A Travellerspoint blog

Saying Good bye is hard...

the group is gone!!!!!!

sunny

Good evening Blogger,
Time is winding down and I have to come back home soon , although I keep whining I don't want to come home, yet I have to. I had to say by to the group and that was so hard for me. I woke up this morning with a sad face because I knew that the majority of the group was leaving out today going back home to end this portion of their journey's, but to add on new pieces to their journey's; each and every person taking a piece of what they learned while in Ghana.

I hope that each person takes what they have learned while in Ghana and use it to better the life of all man kind, besides that is what Africa is all about. Taking care of one another and what ever you do do it for the good of the community." We are therefore I am." Gotta love those African proverbs, they help keep you thinking about other people at all times. I think this trip taught me how to be sensitive and to have more compassion in my heart. There were so many things that I learn about my self while in Ghana; all I cna say is thank you Ghana for all the life lessons.

One thing that I have learned while living in Ghana for six weeks; I don't need 3/4 of the junk that I have in my house. I have a week at home before I go back to work and I see me doing a lot of donating to various organizations. I see tons of reflection going on in my head; if you see me staring in space at times, well that is because I am going back to Ghana in my head and feeling the sand, hearing the laughter, feeling the sun, and most of all feeling the LOVE. I now have a happy place to go to in my head when my day seems bad and AMERICA won't give me a break.

One heart, One love Ghana we will be back together; although I am an American, Ghana is forever my home. I have gotten so much love not only from the group, but the locals that I have bonded with and I can call upon when ever I am here in Ghana because I am their: sister, mother, friend, auntie, Nana, queen. I have been a lot of things to a lot of people and that alone has been so rewarding because of the friendships I have gained. I think this is enough for one day I am tired and tired of crying. I have cried not just because people are leaving, it is because I am leaving some people '
,and I care about them all. I want the best for everyone that I met and have learned from them all, even the kids. The kids have been the biggest teacher in my life and I hope they all grow to be very happy, productive and successful adults.

I have learned from the woman who has given birth to me ( Mother Africa), She has raised me by showing the ways of my error, fed from the milk of knowledge that is her breast, and she has granted me wisdom of woman hood; for the last six weeks. As I feed and learned form my mother I have grown healthy and strong as I have past into my rite of passage of being a woman. I thank Mother for being here to give me this lesson that I needed to become a strong woman. This has been the best six weeks of my life, yes I would do it alllllllll over again, and I still would not regret any of my experiences because they are all good experiences; even the bad ones were good because I learned from them all.
Ghana Girl over and out ; Shalom until next time.

Posted by Kathy Porter 12:55 Archived in Ghana Comments (0)

reflection

All My Children

sunny

Hello Bloggers,
I am giving you some of my final thoughts as this week is dwindling down. This is my last week in Ghana and I woke up quite sad this morning because I knew that I was going over to the basic school to see all 73 of my children today for the last time. I will miss these adorable little boogers, I have learned a lot from them and I hope that I have left an impression on them in any kind of way. I was a little disappointed that the one kid that seems to always get into trouble wasn't there today and I didn't get his picture, although we did have a chat about his behavior on Thursday and I hope that I got through to him and he will always hear that american voice saying " Kweku please behave for auntie Kathy and make sure you please pay attention to auntie Patricia ,Beatrice and Head mistress Julie or you will get a beating my child."

When I arrived at the school today they were very quiet and no one got out of their seats when I came in ( a look of shock), well I still had to walk around and touch every little hand or head, a wink here a smile there to let them all feel my presences. On Thursday I thought they would rip my dress right off of me, we would fall to the floor and for sure I was going to land on someone's kid and crush them to death; thank God that didn't happen.

I made all smiles today with a picture of them, yep I have pictures of All My Children. I am going to make each and every kid something with their picture on it , but I let the teachers know that they would have to write their names on it because I don't remember everyone's name. I will miss playing games with them and helping them count and learn their ABC's, reading words, and writing. I have learned how to be a teacher in six weeks even in my fear. What I have learned from the children is not to be afraid of things; you got this auntie. I think I will do well in my major of education thanks to all 73 of them I have learned to rely on my instincts and I am not to old to learn, and especially from kids.

I had to try to leave the classroom as fast as I could because I felt tears burn my eyes and I didn't want them to see me cry, but that is hard to do when you have some children having a Kong Fu Death Grip on your hand. I won't be receiving credit for going to the basic school BUT I don't care because of this rewarding experience I have all the credit that I need for it with lots and lots of love. If had the opportunity to do it all over again would I??? yes I would. Volunteering is the best thing that any one can ever do , not for the program but for yourself.

Don't forget to switch over and look at all my children and the amazing teacher's who work with such big classes. These are truly strong women. I not only learned from the children, I also learned from the teacher's themselves. The head mistress told me today that she would miss her shapely lady and she would be praying for my safe return back to the USA. I have never gotten soooooo many hugs from people as I have gotten today; teachers that I were not even in their class room that I have met even hugged me today when they heard I was leaving to go back to America, talk about making impressions.

I feel that I have made a bigger impact on people than I had ever imagined; You Americans don't seem to be that impressed with me ijs LOL.
Yes I am American, but Ghana will be in my heart as home and I am waiting on the day when I get come back home again(insha Allah). I don't think I have been this happy in years, nor relaxed ( the Ghanaian way). I will continue to blog even when I get home because there will be things I will remember that will pop in my head and I have not posted all 1200 picture yet. Shalom folks have a good day and remember to say a prayer or two today not for just yourself but for someone else who just may need it more. Ghana Girl closing her blue eye, over and out.

Posted by Kathy Porter 05:44 Archived in Ghana Tagged room # 81 Comments (0)

A visit to the Storyteller

The Dancing Village

sunny

Hello Blogger,
Should I tell you a story?. That is one of the many ways that a traditional Oral Narrative starts to let you know that a story is about to begin. Yesterday we went to Winneba ( another city in Ghanna) , There in Winneba is a village called Adentem, which means in the middle of things. In this Village ( in the middle of I don't know where) is where the African storyteller was that we were to hear tell stories. This was so fun that no one in our small group wanted to leave. We were told two stories in a language called fante ( all along we have been learning Twi), the Professor had provided an interpreter ( that we preferred not to have), but having the interpreter made the story seem long, drawn-out, and boring. We had no clue (well me) what was being said at first, although what I had observed from the storyteller was all the things that we learned in the class room for the last five weeks.

What I took away from this experience that will greatly help me with American Signed Language is it is all about being expressive, the expression that was used help me to understand the gist of the story and to follow along with the narrator. African storytelling is not like stories we are used to in America, you see these stories are not written down (frozen) or rehearsed so, they are made up as you go along and there is usually song, chants, and dance . Stories are usually told by women and they are the best story tellers, but two men told the stories yesterday and the women were the performers. There is audience participation within the story telling and let me tell you we the small class of seven really got involved.

No matter what country you are in sex is a universal language..???..!!!.. One of the stories had sexual content in it. This old man gets up an leave in the middle of the oral narrative right??.. Wrong he leaves long enough to find the biggest stick that he could find and comes back with the longest and largest erection that I have ever seen in my my life and does a performance with a woman whom he seems to be really giving her the stick and that makes me laugh til I cried. I thought the laughter is over because there is another intermission, which is dancing, drumming, singing, and hand clapping; it aint over people.

A woman comes out and stands in front of one of my class mates she is hold herself and speaking in fante( yeah my class ate turns beet red), He is the one who confiscated her virginity. He says no it wasn't me all cool and confused, she is certain it was him , he denies it, and then she ask him who was it that confiscated it. Matthew than points to Brian my other classmate and says it was him, Brian's eyes widens like he has seen death and say it wasn't me with such conviction and says " it was him I swear it." Brian and Matthew are going back and forth like children bickering it was you no it was you no it was you ETc. I am laughing so hard at this point that I can;t breath, my side hurts and tears a really streaming .

After the performance they ask for two of us to dance and the group choses me and Brian to dance and the Villages seems to be so pleased with our performances, of none of us want to leave when it is time to go. What I forgot to mention is that fact when we arrived at the village they had just had a funeral (this involves dancing) so, they were dancing when we got there. This was the greastes experience ever in my life and I felt as if I was among my family members. I will forever love this village.

Posted by Kathy Porter 06:04 Archived in Ghana Tagged village adentem Comments (0)

reflection

doing somethings new

sunny

Hello Blogger,
I am coming to you live and in living color from Africa and I have Kathy Ghana here to tell us a few things I think we not have covered.

Kathy P: So Kathy Ghana or may I just call you Ghana Girl if that is ok?
Ghana Girl: yes you may call me Ghana Girl or GG for short.

Kathy P: Well we have all heard about your amazing field trips and hopefully everyone has viewed the picture. When you were climbing that huge mountain you told us what you were thinking, but what you didn't tell us is how you really felt when you reached the top.
GG: Well I was first feeling very tired and thirsty (chuckles). I started feeling like I had really accomplished something that was very, very, very hard and I was really kinda of confused when I first reached the top. I started thinking about my life and how much of it I have wasted on such trivial things, but than something inside of me told me that when I get back to the U.S don't ever, ever waste your time sweating the small things again and that life is way too short for things I can't change.

Kathy P: If there is anything you can change what would it be?
GG: Hmmmm, I would have to say my self first because that is usually where everyone needs to start a change, than it would be to help my children to grow in areas that I have grown in since I have been in Africa. I guess if I could change the economy I would do that next. I would like to start a change right here in Africa with Education system. Oh yeah some of the friends that I have met along the way in my life time will be changed( cut them off).

Kathy P: Where or what do you see for yourself in the next five maybe ten years.?
GG: first, i see that bachelors degree that I am working on, more traveling to other countries, who knows maybe living in a foreign country working with deaf children, but defiantly working with deaf people; I love American Signed Language you know.

Kathy P: You said earlier that you would "cut off some friends," explain why?
GG: I realize like I said that life is short and I have been truly blessed to see God's glory from a mountain top it is not everyday that you get to climb a mountain in Africa. Looking down from that mountain gave me an chance to reflect on my life and how wasteful I have been( looking sad) with such a gift from God so, some of the people that are in my life I realize I have out grown them and it's time to let them go so that we all can be free. It's not that I think i am better than them it's just God has given me another direction to help other people and for other people to be of help to me(with a smile).

Kathy P: Is there any thing else you would like to share about any of your experiences in Ghana and how they have changed you?
GG: yeah (smiling) I am trying to work with UC's international program to be a leader with international student's who come to Cincinnati get the best experience that they can have out with studying abroad. This has taught how to be a little more sensitive to other people's needs and just to take things one day at a time because mole hills become mountains on their own. As it is said if you can't change the people around you than change the people around you.

I am going to leave you now folks with this reflection I am Kathy P and I am Ghana Girl; love, soul and Peace, be kind to everyone and gain respect from all........

Posted by Kathy Porter 11:42 Comments (0)

Nature

The final trip

Hi everyone,
I am little sad that this is my final field trip and it marks the end of this whole trip as well. In two weeks I will be saying bye to all the other Obroni's, my new Ghanaian friends, the staff at ISH #1, and to my family of frogs under my window. What I won't be missing is the numerous amount of lizards who like to frequent room number 81, or the cold showers. I will miss the weather here because what I understand is that in my home town the weather has been in the hundreds. Anyway I am very thankful for this time here in Ghana to help me spread my wings, realize some things, and the growth spurt.

I have accomplished a lot here in Ghana in such a short time that this will always be in my memory bank and processed through out my life time. Mother Africa has given birth to a new woman with a different outlook on life. Life is to be enjoyed savored life the finest cut of meat that you will ever have. Never will I chew on life in a hurry any more, I will take the time to take in every spice and recognize it for what it is; after all a pepper is a pepper, it's hot. We as human can learn alot from the animals; meaning today we went to a wildlife reserve in the town of Hohoe, this is in the Volta region, which is in Ghana. We were suppose to see baboons but they were way up in the mountains on a rock looking at us like: those dumb humans don't they know it is going to rain, they had better take cover. The guide told us as soon as it got cloudy today that the baboon went into the mountains. This earth has a lot to offer man we just have to grab life by the horns and hold on tight or it will just leave us. The animals have the sense of danger and flee from it.

I don't have a clue why I did this field trip, when I never signed up for this to begin with. What ever it was that made em do it I am glad that I did it for the experience more than anything. I got the chance to see antelope and ostriches, but thank God not snakes, bats, and scorpions; yeah we were told they would be on this leg of the race. God take care of babies and fools; this fool got babies to get back to. I hope you enjoy the pictures that I have uploaded as, much as I have enjoyed taking them. The pictures that I couldn't take, I am very sorry that I could't take them but I will always remember the moment. We were on the bus today and I heard Whitney Huston's song The Body guard 'I will always love you,' and this is how I felt about Africa. I will always love Africa and all that it stands for in my book; not how another portrays it.

I am very drowsy and I am going to upload these pictures and get some rest; Insha Allah, may the peace and blessing of God be upon you and your family. If it is God's will, I will get back to you on the flip side. Ghanna girl is forcefully shutting her blue eye, good night all you wonderful people.

Posted by Kathy Porter 13:45 Archived in Ghana Comments (0)

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