Sorry for the lack of updates – our last days in Ghana have been hectic and sans Internet.
Thursday was our community service project about an hour north of Accra. Originally, we thought we were painting a computer room, but plans changed and we were helping a mason and bricklayer work on a new library for the students.
When we arrived, the students, a few hundred strong and ranging in age from 5-15, were outside playing or eating snacks. Right when our bus pulled up, the smaller children gathered around and waved. Our jobs included mixing and hauling concrete and moving and lifting brick.
The construction process in Ghana is painstakingly slow – because large loans are mostly inaccessible, building is done one piece at a time whenever funds are available. The library were were working on was missing a few walls and a roof, we were working on the front face of the upper section. The building materials were highly suspect as well. Each time I lifted a brick, a bit of the material would fall off into dust.
The schoolrooms themselves were overcrowded, unbearably hot, and severely lacking in basic equipment. There seemed to be only one bathroom for all the students, and it’s sanitary quality was less than desirable. The kids were all determined to learn, though, so they make the best of what they’ve got. We delivered some notebooks and stationary to the headmaster to give to one of the classes.
As we worked, children would come up and introduce themselves and talk to us. That alone gave me enough energy to keep working despite the heat and how much like death I still felt. I thought about how many times we used to complain about our school district back in high school, and how ridiculous and ungrounded that really was.