As we have come to the end of our missions for 2012, I hope you have enjoyed seeing and hearing about the people of Ghana. There are three more blogs from team members and I have plenty of stories to tell over the next several weeks. Tonight I want to share the Reading Camp from one of our teens, Josh McDaniel. Our teens, 14 years old, each raised $3,100 to come teach children. Some gave up family vacations. They have worked hard, played hard, loved children and all of them are returning to the states changed. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know them. I shed quite a few tears today as they left.
My trip to Africa by Josh McDaniel
My trip to Africa has proven to be quite the experience. I have learned many things, such as pure intentions can have unintended and unfortunate side effects, that language barriers can be easily overcome when one stops speaking with words and uses their body, and that jet lag can make a morning person out anybody.
The second we touched down in Accra I expected to see a dry, arid dessert, where buildings are scarce. But to my surprise (and great relief), I saw an extremely vast city. It has been humid, overcast, and rainy the entire trip!
The whole reason I’m here, the reading camp, is the main topic of this article. The expression of absolute joy on the children’s faces when we arrive will stick with me the rest of my life. The second you get off the bus, you are bombarded with wave after wave of children running over to you, holding your hands, your arms, your legs, climbing on you. They argue in rapid-fire Ga and Twei over the limited space left on me to hold on to, yelling ball, football, wanting to play soccer before classes begin.
The kids are so delightful; they can be rough and grabby with each other as well as us. They are generally polite and respectful toward us; and they love to learn! They want to be taught; school is exciting to them! Their enthusiasm toward education is unmatched compared to American children, as well as myself. They always try their hardest and do what they can; their ambition surprises me.
It’s a shame , though, that we are here only for a week; I will miss the children dearly. We taught them a new poem and red them a book every day we were here, and even the supposedly challenging kids caught on really fast. They took home 5 books at the end of the week. Every day at lunch I’d serve the kids and chase chickens away. Roosters are really fast.
I leave here with the feeling of accomplishment knowing I’ve done something good.