Blog Post #6
Working every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6 am to 3 pm, teaching 4 different subjects on one day, looking after a class of kids, and helping with cooking and cleaning, I was once tired and frustrated, but at the end, I am more than grateful of this bumpy journey.
Teaching Grade 2 and KG 2 different subjects, I struggled at getting their attention at first. They were shy and did not dare to answer my questions. However, as time goes on, they started to reveal themselves, and each one of them is distinct, colorful, and lovely. Through them, I learned how to encourage younger children (grade 2 and KG 2) to communicate with me and how to communicate better when both the children and myself are bilingual.
At the end of the journey, I found myself caring them less as a teacher but more as a mom, which some of the kids call me. Some of them are really talented, smart, and could do big things for this country. I really hope that the NGOs that aims to discover children who are talented could identify them and educate the area that they are good at. For that purpose, I would like to address some of the children I found overwhelmingly smart and talented in their own way at the end of the blog post. Before that, I want to share my time in the kitchen with you. How to make BANKU:
After serving the children, I washed more than half of the school’s dish, and Taryn and Nate joined to finish the other dishes. Auntie Rose (the cook) carries a lot of responsibility every day, cooking, serving, and cleaning the dishes for the kids and faculty. She told me that she learned how to cook in a cooking school and before she was working for a public school, but because she is a relative to the landowner, she started working here full time. I enjoyed having conversations with her and learned cooking three different kinds of traditional Ghanaian dishes from her.
All the children are so distinct and colorful:
Ernestina Ataa Onyina
Ernestina is a special one. On the first day, when all the other students told me what they want to study at university, she told me that she does not want to go to college. As the days go by I found her extremely smart and intelligent but not in a conventional way. She may not have the highest grade, but she has character and knows what she wants. She is one of the coolest kid in class and some of the girls would listen to her.
Haligale Elorm Phidelis
I care about him more than the other children in the school because he is bullied for his autism. I taught his classmates why they should not laugh at him and “punished” those who did, but the classmates started to bully him discretely. I was just treating him like a normal child the first day, and he came up to me, put his mouth close to my mouth, and started talking loudly to me (he normally does not talk at all). Every time he sees me, his eyes shine. When I left school after six weeks, the students were not bullying him anymore, but I worry that after a while, they will forget and he will be bullied again.
Alexander Gilbert Wiredu
He is smart. He is the academically smartest child I met in the school. He understands and learns quickly, and has his own understanding about things happening around. Good at Math and Science.
Sama Appiah Kubi Aghecs
In a classroom of Christians, she is the only Muslim. The children and teacher sometimes make fun of her because of that, but she is a really nice child, persistent and hardworking.
Michael Osei Kwaku Kwarteng
He has the brightest smile! I love him. He is such a nice and kind-hearted child.
Ampofo Bonsu Nana Gerald
He is the brightest kid in KG2. He has character and academically smart too. He has potential in him.
All of the kids are distinct and beautiful in their own way. I would love to see who they turn out to be in their future! In the meantime, I would never forget them shouting “AUNTIE LIDAN” every day after school upstairs just to wave me goodbye, them running downstairs just to high-five with me, and their bright smile when I told them I would come one more day. These bright children warmed my heart in every way possible and I will miss them dearly.
More about Banku:
Annan-Prah, A., D. H. A. K. Amewowor, J. Osei-Kofi, S. E. Amoono, S. Y. Akorli, E. Saka, and H. A. Ndadi. “Street foods: handling, hygiene and client expectations in a World Heritage Site Town, Cape Coast, Ghana.” African Journal of Microbiology Research 5, no. 13 (2011): 1629-1634.
|Eric Amuquandoh, Francis, and Ramos Asafo-Adjei. “Traditional food preferences of tourists in Ghana.” British Food Journal 115, no. 7 (2013): 987-1002.|
Fung, Jessica, Bernard Keraita, Flemming Konradsen, Christine Moe, and Maxwell Akple. “Microbiological quality of urban-vended salad and its association with gastrointestinal diseases in Kumasi, Ghana.” International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health 4, no. 2-4 (2011): 152-166.
Tulashie, Samuel Kofi, Amponsah Preko Appiah, George Dzidefo Torku, Albert Yaw Darko, and Augustus Wiredu. “Determination of methanol and ethanol concentrations in local and foreign alcoholic drinks and food products (Banku, Ga kenkey, Fante kenkey and Hausa koko) in Ghana.” International Journal of Food Contamination 4, no. 1 (2017): 14.