Ghana Fellows with their Teach for Ghana teachers
July 1st: After a long few days of travel, tomorrow I arrive in Accra, Ghana. I can’t believe this day is finally here!
July 2nd: The adventure has begun! After everyone had arrived in the airport, we drove to our “base” in Ashesi University. I am settling in and trying to adjust to the change in weather, time and topography. I have 3 roommates; 2 from the USA and 1 from England. Tomorrow, we will meet the “Teach for Ghana Fellows” we will help train and visit the school were we will do our coaching and observations.
July 4th: Today we met our Teach for Ghana fellows. I admit to being a little nervous as I didn’t know if I could truly be of service to these new teachers. Despite my nerves, the night was magic; the welcome we were given was unbelievable. They greeted us with high fives, hugs and cheers. In that moment there was such joy in the air, joy in the hope these young teachers will bring to their country. At dinner we got to know them and share our questions. The conversation was lively and, as the evening ended, I couldn’t help but feel that I am in the right place at the right time. This is what the profession of teaching is all about: seeing the joy of learning in another person and having that joy spread to yourself.
July 6th: Today we were up at dawn so that we could go to local schools to do observations. When we reached Ketase School in a small village we were introduced to the Lead Teacher; soon after, the bell rang, and children marched to their classrooms to the beat of a drum. There is no fancy equipment, just the bare walls, wooden bench desks and a white board on the wall. I watched several Teach For Ghana Fellows deliver their lessons to students; despite having only been teaching for a few weeks and having limited resources available, I was very impressed. These young Teach for Ghana Fellows are the hope for a brighter future for their students and I am so thankful to play a small role in training them.
July 8th: Today I made the trip down the hill and into town alongside my roommates and a few other LRTT global volunteers. Once you reach the town there are small shops, food stands, a police station, health station and daycare center, a library as well as small houses that line the dirt road. We met some of our Teach For Ghana Fellows with some of their students. Tired, we made the long trip back up the hill to our base, just in time for dinner.
July 12th: Last weekend was a busy one. We left at 7am on Saturday to go to the rainforest, and then on Sunday had time for shopping and a visit to Elmina Castle — one of the slave forts that was the last place where my ancestors saw their homeland. I tried not to look down as I walked across 7 rope bridges to climb to the canopy of the rainforest — but the view was unbelievable. The visit to Elmina Castle was undoubtedly one of the most moving experiences of my life; we walked the steps and stood in the dark, airless rooms where slaves were packed together tightly as they awaited their fate. We were reminded that even in this day and age, the evil trade in human lives persists. This is truly proving to be a trip of a lifetime and is something I will never forget.
“I am so honoured to be a part of this movement.”
July 13th: The Fellowship has moved at a fast pace; on Wednesdays, school starts with worship and I have never heard so much joyful singing and dancing. After worship, my Teach For Ghana fellow taught a 60 minute class to 5th graders on verbs and adverbs — she did an excellent job of keeping the students engaged. I am so honoured to be a part of this movement.
July 20th: My stay here in Ghana is coming to a close with only a few more days left. Today I went to another local school with three other LRTT summer fellows to do a workshop on math and literacy for 11 of the primary school teachers. We had a wonderful time teaching them new songs, educational games and methods that will help their students learn. This week I also observed my fellows teach for the last time and I can’t believe how much they have grown in their teaching practice. Saying goodbye to these amazing young people is proving harder than I thought it would. We have grown close and I am invested in their futures as people and teachers; I hope to stay in contact with them and hear about their progress.
July 21st: I am mostly packed and it is almost time to leave Accra. Ghana has taught me so much; the people here are deeply religious and while many don’t have a lot of material possessions, they are kind and generous. It is their hope, joy and kindness that I will take home with me.
July 22nd: On the last day we were in Ghana, the Team Leaders asked us to write messages to the other Fellows, to be opened when we were on our planes. I tucked the messages written to me away in my suitcase, struggling to open them because I didn’t want my journey to end. Growth comes from reaching past what you think you can do to discover all the possibilities that wait just beyond your sight. Some day soon I will find a quiet spot and open my sweet messages from all the strangers who became family and then I will start to plan my next adventure.
Written by Linda Ashe-Ford
Grow as an educator leading teaching training abroad this summer. 🌍