Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Ghana Trip - 8 - 21st January 2009.

Hello everyone, thanks for the comments.
Yes, I am alive and well.
Yeah margaret, the health care system in Ghana is not too bad, but nothing compared to what we got back home. Ghana is a great example of African nations moving forward. Ghana is more developed than most other African countries, but still long way to go...
Father Moses, he's a strange man.... But I've learned to get used to him.
He's probably never heard of The Corporal Punishment! But he's not too bad at end of the day.

Hey Luke, I'm glad you got back safely man.
People in my group is asking for you. Advice & stories you've given us on the 1st week have helped us massively, so thanks!
Mike is not leaving after all, I'll talk about it in this blog.
I think I'll miss Ghana as well, I've started to love it more and more...
Yes, Yes, Yes... Don't rub it in now!!! I know how terrible Queens are doing! LOL.
Hopefully they won't get religated... Celtic beat Rangers 1-0 before the new year which I was delighted. But they got beat by Aberdeen last week, and Rangers are only 2 points behind... Oops...

DAVID!!! It is so nice tae hear from you! Thank you for the comment.
I'm glad you got my post card from Blackpool... (Cough!), I meant Ghana!
Yeah, I'll record my new songs as soon as I get back home. Clare seems to be doing well. She's playing a gig on the night I'm coming back so I'll see her then. I'm staying in London overnight before I get a train home via New Castle, my newly discovered route!
Anyway, hope to hear from you soon. Regards to Nagako, the twins and the family.

Last week, I wasn't sure about this school. But over the weekend, I started to connect with the students more. The girls here are sooooo funny. We have a laugh all the time. They call me "The Virgin Mary"! (Because I have a long hair. Another boy in my group from Glasgow, Chris, he's got a long hair and a beard, so his name is "Jesus"). I started to talk to the boys more. Everynight, they invite me back to their accomodation for some "Gari". (Gari is like a wheat, with sugar, milo chocolate powder, milk powder & water, the best night snack we could ask for!)
I wasn't sure about what to teach, but me and my superviser agreed that only things I could do is Class Room assistance & help with homeworks at night. Also to teach guitar to some students after school. So they organized a little concert for me with about 20 students. I played 4 songs including "Umbrella" by Rihanna, requested by the students! (They love hip hop and R& B music!). I felt so overwelmed by the students. I finally felt I belonged there.
After that, about 10 students signed up for some lessons, which I've organized.
Everymorning, I've been going to mass at 7.30am, just to perticipate. (It's a big deal here, if I don't attend they'd ask me why.) Yesterday morning after mass, Sister Cicillia (Head teacher) asked me how my guitar lessons were, in front of the students. I told her I have 10 students, then she said "Is that it?". She expected me to teach the whole school! Then she told everyone to come and see me after dinner for some "Hyms" and songs to sing along to. She is very pushy and making things complicated! She shouldn't have said anything! I've already organized everything and she's over complicating things! And I don't really know if she wants me to teach them guitar or songs!?!?!?!?!?!
My superviser just told me to do what I want to do, and not to listen to her.
So last night I had 2 lessons with 2 boys, Sam & Emmanuel. They both learnt 4 chords in about an hour! They were slow to start off with, because they never touched a guitar in their lives!
I was overwelmed by their enthusiasm to learn, pretty special...
After that, I sung about 10 songs to them. Then about 5 kids from the next village came and watched. So became like a little concert. They loved it. I felt amazing...

Last week, Amanda from Platform2 came to check on us. (She's from London, but she was already in Ghana with another group). She interviewed all of us regarding the work, the place and our group dynamics. So she asked me many questions about Michael. I told her everything.
Amanda sorted out all the work back in the village, so we have more things to do for the rest of our time here. The reason we didn't do very much last month was because the previous groups done more than there was to do, and our Project Manager (who owns the land) was in process of organizing work.
Michael and sara, they are both staying now. They couldn't affored the flights home. And Platform2 had not enough evidences to chuck them out. But they still do nothing, just lie on their beds, watching movies on their laptop. We didn't come all the way to Ghana to watch DVDs... Last week, me and michael had a little scuffle. We had a little argument and he grabbed me & pushed me. Totally out of order. I was going to report him but the group sat both of us down and negotiated over. (Which I really appreciate them for doing that).
We argued over an extention cable (in which I paid for). He was so childish. I couldn't be bothered with this kind of nonsense.
There are few other people in the group affected by Michael. 1 of the boys even thought about punching him. I've learnt to look over him. I just don't talk to him much. I don't input any energy in him. I'm focused in this school and the people. It's quite ironic that michael have taught me to be more mature & become a bigger person. There are obsticles in life in which you always find a way out, or even way forward. Interesting.....
He's from foster care, so I can see where he's coming from. He must've had a terrible childhood, so maybe thats why he's acting like this.
(David, you must know what I'm talking about......)

Yesterday morning after breakfast, My superviser Ebenezer (Ghanaian) and the physics teacher Fosta (also Ghanaian) were both asking me about Religion. Asking me why I'm not a christian.
Without offending them (they are both great guys), I explained that because I have 2 Religious backgrounds (catholism & Buddism), I didn't want to choose before I explore the world & experience different cultures & religions. I also told them that I'm only 22 & I have enough time to choose 1 Religion. (I'm never choosing one, but I said that to keep them happy) But Eben said that Confused minds will go to Hell & only the people who follow Jesus Christ will go to heaven. He also said that I could die today, so I must choose. They also asked me if I believe in Heaven & Hell. I told them that I believe that Heaven & Hell is a feeling, not a place, which they shook their heads.
I find all this stuff weird... People are very religious here. They say that the west have forgotten Christianity and Africa have taken over, they will go to Heaven before us.
They are trying to convert us into Christians. Surely we all have freedoms to choose our morals & beliefs?

I have realized that I only have 4 weekends left and next weekend, we are going to Cape Coast, so I'm going to Kumasi this friday night on a night bus with Jo, a girl from London whos in my group. Kumasi, Ashanti Region, has been described as the most beautiful part of Ghana & more cultural. It is the 2nd biggest city in Ghana with the biggest market in the country. 10,000 traders in 1 market! I just want to explore the country more and be more independent from the group.

Anyway, I better go. Adios.
jamie x

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Hi there! You seem to have recovered from your horrible food poisoning.
The school sounds like a real experience, the students are certainly benefitting from you being there. How are Sam & Emanuel progressing?
The teachers sound a bit much with their religious fervour!! Some religious people are so strong in their faith that they can't believe someone is an unbeliever! But it works for them so....... I think they have a point about Africa taking over Christianity! After all the missionaries did bring a lot of positive things with them, education, health awareness etc...
Enjoy Kumasi, really looking forward to reading about it.
Take care