Mason Worked as a Teacher in Ghana
We received an update from Mason about two months into his trip. Below is what he was up to as of April 21st 2013.
Hope all is well back home. I’ve been meaning to send an update earlier but teaching and coaching responsibilities leave little time for me to do much else lately. I am now at the half way mark in my time here and with that my past month has been nothing short of fulfilling.
During the school days I am still teaching English to the Junior High School 1 & 2 with the addition of a “World Studies” class I’ve started here. This class was started due to the kid’s lack of basic geography, (couldn’t find themselves on the map) here we learn about various countries and geography (Canada is the kids preferred country to learn about) . Primary class 5 now also have reading blocks with me where they can improve on their oral reading skills, which I’m beginning to see a dramatic improvement in. This past week was exam week and with that all grades undertook 6 to 10 exams depending on their grade.
After dismissal form the day it’s straight to the local soccer field to coach. Mr. Kainyiah (School Head) drives the outer village children home which means he now has no time to coach, so now my partner and I coach the U13, U15 and U17 soccer teams. They are a great bunch of local kids who eagerly participate in practice and posses exceptional athletic ability.
I hardly ever get called Mason anymore with acquiring my Fante name Yaw, which comes from the day of the week my birth was on (Thursday). So on my way to practice through the village I can hear Yaw being called from any direction, being the only white man around I tend to gather a crowd. Apart from week training, Saturdays or Sundays are our league matches of which Timoskay is on the top of the league pool. We are now busy training hard in order to prepare for upcoming playoffs, with the hopes of winning the league cup. After season we will be traveling to the capital city to participate in a friendly tournament with teams all across Ghana.
In my spare time I’ve taken on some projects to fix up the school. With money donated by Lambrick High School, we were able to resurface two worn out chalkboards that were in need of some TLC. During the upcoming break in term Mr. Kainyiah and myself have hired a local mason to come and cement in all 9 classroom floors deep potholes that have formed. It is hoped with this the less sturdy chairs and desks will at least be even enough as not to disrupt the children’s classwork. Marisa, myself and another volunteer from Victoria are in the works of trying to contact different associations we belong to back home or old high schools in the hopes of raising funds to build the schools desperately wanted library. Over the years Mr. Kainyiah has acquired or had books donated to the school but does not have a central place for the children to be able to read or store said books. With the books we purchased for the school and the others donated they now are literally just stacked up in the corner of my room just waiting to be used. It would cost 5000 Cedi (roughly 2500 CDN) to build a permanent library here so I will keep you posted on its progress. Sticking to my summer student roots I’m planning to weed and overturn a garden plot out front the school which the kids will bring plants to plant when they return from vacation. Other then school related projects I am lending Mr. Kainyiah a hand anyway possible to help him lay the foundation for his future apartment.
This has been what my time in Ghana has consisted of for the most part. Ive had the occasional weekend to travel to the city of Cape Coast which was one of the first slave routes from America and Axim which is on Ghana’s border with neighbouring Cote d’Ivore. Unique to my placement I have been integrated into Ghanian life, I eat only ethnic food and I can’t honestly remember what most western foods taste like. I can hold small conversations in Fante but my pronunciation still needs work and I barely notice the heat anymore.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, hopefully I can send another update once some of my projects have been completed.