Day 3 – December 31st, 2012
Amazing Welcome Event at Akoanso School
Although today is New Year’s Eve and Akoanso School has been out of session for Winter Break for several days, we were invited to a special welcome event at the village square of Akoanso, which was well prepared by Faustina, teachers, and students from Akoanso School during the break. We were so amazed and entertained by the event and impressed by the hospitability that we didn’t realize that the programs actually took three and a half hours. When we arrived around 10:30 in the morning, about 150 people waiting all waved to us with huge, welcoming smiles. The kids were way too cute! They huddled together in neat, white school t-shirts -with matching socks. They looked at us, probably confused by these foreign-looking people, and I could see hope and curiosity shone in their big smiling eyes. “Yay, high five!” Then the kids all ran over and excitedly posed for our cameras. Some of them even took over my phone and camera to record the show for me.
The group dances, mini-debate (Who is more important: the farmer or the doctor?) A nativity skit, “quizbowl”, and spontaneous Azonto dancing by kids totally impressed everyone. Members of the audience came up to put cedis (Ghanaian currency) on children’s heads and tucked inside their shirts as a sign of appreciation for their show. During the spontaneous dance session, we were coerced to come to stage to join them. People were all rocking out and dancing together bonded us well. After the event, many local people came to interact with us. Although the language barrier is a problem and we have a packed schedule, we will definitely want to get to know these lovely people better later! We will be wandering around for a while.
Food, Food… Fufuu!
After our bumpy ride in the Hulk to the eco-lodge, we found something going on outside the kitchen. We were going to have fufuu: pounded plantains and cassava. It is a popular dish of Ghanaian cuisine. It was the first time for us to see it. Some of us rolled up sleeves and tried the seemingly chill pounding chilling work, but sorry just epic funny fail. And it tasted so good! We cut some with our hands, dipped it in the delicious soup, and swallowed but not chewed. Yaw pointed out that we can chew if we want because “Nobody has any business in your mouth.” This meal totally made our day, but there is only more fun to come today! Also, we have discovered that food in general makes our team happy.
Walk, interviews, and a welcomed stranger!
After lunch, we separated into two groups, took a walk around Akoanso, and conducted interviews with eight families. They helped us get deeper insight into what we can do for them, such as adding a playground and supplying textbooks. All the parents we interviewed believed strongly in the value of education. They were truly thankful and by the end of the day we had learned a new word: Yedaase (we thank you).
After a long day of interviews and surveying the area, we met a stranger! The important thing to note is that he was super drunk but very charming. He came up to us and followed us all around for hours until we finally agreed to sit down for a drink with him. Free Guinness, and premium local beer. In addition to the drinks, the generous stranger committed to paying school fees for several children in the community currently unable to afford it themselves. When asked whether it was okay to accept the gifts from the tipsy stranger, Isaac commented “a drunk man’s money is just as green as someone else’s.” True. “If you don’t tell the truth, I will catch you!” he warned as he asked around for where we are from.
New Year’s Eve!
With loud music booming from the Hulk (DJ Hanstar) all the way to Cape Coast, we are ready to welcome the New Year at the Oasis Beach Resort. Lively music, drinks, beach bonfire, fireworks, so many people, so much dancing, we are ready for the New Year and…
(Yedaase: Fante for we thank you)