Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Oh there are the fish gills!"

It was a very emotional day. We began by enjoying our last breakfast together at FairHill. Then we heard the tro-tro pull up. Our driver, Dominic, brought his son, Samuel, to meet his father's "brunyis". (that's us) We gave him a few treats, including a small soccer ball, and he loved it!

We pulled up at Tuwohofo with a massive amount of students awaiting our arrival. We went straight to the library and found many students reading the newly donated books. It was moving to see the students enjoying the books. A few of us quickly teared up as we read to the students and observed them reading books on their own.

Then the Farewell Ceremony began. Mr. Baidoo went all out once again! There were tents set up in between the two buildings and the local radio station was there. Speeches were made and gifts were presented. Each one of us received a strip of Kente cloth and Dr. Clerico was presented with a 12 yard cloth, the traditional male African attire. The level 1 teacher sang a Farewell Song to the teachers. She couldn't make it through the song and broke down into tears. The rest of us followed her lead and began crying. Saying goodbye was so difficult. Many of the students were crying and all of us were crying. It was so emotional. The students who were not crying kept repeating, "Don't cry madam. Don't cry, you make me sad and make me cry." We even learned how to say don't cry in Fante, "Men so".

Eventually, we all made it back into the tro-tro. We went back to FairHill to enjoy our last lunch on the patio. We said our goodbyes to the staff, which was also very hard. We have developed a close relationship with them and cherish their friendships. A few of the cooks started crying when our bus pulled away.

We were so sad to leave Cape Coast, but very excited to see Fuseini! We rode in the bus back to Accra. We enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Sun Lodge Hotel. The girls went for a quick swim. We are all having mixed emotions about going home. To quote Dr. Clerico, "I want to go home. But I don't want to leave."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Our last day at home :(

Tonight is our last night at FairHill :( we are so sad! We are excited to see our friends and families but will truly miss living here in Cape Coast.

Today was Jessica's 21st birthday!!! After breakfast, she returned to her room to find a birthday banner on her door. When she opened the door her room was full of balloons; 21 of them had things that we love about Jessica written on them! There was also a beautiful cake and ice cream for her at lunch. ;)

This morning we visited St. Cyprian's School in Efutu Village. This is a public school and more rural than Tuwohofo-Holly. Mr. Baidoo's daughter is a teacher at this school and Dr. Clerico wanted us to observe a school with very few resources. They were awaiting our visit with a few of the students dressed up traditionally, and these students danced for us. The rest of the school sang songs to welcome us. We visited each classroom and taught them a few songs of our own; such as: a toody-ta, 5 little monkeys and the chicken dance. ;)

We spent the afternoon packing and preparing for tomorrow. A few of us visited the local daycare and the rest of us went to the market. It was a relaxing afternoon. :)

We ate dinner at the Baidoo's and Mr. Baidoo always goes over the top. He had a wonderful meal prepared for all of us. After dinner, we enjoyed each others company and, of course, played some cards.

Monday, July 26, 2010

"She's behind the boy in the green shirt!"...."Amber, they're all wearing green"

Today was one of the best days in Ghana. We spent the morning at Cape Deaf. This is a residential school for the deaf and blind. The children were absolutely amazing. Our hearts filled with joy and appreciation when the children gave us names in sign language. We walked around to the various classrooms introducing ourselves and signing with the students. We watched a blind student read in Braille. It was heart warming to see the heights they achieved in a developing country. The students performed a dancing and drumming ceremony. Our eyes looked in amazement as the blind children sang and played the drums. Through the vibrations of the drums we saw a unbelievable sight as the deaf students danced to the music. We all had our chance to dance with the children and share some unforgettable moments. Amber's moment was especially unforgettable. These children are truly spectacular.

After lunch we went to a library dedication for Tuwohofo Holly International School. It was such a blessing to see all the books that were donated and placed on beautiful shelves. These books will give the children a chance to soar to new heights. It was so wonderful to see our students who we now call our childern and appreciation the blessing they are to us. We left and toured Wesley Girls' High School. The prefects that gave us the tour were friendly and inspirational. The campus was beautiful. At FairHill Guest House we enjoyed our last supper. With wishful hearts we hoped this would not be the last at FairHill but only the beginning.

Sunday, July 25, 2010



This morning we went to The Presbyterian Church of Ghana St. Paul's Congregation. The service was a mix between Twi (pronounced tree) and English. Church started at nine and we were there until 12. The pastor had Dr. Clerico introduce us to the congregation. Everyone was welcoming and friendly. It is extraordinary to worship with another culture.

We even met a taxi cab driver at church. He insisted on driving us to Cape Coast Castle; so the seven of us hopped into his tiny cab. Five of us in the back and two in the front. Luckily, it was a short drive! Dr. Clerico got some really interesting photos from this adventure.

We ate lunch at the castle restaurant and enjoyed some of our favorite Ghanaian dishes. We did some shopping at Cape Coast Castle. It has become one of our favorite places to shop! We have developed a relationship with one of the shop owners.

We came back and played a few round of cards before a wonderful dinner of mac and cheese! :o) Then we spent some time labeling all the children's books before we donate them to Tuwohofo-Holly International School tomorrow.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"The chief wore MY shoes!!!"

Photos...check it out:

We began the morning with breakfast on the porch as usual. We stopped to pick up Dr. Nancy Lundgren on our way to Abaasa Village. We fell in LOVE with her house. It was a quaint house in an isolated area. The house had handmade doors and furniture. Lush tropical foliage surrounded Nancy's house with bamboo fencing. She even had her own private study and two cute dogs that she had brought over from the states. (The dogs were Amber's favorite part)

Abaasa Village was our next stop. It was the most rural area that we have seen thus far. It was obvious that the children do not have many encounters with foreigners. The children were so precious. Many of them were very reserved and soft spoken. They loved having their picture taken. We were able to see the recently built Methodist Church. Three years prior it was just a thatched roof and bamboo poles; now it is a concrete block structure with a green steel roof. Seeing a more rural area was definitely an interesting comparison and a huge eye opener.

A few of us ran back by Antoinette's Drum Shop to purchase our drums. We spent some time at Fair Hill resting and playing cards. We have gotten so close as a group. :) For dinner, we had Chicken and Red-Red, a favorite for the majority of our group.

We met for our reflection seminar tonight and discussed how what we learned about ourselves and about teaching since we have been in Ghana. Reflecting on these things shows how much we have learned from this trip.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lazy Day :)

Today we all had the chance to sleep in and we absolutely enjoyed it! Many of us started the day by walking to the beach and having a relaxing morning there. We came back for lunch around 1:00, and then spent the afternoon playing cards, visiting a nearby daycare to play with the children, and just enjoying each others company. This evening, several of us finally received some outfits that we had ordered. We were all so excited to finally see what they look like on us! After dinner, we were able to meet Nancy Lundgren, a professor of anthropology at the University of Cape Coast. She is the only American queen mother of a Ghanaian village. We all absolutely loved getting to know her and learning from her experiences.

Here is the link to our latest pictures:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

HEY CHAS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today we went on a tour of Elmina Castle. The castle was used to hold slaves until they were sold and taken to America. It was a sad reality to see where everything was started. When walking out of the castle a sign read this "an everlasting memory of the anguish of our ancestors may those who died rest in peace may those who return find their roots may humanity never again perpertrate such injustace against humanity we the living vow to uphold this."
After Elmina Castle we went to Coconut Grove Beach Resourt. It was a beatuiful beach filled with colorful shells.We enjoyed a lovely meal in front of the ocean. The view was beyond words. Several of the people tried concunt chicken with mushrooms. It was delicious. We enjoyed a dip in the pool and a walk on the beach. The afternoon was relaxing after our action pack week. Our evening was filled, sharing stories and laughter not among friends but now sisters.