Stocking and Songs

“Make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!”
- Amanda Bradley -

Last week we got started with EP Primary Ho-Bankoe Class 4A. They are paired with Summit Charter School 3rd who sent them Christmas stockings, Easter Baskets, and Envelopes woven with strips of construction paper and containing a letter and picture depicting their favorite holiday. We showed the kids how to create the weavings but that was all we had time for that day. We left the supplies with their teacher and many of the kids completed their woven envelope before we returned. Our focus for today’s visit was the creating the letters to put in the envelopes. The kids were excited to share with their friends in the U.S. The older kids feel a direct connection with the kids they are writing to, and there is a strong desire for even more connection. “Please, I want to go and visit our friends in the U.S.,” a number of them cornered and asked us. They really want the opportunity to be able to meet their friends face-to-face. Hopefully technology will be the next step. The computer lab at EP Primary Ho-Bankoe is now wired for internet service. The next step is to actually get it working!

Today we also finished up with a number of the other classes whose projects had two parts. For two of the Classes, 4B and 5B, paired with Cliff Valley Grade 4 and 5, respectively, we had taken photos of the kids during our previous visit and were bringing back the developed pictures so they could add them to their projects. They looovvveee to see printed photos of themselves and love to share photos of themselves with their friends in the U.S. They also love it when the U.S. kids include photos of themselves. They are so curious about what their U.S. friends are doing in the pictures, what they are wearing, what they are like. They ask us so many questions about the children that we cannot answer. We are just scratching the surface on their curiosity and desire to learn about their friends in the U.S. With the photos, we were also reminded that the kids here do not use glue very often. Even the older kids end up with glue on everything. We had to be very careful to not let the projects stick to each other or let the cards glue shut.

With Class 5A, paired with St. Andrews School Grade 5 and 6 Choir, we were back in the classroom to record the songs they wanted to share with their friends in the U.S. Most of the songs are in Ewe, their local language, so we still have some work to do to see if we can get translations in English. But even if we don’t, their friends in the U.S. will love hearing their voices and melodies. As we likely mentioned, the Ghanaian kids love to sing! And many are not shy about it. Today, one girl who was putting the words to another song on her letter to her U.S. friend broke out in a solo to sing us the song.

For Class 5B, we were also back in their classroom to finish the mural portion of their project. Last time we worked with them on individual letters and drawings for their U.S. friends. This time they created a beautiful mural. Their friends in the U.S. sent them a Thankful Tree mural. They evolved the tree theme by depicting it holding the world. Their design was based on a beautiful essay and drawing one of the students had done that talks about how important trees are to the environment and to life in our world. They called it Akbe Fe Ati, the Tree of Life. On the leaves, each student expressed something they love to celebrate about life. Their leaves included friends, family, festivals, art, peace, love, nature, and more. It is beautiful. The teacher was so proud of his students, and when a teacher from another class saw it, she said “We want to do that next time!”

It was a busy day at EP Primary Ho-Bankoe and a beautiful one too. We are finding it hard to believe that today was our last day in the classroom at EP-Ho. Luckily we have some other reasons to return there over the next few days. And luckily there was still time for fun at recess!