Wednesday, 6 June 2012

"The Short Good Friday"

So I've been living in Ghana for a month now and it's absolutely flown by. 

School is still going well - the lessons move at a good pace and there's always a very positive atmosphere around the place. Even marking English homework throws up plenty of smiles. Whilst going through exercises where the students had to write a letter to a friend, I came across some wonderful introductions such as : "To set the ball rolling, I hope you are as fit as a fiddle and swimming in the pool of happiness" along with, "I hope you are drinking from the cup of Mr Healthy."

We finish school an hour earlier on Fridays - a point that the students are not unaware of - and generally the final hour is filled with lots of noise, running around and general contagious excitement. This Friday my duties too, it seemed, became suitably relaxed. With marking and teaching over for the week, I ended up with students at the keyboard, trying to remember some of the pieces I play back home, whilst using the excuses: "None of the Es seem to be working on this keyboard" and "it's not long enough" in order to mask my considerable shortcomings. This was immediately followed by a wander into the heaving playground, shaking yet more hands, and ending up doing kick-ups and general ball 'skills'  - greeted with undeserved applause and cheers - surrounded by dozens of baying children. A good end to a week.

On Saturday I was lucky enough to go to a Ghanaian wedding - Moses, a teacher at the school, was getting married in the nearby town of Ejisu. So having dressed up in a suitably Ghanaian way (Eric was kind enough to lend me one of his African design shirts), we hopped on a tro-tro and before we knew it the ceremony was in full swing. The service was all in Twi so perhaps I'm not the best person to give a detailed analysis on the wording of the vows or on the personal relevance of the hymns. But it didn't matter because it was a feast for all the senses. Bright colours everywhere, patterns of every description, microphones (with the compulsory feedback issues), loudspeakers and music galore. At regular intervals guests could and would get up and dance up at the front, waving their handkerchiefs, twirling around and generally doing anything they possibly could to send the temperature and humidity shooting up off the scale. All in all it was a day to remember…

Ghanaian Vehicle Moment of the Week: To add even more excitement to a morning's rounds in the school minibus, someone placed a distressingly large gas canister marked 'Extremely Flammable" underneath my seat.

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