FC: Ghana, West Africa October-December 2010
1: An Adventure of a Lifetime: The words accompanying the photos are taken from my journal while in Ghana.
2: A place to call home. We made it! I still cannot fathom that we are actually in Africa. Ghana is very green and very beautiful! I’m in love. Got my room all set up. Pictures all over the walls. Quite nice, really. Today (and the last 24 hours) have been adventure-packed! Not as hot as I expected--but still crazy hot, just not “Bonnaroo hot.” People were waving at us while we were being transported from the airport to Tema. Very short drive, about 20 minutes. I am very tired but need to record the highlights from today. Bus hitting major tree branches and almost going in ditch on way into Tema Village. Taking a tour at the schools and picking a green leaf along the way. Shower situation, barely any water pressure. Kneeling to wash hair under faucet. Water everywhere! Sharing jolly ranchers with fellow travelers at the circle were we sat and talked. Excited for this adventure. I am blessed! Receiving hidden note in suitcase from mom.
4: hammock time
5: Student Comments on Dentition Lesson: “I liked it when we molded the type of teeth. It made it more interesting and practical. I wish I could learn more about dentition.” –Judy “I really loved the way you taught us. Dentition is something I will not forget. Thank you very much Caroline, hope to see you again.” –George / Lil’ Waxy “I liked it when we were made to experiment with the gum, it made the whole teaching process very lively.”—Michelle | Middle School Science Mr. Gabby Adzewodah
6: Tema Parents' Assocation School, TEPAS
7: Fourth Grade/Class 3 "Venus" with Isaac Mafo Just got done teaching the seasons to the new class three, Venus. Lesson went very well. I was able to create the lessons from scratch. I even simulated the dry season for them by fanning them (Harmattan winds), patting eraser for dust and putting leaves on the floor from a branch (fallen leaves). I simulated the wet season for them by splashing some water on each of them. Important to give students expectations: respectful to me and each other; participate.
8: Athletics | Highlights today include the YELLOW TEAM WINNING FIRST (my team with Gabby), dancing around with the yellow team, pumping the trophy in the air and dancing with it, being told I was a good dancer, and dancing with fellow yellow team students. | Week
9: SOS Village Christmas Pageant
10: Mole National Park: 16 hours north of Tema
11: Our Favorite Parts of Mole: The baboons! Seeing the babies being carried on top and under mama baboon. Adorable! --Carolyn The safari. It was exhilarating, exciting and awe inspiring to walk in the natural habitat where at any moment an animal could run out in front of us. –Rachel The pure beauty of the park in its entirety! The animals, trees, fresh air and a little bit of everything else. –Andrew The baboons and their babies. They were amazing and they walked around like little people. I also loved the warthog outside the door the first morning we were there. It was beautiful! –Elizabeth I had two favorite parts—the baboons since they were a lot of fun to watch and also the looking platform. Looking out on that platform really made me appreciate all the beauty of Mole. –Ashley The scenery and being able to be so close to the warthogs and baboons. The looking platform was beautiful at sunrise and sunset too! –Meghan | The view from the looking platform was beautiful. I could have stayed all 7 weeks at that spot alone. If I got to wake up every morning to that sight, it would be impossible to have a bad day. Amazing sunset too. –Paul The viewing platform was amazing. Being able to watch the sunset over the trees, and looking out over the watering hole. Being so close to the warthogs and baboons was pretty cool. – Connie The view from the platform overlooking the waterhole as the sun set was nothing short of amazing. –Amy The quiet; being in natural areas with creatures we read about and see in the movies. And that little undercurrent of danger—pushing my boundaries a bit. –Sandy The vista from the platform. Looking across the valley and seeing the flora and fauna was just like a scene from “Out of Africa.” --Daryl
12: 5 hours later and 6 tired women: I.have.braids! They are out of control. My head feels like someone is constantly pulling on it but it is worth it! Hairdresser and Prince came to the village to pick me up—told me it would take two hours—HA! Told her Elizabeth’s hair took six hours and she laughed. Who is laughing now!? Loved having Sandra on my lap and crawling around me like I was a jungle gym. To finish, the ladies had to dip my hair in boiling liquid several times. | 120 Braids
13: Yesterday (Saturday, Nov. 6) was a whirlwind of activities! One of my favorites was helping a bunch of African men rope in their fish from the ocean. It was so heavy! They told us to come back in two hours--I cannot image pulling for more than 15 minutes! | Fishing on the Atlantic Coast
14: Monkey Sanctuary | Two best parts of my day today: (1) feeding bananas to monkeys (2) being in the waterfall and looking up to see bats flying overhead. When our guide, John, was describing how to hold the bananas, a monkey came up to me and jumped on me! Probably have rabies now. My favorite moment was the baby monkey that walked up to me, did a dance, then ate the banana—adorable! Later in the day I was able to swing from tree vines.
15: Wli Falls | The walk to Wli Falls was breath taking. Huge cliffs, rivers, mountains, greenery, and butterflies. During the trip we crossed nine bridges before coming to the falls. Probably my favorite day.
18: Amazing Race Coffin Shop | Kumasi Market, West Africa's Largest | Mr. Abraham Afer, Headmaster of TEPAS | "Labrinth" --Meghan | "friendly people" --Daryl | "Best Halloween Ever!" --Paul | "Indiana Jones in Africa: SENSORY OVERLOAD" --Sandy | "Organized Chaos" --Ashley | "A-"maze"-ing" --Connie | "Mall-market madness" --Andrew | "Shopper's heaven, nose's hell" --Rachel | "CRAZY" --Amy | "Beads, hot, smells" --Elizabeth | "Unbelievable and Unpredictable!" --Carolyn
19: Mount Afadjato (a.k.a., the hardest thing I've ever done in my life)
20: The slave castles were incredible. Went to the Cape Coast Castle and the Elmina Castle. Both tour guides said much of the same information but the castles had a different feel. The Cape Coast Castle was creepier and I could “feel” the history more while the Elmina was designed more beautifully. The Cape Coast Castle was British and Elmina was Portuguese. | Cape Coast Slave Castles
21: Canopy Walk | a n u n r e a l | Loved looking out over the African jungle on the third tree post—noting the trees that grew above and beyond the rest. Stunning. The walk was not as stable as I imagined—and also much longer. Loved it! Our guide showed us many types of trees along the way as well as their medicinal uses. One of the largest trees was used by people to call others by loudly pounding on the thick roots. Other trees and leaves were used as insect repellant, perfume, and furniture. Oh, and Paul forgot the stuff to dance, boo!
22: Dodi Island and The Volta River Cruise | Highlights from Dodi Island/Volta: Almost getting left on the island, boat having to turn around on account of Sandy. Hi-lar-ious. Kids took us to the other side of the island. Dipped our feet in the water, about to swim, boat horn goes off.
23: Words to Describe the Ghana Experience | boxed wine | madingo shot | SPICY! | ABRUNI! | chalk | beautiful | braids | ete-sey?! | PARTY PANTS | evergreen | intense rain | s*t*a*r | RICE | ->tro tro<- | HOT | coconuts | ratty | "you are invited" | Hiss! | sisters | DEET. | auntie | "tsst" | D.A.N.C.E. | fabric | fufu | lightning | Basillas Pizza | KENTE | milo | ironed undies | CRAZY | s l o w | akwaaba | machetti | sweaty | BEADS!