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Rain, Rain go away…(Wed., 7/8)

When I woke up this morning I thought that we were in the midst of a monsoon. I have never witnessed it rain so loud and so hard for such a long period of time. It started in the middle of the night and lasted for thirteen hours and because of it we were unable to go to Accra today. The bridge that takes us out of Winneba had flooded, schools were closed, homes and shops were overwhelmed with water, roads became muddy rivers, and the lagoon water almost reached our doorstep at the lodge (2 days ago it was dry and today people were fishing in it). This was an event for the people here as well, because although it is the rainy season, it does not usually come all at once like it did today. Our plans have now been shifted, and we are to head to Accra tomorrow and visit the schools on Friday. We are also still a bit fretful because we have found out that the airport will shut down upon President Obama’s arrival (Friday) as well as upon his departure (Saturday evening). It will be a nail biter of a morning Saturday when we leave, I suppose we will just have to wait and hope that our plane leaves on time.

Abigail and Evan both helped us kill some time today though. We interviewed Evan about his experience in the school system here and found out a few things we did not know. The end of year exam that I have mentioned can be taken twice and if you fail it you are held back. If you fail it too many times, as Evan put it, “You would be better off to learn a trade.” He was a product of caning and does believe that it maintains order, though it is his worst memory of school- he only had two teachers who did not cane. His fondest memories are of talent shows with music, and playing table tennis on the school team (they also had football and netball). As he progressed in school, the student/teacher ratio decreased- he says because many could not keep up because of circumstances and dropped out. After college (their high school) he went to technical school for a bit because he did not have enough money to attend a university. We did ask about the roles of women in this society, and he said that women have every opportunity that a man does in the educational programs as well as occupations (and Abigail agrees) however women of the house (even the young ones if there is no mother) must keep the house- all aspects of it. So they essentially have two jobs if they pursue their education and a career (sounds familiar to me). It was an interesting interview and we videotaped it to place on the group blog when we get home.

After our discussion with Evan, Abigail taught us how to carry items on our heads like the women here. Carolyn nailed it, but I did not do so well with balancing a basket of mangoes and pineapples on my head. I believe we added some laughter to Abigail’s day- she definitely got a kick out of watching us try. She also joined a few of us in the game Bananograms (a word game sort of like Scrabble)and she was pretty darn good. The staff here has become like family and I know that they will be missed when we leave. The rest of the day was pretty non-eventful, however, and all of us became even more anxious to get home and see all of the people we miss and love. Just keep your fingers crossed!!!!! 

The instructors of our impromtu class: "How to properly carry items on your head"

The instructors of our impromtu class: "How to properly carry items on your head"

~ by cferber on .


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