Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Made It To Hohoe

[Belated Post]

Well, all the work, all the patience, and all that time spent wondering if it would ever come to pass that I would land in my final spot has come to this: I am posting from within the community of Hohoe (pronounce that like ho-HOY) inside St. Francis' College of Education. This is the area that I will see day in and day out, and these are the people that I will be working with for the next two years in Ghana.

We got here by way of Bonsu College where all of the Peace Corps teachers were met by our counterparts at the institutions in which we will be teaching. Principles, Headmasters, and teaching counterparts were all there to meet and greet. I met the two that were from St. Francis and felt immediately at ease. It was a great start to the day, and later that night I went to the spot close by to the campus in Bonsu and shot the breeze with my fellow ICT teacher. Good stuff.

By Wednesday we were on the go. Seven adults forced and squeezed their way into a sport utility and made the trek to four campuses in the Volta region. I was the second stop, but even by that point my back was a bit achy from the rough roads we traversed along the way. Some roads were great, others weren't roads but rock and dirt and major gaps to navigate. Four hours after we started (at 5:15 mind you we got moving) I was unpacking and having my first encounter with the staff on campus.

So far I am impressed with everything that I am seeing. The campus here is quite nice and is well maintained. We are missing the students of course as this is the break period for the first and second-year students, but the third-year class is in session and about to go out into the teaching world. In a class of about 100 students I was introduced as the Peace Corps volunteer who will be teaching ICT for two years and the class was quite excited about the news. That was a nice cloud nine to ride for a while I must admit. The lab has a lot of computers and quite a few new ones waiting in the wings to be installed which is great. I will have to put some photos up soon to give the loyal readers some graphic representation of where I am here.

I am being shown around by one of the ICT teachers. He also teaches mathematics (shortened to 'maths' by all Ghanaians, and after thinking about it, it makes sense that it is plural given that mathematics is plural, but it sounds so strange to hear that word spoken) so I believe that my addition to the staff will relieve some of the load on the two teachers who deal in other subjects. My main counterpart is off reviewing and grading national exams in Kumasi. When I come back in August he and I will be reunited and off to plan lessons for the year.

For the past two days the school has treated me quite well, I have a unit that has two beds and a communal eating room but to date I have only seen one other person here in the bungalow with me. The food is great, the company is fine, and I have made a friend in the local feline who sees me as a table-scrap-giver of the best sort. That is what all domesticated animals do here by the way. There is no cat or dog food at market, you just feed them what you were just eating and they seem to do fairly well. This cat in particular likes kenkey and fish apparently.

So that is it. I won't know where I will live just yet, they are still making the arrangements here so upon my arrival in August I will settle down in the appropriate spot. I can hardly wait. I also have this sense that my Ewe will improve a bit when I can talk and interact with native speakers as opposed to in the class setting. We shall see. I am hopeful that my other volunteer friends are enjoying their stays as much as I am here.

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