Monday, 21 March 2016

Two and a half weeks left... where has the time gone?

We're now approaching the end of our time in Ghana (where has the time gone?!). We have two and a half weeks left before it's all over. We'll be leaving with very heavy hearts (not literally, that would require urgent medical attention) and we're already thinking about coming back to visit Abenta within a few years to be reunited with our friends in this brilliant community.

The last two weeks have been quite different for Liz and I as we're the only obronis on the base. It's been less busy than the previous 2 months and it's meant that we have been able to spend more time with Aikens, Emmanuel as well as catch up with other friends we've not seen in a while.

Last weekend we went to Accra (probably for the last time before we leave) to visit Kwabena, Joyce and family. It was great to catch up with them and indulge a bit in home comforts.  On the Saturday night Liz and I went to an Indian restaurant for a brilliant (although expensive) curry. We joined Kwabena, Joyce and Lydia for church on Sunday morning, this is our second time at their church and the music was incredible. After the service we met a retired Ghanaian couple who spend half their time in the UK and Ghana. We asked where in the UK they lived and they said 'Leytonstone'. It turns out we used to live about 1 mile away from them! Small world.

Best church music ever at a Pentacostal church in Accra.

The view of the 'plains of Accra' on our way back to Abenta. We've not had this view for ages because it was completely obscured by the harmattan from November to February

Joyce, me, Scott and Lydia (Lydia is a relative of Kwabena and Joyce)

Curry time in central Accra. 

We also met a Londoner called Scott who is living with Kwabena and Joyce and working with a Ghanaian publishing company. Having found a mutual love of football (not hard to do!) we snuck off to a local bar on Sunday to watch Spurs vs Villa. Harry Kane looked ok, would probably get in the Cambridge team.

Using money given to us by Tom Pickering (thank you!) we have been able buy paint so that we can decorate the school building in Abenta with educational prompts (letters, numbers, pictures, words etc). A lot of the kids here lack any educational material to help them outside the classroom so this will hopefully make a small difference in boosting their numeracy and literacy. Laud (aka King Yobo), the school's ICT teacher, provided the artwork and both Laud and Liz painted it. It's still ongoing and hopefully most will be done before we leave.

 King Yobo. Musician, artists and teacher. A man of many skills. 

Caption anyone? Liz wont thank me for posting this! She'd only started work 5 minutes earlier. haha (joke). In fairness it was incredibly hot.

We finally caught up with Solomon this weekend, the friend we made last October. This time we invited him to Abenta to cook him a rather improvised Thai chicken meal (ingredients from Accra). It was great to catch up and talk through a wide range of social and political topics (what do you expect when you put a social studies and sociology teacher together). It was great introducing him to Aikens and Emmanuel too. 

The following day Emmanuel, Aikens, Liz and I finally did the long walk to the ridge at Tutu that we can see from our base. We left at 6:30am and completed it in a respectable 2:45 minutes. I don't think I've sweated as much as that walk.

At the start of our walk. Energetic and eager.

Liz and I beginning to feel the heat.

Look what we found along the way! Even insects look stylish in Ghana.

The view climbing the ridge. You might be able to make out Aikens in his white T-shirt.

Tutu! We made it. Liz and I were completely shattered. Ema and Aikens barely broke into a sweat.

Other random photos:

Abenta girls vs Gboloo Kofi girls. Final score 3-4. Abenta's come a long way with its girls' football team.

A few of the kids playing in the sand with the Abenta hills in the background. Adwoa (on the right) is one of our favourites.

An afternoon visit to see the IVHQ volunteers in Tin Kong, a town between Adawso and Koforidua. We randomly met Rachel (far left) in Lake Bosomtwi a couple of months ago and have stayed in touch since.

This is one of those random things that makes Abenta so special. It was about 9pm, music was blaring out from a nearby house so the kids decided to start dancing by the one street light in that part of the village. I was just walking back to the hut and this is what I saw!

So I contacted the local authorities and complained of anti-social behaviour and they've all got ASBOs now. 

We had a jumble sale of either clothes donated to the charity or clothes left behind by previous volunteers on Saturday. Angela, Patience and Bernice organised it with the help of Liz. The clothes sold for between 20 to 50 pesawes (4 to 10 pence).

Jumble sale in action. 

Thank you for reading! I hope our blogs have helped you see what a fantastic country Ghana is and how friendly and welcoming its people are. 

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