By Marion Dear, Lower School Teacher
August 8, 2013
I chickened out. Teaching under the almond tree, although idyllic in setting, was not easy. It did not help that I tried to do this during the week before graduation, when there was constant drumming on campus. I moved my class to Kester Hall, in the new high school building. In an actual classroom, the students are more focused and the tone more academic. Kester Hall is 2 stories, unusual around here. Gone are the plywood painted black blackboards of my previous trip. The cute lizards that ran all over them are gone too. Every classroom has sturdy wooden chairs attached to desks. The blackboards are smooth slate. Today we learned about theme and author’s message by studying a story about William Kamkwamba, a boy who brought electricity and irrigation pumps to his Malawian village by building a windmill.
Here are some photos of daily life at school. I find ordinary events and procedures give insight into students’ lives here. I hope you agree. Here are captions for the photos:
Sisters Rose and Deliza start cooking lunch at 8:00. Lunch is black-eyed pea stew and rice.
The Heritage Academy kitchen, called the “cook fire”. For some students, the hot lunch they receive at school is their only meal.
Hope, Sena, Stephen, and Priscilla enjoy their hot lunch in a classroom.
The Kirkpatrick Water Tower. Having water at the school is a huge convenience. Kwesi had the water tested in Accra and it is safe to drink. There is a cup by the spigot, and the students are well hydrated. However, the delicate American volunteers stick to bottled Voltic water.
New and improved student bathrooms. On my last visit this facility consisted of the woodland savannah surrounding the campus. Notice the yellow hand washing stations to the right of the bathrooms.
The grounds crew consists of Emmanuel Arthur and campus helpers. He regularly irrigates the plantings. Here he is tilling soil so that it can absorb the water he sprinkles on it (after schlepping buckets from the Fitzpatrick Water Tower). He tills the soil and then adds grass, and in his words, “Lets’ God do the rest.” I told him She will.
On a personal note involving daily life, my Sun Shower works! This is a significant improvement in my standard of living. I did not include a photo of a Sun Shower. It is a black bag that you fill with water, which heats up in the sun. The final result is a blessed hot shower.