This week school re-opened. To say that it is in session would be false. In actuality it is a week of registration and preparation. Which means that the majority of the day the students sit in the classrooms by themselves doing nothing. It seems quite strange to me, but I am not Ghanaian. Normal teaching begins next Monday. I do a lot of sitting and waiting.
Monday morning I sat in a staff meeting all morning. I felt quite out of place. I was half-surprised to see my name on the staff list that was passed out at that meeting. My official titles: P6 social studies teacher, library assistant, reading facilitator. There is not much for me to do this week. I have lessons prepared for next week, but they will have to wait. I walked into the library Monday afternoon to help and was immediately overwhelmed. The place is dusty and disorganized. Stacks of books are sitting everywhere, waiting for labeling materials to be shelved. Not surprisingly, lizards and spiders have made their homes among the reference materials (because no one ever uses them.) I asked what the system of checkout was and had to stifle a laugh as the librarian spent several minutes trying to locate the "checkout book" on his messy desk. I thought to myself, "So that's how it works around here..."
Evening tutoring has been going well. Monday night was Ma Millicent's birthday. I made her a cake and some icing (the best I could with the ingredients I have). I brought it over and we sang happy birthday and somehow made a 9x9 cake feed 26 kids. They licked the pan clean, quite literally! It was so much fun though. As we were singing, Ma was singing happily along with us, "happy birthday to me" and I again felt that sense of belonging. I wrote out math problems, read books, and did addition flash cards with the girls for the rest of the evening. One of the girls had asked me to bring some glue to fix her shoe. When I pulled out the super glue I had brought along I suddenly had a long line of girls whose shoes were in pieces. Many of these girls have never owned new shoes, and the donated shoes they often receive are already worn. Some of the shoes would have required a miracle to put back together, even with super glue. They were so excited, I just hope the glue sticks...I wish I could buy them all new shoes. Last night's tutoring was at the Joy Barnett house. There are lots of kids in that house that need help. I wish I had time to do one-on-one work with them. After an hour of working on math and reading, we decided on an arm and thumb wrestling tournament to finish off the night. It was so much fun! Thankfully I was able to beat all of them but one high school boy.