Today marks my sixth day in Ghana! I can’t believe the Media In Ghana group has been here for almost a week already. I guess it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun! Besides being jetlagged, exhausted from heat and still being in shock that I am halfway across the world from everything I have ever known, I am having the time of my life. Not only am I having a blast, but I am also learning so much about the Ghanaian culture and way of life.
This morning we visited Anani Memorial International School. This school is a primary school located in the slums of Accra. This visitation to the school was very eye opening, and it began when we first stepped off the bus into a loud and chaotic street filled with cars, people, and animals. We stuck together as we made our way deep into the roadside market. Many of the people who were selling their merchandise said hello and waved to us as we passed. Before we even made it into the school, we could hear the exhilarated shrieks coming from all of the children inside.
When our group stepped foot into the mostly outdoor school, children greeted us with hugs, smiles and holding our hands. The kids ranged in age from around four years old to probably eleven or twelve. You could see it in their eyes that they were ecstatic to have us at their school. After a few hugs and photos, we were brought into a large classroom with desks taking up most of the space.
The students had set up many performances for us including some introductions, prayers recited in multiple languages, singing, dancing, and a musical concert paired with some solo dancing. After this the children came to where we were sitting and took us to the front where we proceeded to form a dance circle. With loud drumming in the background, each student took one of our group members into the center of the circle to compete in a mini dance off. Everyone was smiling, laughing, and having a great time. Our group then invited some students to join us as we taught them the hokey pokey dance. You could tell that the children were having just as great of a time as we were.
I think my favorite part of this trip was being able to donate school supplies to these students in an attempt to make the learning process any easier for them. The look on their faces when we all unloaded their new supplies onto the table was unforgettable. The hardest part of this trip was seeing all of the young kids outside who were not fortunate enough to go to school at all. When you come from a country like the United States, where a certain amount of school is required by law, it is a very difficult to see so many young kids outside the school who clearly want to be inside learning with the others.
The first week is barely over and I have already learned so much. I can’t wait to see what knowledge and adventure the next five weeks has to offer me!