“Then I moved to Ghana and I consider that home. Whenever I’m away from Ghana, I feel that I am traveling. While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man's humanity to man.” – Maya Angelou
Improving man’s humanity to man… The teachers and students at E.P. Primary certainly epitomize this! As we walk onto the school grounds, one of the teachers, Lena whom teaches the cultural dancing and singing, leaves her classroom and greets us with open arms. As Vida, the school head greeted us, she states with a broad teasing smile, “We have been impatiently awaiting your arrival.” She then promptly proceeded to call some of the PTA to the school, each teacher stopped in to greet us, and the entire school poured out of the classrooms as the drum was beat, jumping up and down with excitement to see us- literally! We then were given the treat of cultural dancing by a group of the kids dressed is the rainbow of brilliant fabrics, dancing barefoot in the rock and dirt filled schoolyard. At one point toward the end, apparently quite unexpectedly and unusual, one of the male teachers joined the dancers and all 650+ of us burst into laughter. If only we could bottle this and share it… the healing medicine could cure ...
E.P. Primary School is being matched with St. Andrews School in Savannah and Barnwell Elementary in Alpharetta, Georgia. We begin one of these exchanges tomorrow.
A meandering walk through winding paths, jumping rocks over creeks shaded by banana trees and elephant ears, through mud huts, past schools, homes, and many side street vendors… pouring sweat from the sweltering sun beating down on us, we arrive at Prince of Peace.
Whitney is swept away by Rose Tege, her fellow teacher from three years ago. Rose takes her around to see the school, her husband, and reunite with her kids. Her students have grown considerably since she has seen them, and even since I last saw them in February. There is about a third of her original class left. Precious runs up and wraps her arms around her waste. Ethel has her sweet shy smile, quintessential Ethel, which does not leave her face while we are in her presence. As Whitney gets swept around the rest of the school, Nick gets a break from filming and basks in the power of something so very simple, tiny hands all over his hands, and swarms of children vying for their space in the camera and the laughter that abounds after they see their pictures. It is obvious each person’s heart is full, and the heat is replaced by the cool comforts provided by the power of connection that we have come here for to bridge for the children back home. I take a seat in the shade and laugh with the little ones that all giggle after attempts to pronounce their names even when the pronunciation was correct.
Prince of Peace is being paired with CT Walker Magnet School in Augusta, Georgia whom has connected already twice with this same class. Thank you notes and letters will be passed on this Friday. Mrs. Brisco’s 1st graders at Stevens Creek Elementary School, also from Augusta, cards will also be passed on this Friday.