Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Last Hurrah

August 1 is coming fast.  My students school ended on the 26th of July and that is it.  I took a crazy picture of my Form 2 class (most of them) while the teachers were calculating their marks and positions in class.  Considering the circumstances, I think they look remarkably cheerful.

I thought that this would be a great time for you to meet them, first my student teachers: Madam Janet, Sir Emmanuel and Sir Prince:
Sir Emmanuel and Madam Janet traded
teaching Math and Science during the
first and second terms this year.

Sir Prince taught my students Integrated Science
during the third term.
Then, in alphabetical order more or less, are the Form 2 (8th grade) students of Sanfo-Aduam Municipal Assembly Junior High School:  (note: they give themselves silly nicknames which sometimes i don't understand, but they will post them on their graduation shirts.)
Abigail 2; AKA:"American Baby de
Richly Love"
After School, Sellling
and she wants to be a nurse.
Abigail 1; AKA "Queen Gee"
After School, she likes selling and
football and when she finishes
school, she wants to be a nurse

Agnes; AKA "Noble Angel",
After School She likes sewing,
and watching the neighbor's
children; she wants to be a
Bernard; AKA "Temperature de
Aguero", After school he likes
football, and he wants to drive
taxis or trucks.
Owusu Bismark;AKA "Flezzy Bee
de Pipett", likes to play football
and wants to be a Doctor.
Collins: AKA " ", likes to drive,
and he wants to drive taxis or trucks.
Betty; AKA "Richie Mamma de
Flow of Money", likes to travel
to Kumasi and wants to be a
military lawyer.
Obour Samuel; AKA "Gentle Gager",
likes to cook after school and he
wants to be a driver

Pinamang Vic; AKA "Future Star",
She likes to sew after school and
wants to be a Soldier.
Doris; AKA "Child of God",
likes to travel and wants to be
a Bank Manager.
Ernestina; AKA "Golden Star",
Likes to watch TV and read, she
wants to be a military doctor.
Linda; AKA "Mamma Wrisk o
Baby", likes to pound Fufu, travel
and she wants to be a Policewoman.
Promise; AKA "Lady of
Babylon", Likes to read after she
locks up the classrooms, and she wants to be a nurse.
Francis; AKA "Son of God", likes
to play football and work at the
palm-oil extraction factory; he
wants to drive taxis or trucks.

Emmanuel; AKA "Action de
Sanctity", likes to play football and
wants to become a teacher.
Evans; AKA "King of Peace", likes
to work on the farm and wants to
be a teacher.
Isaac; AKA "Do Sapee de Burn",
likes to play football and fix
electronic things; he wants
to be a soldier
Salomey; AKA "Pretty Angel", likes
to travel after school and wants to
be a nurse.
Joshua; AKA "Calli de Nature",
likes to play football and wants
to be a bank manager
Akowua Samuel; AKA "Future King
de Blessing", likes to fetch water (he
may be kidding) after school and wants
to be a farmer.
Gifty; AKA "Brightness de
Lady of Humbleness", She
is very good at football and
wants to travel and be a
Issifu; AKA "Amazing One de
Terminator", He likes to play
Football and wants to become
an Engineer.
Georgina; AKA " ", she missed some school
and i don't have her nickname.
Sarah; AKA "P Love" She is
good at penalty shots and wants
to travel with Mr. Jim after school,
she would like to be a Doctor.
Sarpong Bismark; AKA "Hitteler
de Two Things", He likes to sell
palm wine and wants to be pres-
ident after be becomes a teacher.
Sarkodie; AKA "Action de Atom"
likes to read and play football after
school and wants to be a teacher.

Derrick; AKA "Rain Guage de
Sympathy" also likes to play
football and travel after school,
He wants to be a doctor.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Furnishing the ICT Center

This was taken about May 9th before the window and door grates
were installed
On May 9th we got the money and started to shop for the provisions.  the dropping exchange rate gave us more ghanaian cash so we were able to provide flat panels for each station and buy some extra equipment, such as a speaker system and a projector screen.  the first class with students, on May 29th, gave 40 form 1 (grade 7) pupils a chance to operate a PC (many for the first time in their lives.)
Mr. Ansah & Hon. Mr. Bruce with the carpenter who built our tables and chairs
Isaac and I are attaching the flat panels to one of the school's PC's.
The Form 1 class on May 29th. Notice that they are not looking at the photographer
(most of them.)

Form 2

Primary 6

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Computer Center in Sanfo–One Year Report

Mr. Kofi Owusu-Ansah
Shortly after I arrived at my school, Sanfo/Aduam Municipal Assembly JHS, the faculty described how they wanted to build a room at the school to install 12 used computers that were donated to the school. We decided on a new building and Kofi Ansah, the assistant headmaster, and I sketched a plan and estimated the materials (i.e., concrete for blocks, lumber, window frames, doors, wiring, etc.) and applied for a grant for about half the costs of the structure.

The School held a "harvest celebration" in February 2013 to obtain their share of the funds and raised about 3,000 Gh¢. They used the money to start construction, even before the Grant was approved, and with almost all donated labor over the last year, they have built a fine new structure on the JHS campus. I was amazed by the quality of the work and the building that is a paint job away from being complete. Now, they need to furnish the center with tables, chairs, printers and other materials and computer equipment. In order to do that, we applied for a grant through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP), a qualified charity that can accept tax-deductible donations. If you want to participate, please visit the PCPP website for a more complete description of the project and the funds required to support it.


 Now here are a few shots of the project that I took between February 2013 and February 2014.
In February 2013, the Computer Center Project began with a "mini-Harvest".
Children from the Primary School and the JHS recited poems,
danced, and acted in short plays, while their parents and
friends donated money and goods to be sold at auction.
Children from the Kindergarden marked the boundaries of the
foundation for the new center.
Masons manufactured their own blocks

and began to dig as soon as the Harvest funds
were collected.

Assemblyman & Headmaster, Kofi Asanti Bruce supervises the
masons in April 2013, after a USaid grant was received.
By June, the carpenters began to build the roof.
By October, the roof & plaster were complete, but because of some
improvements, some oversights and some inflation, the grant and
community funds ran out.  So the executive committee decided to
conduct another "mini-Harvest" in December.
December is harmattan- the African dry season, but it rained three times on the
day of the "mini-Harvest". Still, with dances, poems and an auction they
managed to raise another 2,000 Gh¢ for the center to finish the windows, ceiling
and floors.
Meanwhile the US Embassy donated six newer PC's–with no
memories–just a little more equipment for us to buy.

Pupils collected rocks from and abandoned surface (gold) mine to
pack the subfloor.
And by February 2014 the floors were poured and a handsome ceiling
is installed.
Window louvers should be installed before I return on March 2nd.  The building is already the finest structure in Sanfo/Aduam, but when  PCPP grant funds are received we can purchase the tables and equipment needed to begin to use our new center.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Home Leave

July 25th, the carpenters finished the roof of our new ICT center;
 the day that i left Sanfo for Accra to catch a flight home.
Jul 24, goodbye lunch with "granddaughters"
Penni, Kakra and Freda. 

I left town early on Thursday morning, July 25, the last day of the school year. I spent two days with a friend who works for the US Treasury in Accra and my flight to the US began late Saturday night on the 27th. There was a 6 and a half hour flight to London followed by a 7 hour flight to Washington DC.

Glenn joined us and we took two cars and two days to drive to
Ft. Madison Iowa, just across the Mississippi from Nauvoo, IL.

In Cincinnati, Glenn and I stayed with Sharon's Nephew; Matt's
family stayed at a Historic Hotel in Mariemont. We all had
breakfast there.

Cosette's Birthday: We all gathered in the Hotel room Jacuzzi tub for a family picture. 
Dan and Chantell played a young Bro & Sister
Orson Pratt in the chorus. Note the temple.
Zoe, Isabel and Evan were their children. Cosette, who saw it the
day before, told me where to look to see everyone.

My plan was to be back in Sanfo today after a family reunion in Illinois and some time on the east coast staying with Matt’s family in Maryland.  Like so many plans, I should have planned to be surprised.  My left leg, which had bothered me, during the bus ride to Accra, and the flight to Washington DC, not to mention the 17 hr drive to Nauvoo from Maryland, gave out completely on our third day in Nauvoo.  I took a shortcut through some woods to the Pageant, took a hard step over a tree root or gopher hole and a sharp pain shot through my left leg and I could not take a step on it.  Mike and Glenn helped me to the first aid station, and then to the ER at the Ft Madison Hospital.  X-rays and Ultrasound ruled out an embolism, and the doctor said he needed an MRI to confirm it but suspected a torn meniscus.  He finished me at 2:30 am and sent me home to the Comfort Inn with crutches and a leg splint. 
Sorry about the ugly picture.
 The nurse made me chew 8
baby aspirin (ugh!) with
no water.

The Denver Rays: Rayleigh, Jack and Erin help me leave the
hotel at Ft Madison IO.
On the way home we bed down at Zanesville, Ohio, arise early and take breakfast in Morgantown West Virginia. Lexi has a thing for the University of West Virginia and wanted to check it out.
Addie said "this is just like Disneyland!"
I worked on the Morgantown PRT at Boeing 35 years ago.
It was great to show it to Matt's family, still running strong.
Back in Maryland, Matt and Michelle are friends with and orthopedic surgeon in their LDS Ward.  We arranged with his clinic for and examination and the MRI.  Everything seems to take forever, but today (Aug 20) they will do orthoscopic surgery on my left knee to repair a torn meniscus. Doc says the operation is quick and relatively safe.  I should be full function in a week, but I am on a medical hold with the Peace Corps until I am cleared.  My post op visit is scheduled  for Aug 25 and I hope that will clear me to return to my village. Even without surgery I have been able to walk and do stairs without crutches, but I can tell things are not right when I walk down hill.  I called Esther, my neighbor, and Mr Bruce, Headmaster, to tell them about my new “itinerary”. They said school begins Sept 10 and I will have Form 2 math and science–same kids for next year. I want to be there when it starts.
but Matt and Laynie like the guns at Ft.Washington
Michelle and her friend are into Lighthouses...