The Ghana Files: Extracurriculars

My students begin their day at approximately 5:00 AM, I can hear them outside my window with their buckets and their brooms scrubbing away. At 6:00AM they go for daily church service, and classes begin at 7:00AM. After a full day of classes, they can usually be found scrubbing some more until the evening when they are required to sit quietly and study from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.

On the weekends, there is usually some kind of special program happening on campus with visiting members from other churches. They get together to sing and pray and what have you. On top of that, there are a slew of extracurricular activities. A few weeks ago, there was a school-wide competition in volleyball, soccer and net ball (which is surprisingly similar to basketball, only without dribbling). Last weekend, there was a dance competition, which I was asked to judge. In Ghana they seem to understand the phrase “I don’t dance” as well as they understand the phrase “I don’t go to church.” These are both things that everyone just does… how can you not do these things? So of course I end up attending church services and judging dance competitions. My students even thought it would be fun if the judges were to get up and dance. So there I was, dancing in front of a crowd of 600 people. Pretty much my biggest fear! I have to say though, even though I can’t dance it still felt pretty good to face my fears. My students seemed to appreciate that I tried, they actually really got a kick out of it. They even told me that I did well.

Crossing the finish line. I came in last place, but it was so much fun!

The extracurricular activity this week was a track and field competition. There were foot races, long jumps, pole vaults and things of the sort. All of the students were competing with each other. At the end of the two-day competition, there was (of course) a staff race. Now, I am not a fast runner by any means, but I decided to join the race for giggles. It turns out I was the only woman who decided to race, so it was me versus seven men. I lost. Miserably. But I had a blast, and the students thought it was hilarious. This picture is of me crossing the finish line (even the dog beat me!)

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