Friday, May 29, 2009

Quick Update

Well the trip is almost over and this is the first time I have had a chance to sit down and post; that about sums up how busy we have been! In brief, we have painted a school, worked with children with and without disabilities, fed and provided first aid to street children, talked about disability culture with people with and without disabilities, given an inservice on how to adapt self-care, school and play materials for children with "special needs" and I even made a sock aid out of an old water bottle. Everyone in the group is healthy albiet a bit worn out. We will be enjoying a much deserved day at the beach tomorrow along with a bit more shopping at the crafts market. The computer here does not like my flash drive so I cannot post any pics but we will all have lots to share once we get back. Here's hoping for safe and easy travels on Monday and a smooth transition back to western culture so I can be ready to teach on the 3rd! Just in case I am still running on Ghana time when I get back our group came up with a translation sheet:

5 minutes= 15-20 minutes
10 minutes = 45 minutes
I am there= 20 minutes
I am ready, I am bringing it, or I will come = ~30 minutes
I'll be right back or I am just going to the next villiage= 45 minutes-1 hour
I am in the traffic = 10 minutes- 2 hours
I am fixing the car= you should probably take a taxi
It is finished= never

Wow, you've just gotta love Ghana!

Monday, May 18, 2009

In less than 24 hours...

In less than 24 hours we will be on our way to Ghana to start this little adventure. Yes, I am a little anxious but mostly I am just very excited to be back in the country. I can't wait to buy my first loaf of sweet bread and juicy pineapple that you eat with your fingers. I am actually looking forward to hearing the morning sounds of Ghana, the chickens and the call to prayer. I am excited to see old friends and make new friends. Most of all I am excited to see Ghana through the eyes of my students, to watch how the country affects them. I'm sure we will all be challenged in ways that you cannot be wholly prepared for, but I am confident that this will be a wonderful experience. Ghana, here we come!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Did I mention that we collected 500 POUNDS of Books???

So our service project for this trip was to collect (and deliver) books to send to Sovereign Global Missions for their library and to build shelves for the library once we were in country. The OT honor society, Phi Theta Epsilon, raised over $800 to pay for shipping costs and materials to build the shelves. The students going on the trip then went to work collecting books in around VCU and in the Richmond community. And Yes! when we were all finished we had 30 (fairly large) boxes of books, approximately 500 pounds worth.

It was quite an event sorting the books, packing the boxes, and wrapping the boxes for shiping. The students worked hard though (with pizza as an incentive!) and we managed to get everything packed and ready to go in about 2 hours.

While I know the books came from many sources, I would like to thank the parents and teachers at Lynwood Holton Elementary school, members of the Ginter Park United Methodist Church, the students, staff and faculty at VCU, and the staff and customers at Mango Hair Salon in Richmond who donated so many books to our cause.

Here are some pictures of our book boxing party:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

2 weeks and counting....

Ok, so I really cannot bug my student too much about not posting on their blogs when I have been so wretched about keeping up with mine. Seriously, we are only 2 weeks away and there is so much going on that it is hard to focus on the trip. So...I will provide the highlights:

Everyone has their passports and 5/6 of us have our visas

Plane tickets are purchased

500 pounds of books (yes 500 pounds!) are on a freighter on their way to Ghana already- Thank you everyone who made donations!!!

We have 2 "Macgyver Kits" ready to go thanks to our Grad II students- these will be used to make adaptations and mobility equipment for children with disabilities.

We have hotel rooms (I think)

They know we are coming (for sure)

Ok, I am definately getting excited; Ghana here we come!