Day 24 – Elyse

 

So long Sankofa Basic School. Tomorrow is a holiday, Africa day, so today was our last day at school. When we arrived at school in the morning the kids weren’t doing too much in class so we walked around and took some pictures with the kids and then went back to the house for lunch. We went back after lunch with the plan to help teach some classes but the kids had something else in mind for the afternoon. All the kids were lined up with machetes in hand. Six year olds, holding machetes with the plan to use them. David had instructed most of the boys and some of the older girls to go to the new schoolyard and cut down trees and to cut the grass.

It amazes me how common and acceptable it is here for six year olds to have and use machetes without any adult supervision. Back in North America a parent would be reprimanded for bad parenting and the child may use the machete for more than cutting grass. Some say that the media doesn’t affect how children act but from seeing how nonviolent these kids were with machetes you can see that media must play a part and also the way we raise our kids affects how violent they are. In Ghana the children are taught that machetes are a tool and are taught how to use them properly but in North America, children are taught that they are a weapon and can see from the media how to use it to hurt someone.

Anthony taught Michelle how to cut the grass with the machete and we played games and played with some of the other kids.

We spent the night preparing for our party for the kids the next day and reflecting on our last day at school. It was really sad to think that we wouldn’t be at the school any more. As hard and frustrating as it sometimes was, it was also a lot of fun. All the kids were so wonderful and so bright. They loved us helping them and I loved spending time with them. At times I wasn’t sure how much we were able to help them by standing in front of 20 kids who didn’t speak my language and by not having any material to actually teach them other than my knowledge in the back of my head but I think they really enjoyed having us there. Some of us were able to use our skills that we have that some of the teachers don’t have, like being able to teach French or to teach about computers, and we were able to connect with the kids and hopefully help them in some way or another. I think that by even just chatting with us and having us help them read they were able to gain even just a little more about English. I also thought more today about how I, as an individual is able to help the kids in the orphanage. The in and out flow of volunteers into these kids lives and the short time spent with them makes it hard to commit and make a connection. But these kids seem to receive better resources for learning English, receive more donations, and are better fed and healthier than most of the kids in the village because of the volunteers and help that David receives. I want to continue to work with David to provide more resources for the kids for the future.

 

It was a great last day spent with the kids and I can’t believe there is only one more day in Eguafo.

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