone who wants to do something that they’ve never done before and who really expects to be challenged.

 

Read more about the Ghana Orphanage, Teaching and Community Health project.