Monday, March 26, 2012

From Ghana with love...

I rolled into Humjibre one golden evening, drooping from the heat and trailed by an impressive dust cloud, disturbed by our taxi driver’s superbly honed pothole avoidance skills (or lack there of). A group of smiling children came to greet us and like any dutiful welcoming party, they demanded to help carry my assortment of dusty, mismatched luggage…on their heads!
“Akwaaba to Humjibre!”

In just 5 minutes of arriving in the village I will call home for the next year, I've already met a handful of adorable children and discovered a new skill set that just begs for countless hours of practicing! (I’ve already envisioned myself strolling through the airport, coffee in one hand, sweet pastry in another with my carry-on luggage exquisitely balanced on top of my noggin!).

My first week was one of orienting myself to a new community and learning the names and roles of each of our in-country staff. I was welcomed to the GHEI family with drinks at a local watering hole and had the chance to taste my first ‘tot” of the local ginger brew, Burukatu (Warning, the stomach calming medicinal values of the ginger root does NOT transfer over to the alcoholic uses of this plant). 
Our ECL (Early Childhood Literacy) graduation took place this past week and I had the fantastic opportunity to witness it first hand. Our ECL class is one of the newer additions to the GHEI Education Program and offers supplemental classes to primary school students who are falling behind in school.

Photos by Mandolyn
This group of rambunctious munchkins received congratulatory storybooks for excellent attendance and recognition for their hard work. The event concluded with some of the children’s favorite games: Dancing Chairs, the Ghanaian version of Musical Chairs where the children dance instead of run, and Alphabet Floor Tag, where letters are randomly scattered across the floor and the children must run and locate the correct letter that the teacher calls out. The afternoon sunlight streaming through the Community Center windows, illuminated the running feet and smiling faces of our lovely students. 

All in all, my first few weeks in Ghana have been…hot! But also stunning, thanks to my new GHEI family!

Stay tuned for more lively stories, photos and GHEI updates!

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