News from Accra, Ghana

We received the following news from our friend Andrew, who has left for Ghana.
“A chance to tell you what’s been happening to me as I have just completed my first full week teaching at school. Hoping all is well with you all, or that at least you’re coping with life’s struggles with God’s help.

It’s been quite stressful here for a number of reasons. I’ve been blessed with good Christian friends in Richard, the school volunteer co-ordinator, and Michael the head of the ETIGS school where I teach. Richard advised me when I arrived to work at Michael’s school in Kasoa, outside Accra. The school has around 150 children but half in nursery and kindergarten, leaving around 70 in Primary and a further 6 in Junior High. As I arrived, so school term was finishing but we resumed May 11th, and after a minimum time observing the other teachers teach, I was asked to teach ICT and English Classes 3 to 6 Primary.

Kasoa is in a poor area, and we teach in a barn of a building subdivided into ‘rooms’ by blackboards. I’m having to master the art of writing on the board in a straight line (something I have never been good at)! Children are very helpful and compliant, very keen to have their books marked. Very few can afford textbooks, which makes English comprehension etc. difficult when they don’t have the text to read. Bringing the laptop and printer was a good move- previous ICT lessons have required children to take turns on the school’s only desktop computer, and they had no printer. The children are happy though, and want to touch the ‘oburoni’ white man!

So while content isn’t difficult, learning to teach effectively is a constant challenge. What with lesson planning, marking homework, getting here (1 hour) and the long day (we start at 7 am and finish at 4pm), it’s been quite exhausting! But I’m grateful for the opportunity. Since term goes to August 20th and given difficulty of getting a visa, I’m not planning to return in June, but a booked to be back in Schiphol on Aug 20.

Church has been interesting here. We get 2000 church goers and the service lasts two hours! Actually that’s the second service! This is the ICGC (international Centre Gospel Church). OtabilThe minister is Dr Mensa Otabil who was recently voted the most influential Ghanaian, and his teaching is excellent. Ghana is one of the homes if Evangelical Christianity in Africa. Big boards everywhere advertises churches, many with activities each day of the week. There are even some prophets.

Sadly Ghana is also land of the scam, and without going into detail, I was victim of an attempted one and had to spend three days recently with the police. Not pleasant.

I’m staying at a hostel, but due to move into an apartment I rented for one year with my girlfriend Anita. Should move over there next week,  so praying it works out. Weather is always hot here, max of 35 degrees, but today is cooler and we are heading for wet season in June and July.

Best to all,
Andrew Rees