Sunday, February 28, 2010

TED's Great African Adventure

What an amazing time I had with Tracy and Ellen (college roommate) here last week. We kept very busy and they loved meeting the kids and exploring life in Ghana. We had lots of laughs and lots of adventures. It was an unforgettable week! Here's a couple of pictures:

The last night they were here we had a girl's night/sleepover in the library. We focused on pursuing Godly relationships and dating/marriage for the older girls. We just really wanted to encourage these girls (many of who come from broken homes/families) that they are made in the image of Christ and were fearfully and wonderfully made and deserve to be loved and cherished as such. We started the night with all the girls and had a movie with popcorn, soda, and brownies. Then we had a discussion, and after that just the oldest 5 girls stayed to sleep over. We had a very fun time with facials, painting nails, foot scrubs, talking, and taking pictures!

We made some more progress in the's getting close to opening day! :) Yippee!

Reading to the kids in the village is so much fun! I just love these kids!

Eating waakye with the kids in the dining hall. This is my "best" (as they say) African food. It's beans and rice with a spicy stew and some noodles. Yum!
We had a great week and I miss them already, but I was so thankful they were able to come. :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

I wanna I declama-tome-a!

On the way back from my jog last night, I was noticing the clouds were super dark, so I started to pick up the pace a bit—hoping to beat the rain. Along the way I just had to stop and say hello to the cutest kids ever that always shout, “Miss Dana! Miss Dana!” when I go by. So, I stopped and gave them hugs and talked to them for a bit, when Michael, who’s in kindergarten says, “Miss Dana, I wanna I declama-tome-a”….to which I responded, “I don’t know what I ‘declama-tome-a’ is”. So, of course, he repeated it, but this time added a thumb motion out in front, and added, “1, 2, 3, 4…:” “OH!” I said… “1, 2, 3, 4…I declare a thumb war!” So cute! Of course I couldn’t turn that down… after a few rounds, I was on my way—and still beat the rain. The rain was amazing, though…it was so cool last night that I got to sleep under my sheet…glorious! (I think it got down to 75, and 73 is the lowest it’s been since I’ve been here.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Math & Market Adventures

I have to admit I've been a horrible blogger as of late-- mainly because life seems to be pretty normal right now, so it doesn't seem like there's much to report. However, on a very positive note, I'd like to thank you for your prayers as I work(ed) with the teachers, because we have seemed to reach the first (hopefully of many) breakthroughs in math! One thing the students really struggle with here is the basic facts-- addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It seems like it would be a pretty easy thing to remedy...lots of games, activities, and explanations-- along with some repitition and lots of practice. Ha! Unfortunately, it hasn't been so easy. In fact, when given a timed test for one minute, even many of the 6th graders were only getting one or two correct...yikes! I was feeling very discouraged as I gave the same test as I did 1st term and saw minimal progress (but progress, nonetheless!). So, I felt that something different needed to be done. I broke the subtraction facts down into different sections according to how they're best solved and had the teachers teach the first one last week. One student went from getting 7 correct to 34-- from Monday to Friday!!! Another student completed 60! That was so exciting for me as the highest before was like 22 and that was definitely an outlier! So, I get excited about things like this....I can't help it. :) The good news is that the kids are getting excited and wanting to improve! Praise God!

Besides math, things have been going well. We've been busy beading, walking, making fried rice (yum...a few of the older girls gave me a lesson!), baking cookies, and reading-- among the daily activities.

Tawiah, Abby & Aisha proudly presenting their M&M cookies!

Having the older girls over for dinner club was such a relaxing and fun evening. I'm so thankful that God has changed the hearts of these girls....what a blessing to share this meal (and cooking lesson for me) with them!

Yesterday Carolyn and I woke up at 4:30 am to catch the train into town to do some shopping at the market. We wanted to catch the 6 am train from Kotoku, so we left around 5:15 and walked about 40 minutes to the station. It was kind of a fun adventure since it was completely dark the whole way. I love being able to see the day "come to life"! It all happened so fast. Once at the market, I was on a mission to find white t-shirts to tie-dye with the kids, and let me tell I was walking through the crowded market with heavy bags of t-shirts and shoes, I never longed for Wal-Mart more! The thought of being able to pick up all the shirts in all the sizes you want at one time and then have a CART to put them in and a CAR to then drive them home in blows my mind! You mean you don't have to go wandering around looking for random people who just may be selling t-shirts only to find out they have 2 or 3 and then move on to the next place where they have 2 or 3??? What a concept! All in all, it was a successful run and I was able to have a little R&R in the afternoon which was greatly appreciated! :)

Need a new pair of jeans?