This past Saturday was the closing ceremony at the college. All the students gathered in the church on campus and we heard from various staff on what the students had accomplished and what they might wish to try harder on next year. I really enjoy the Senior House Master when he delivers the list of, "those, ... who must be punished." There is a lot of work given as punishment for rules infractions and I think the students actually enjoy hearing him announce it. During the assembly he had quite the list of student names who refused to do work when they were summoned too earlier in the week. My suspicion is they quickly got their jobs done so they could leave the campus and head home.
By Saturday night the campus was empty and it was very quiet across the grounds. There were some students who were left but I would say upwards of 95% were gone by 2 or 3 in the afternoon. You do not need to ask them twice to head home. This was the first time that I felt a little gloomy for the break. Before, during the school year, I would actually anticipate the students departure so I could have some quiet time and get a few things done in the computer lab or elsewhere. Now I feel like some of the people that I liked to talk to and chat with are gone for a good long while. It is a different feeling for certain.
As with all things though, they must come to an end some time. With their departure came the arrival of two friends from the states who wanted to pay a visit. Steve and Aaron arrived on Monday of this week to spend a fortnight (some times an entire blog post is spent just so I can use the term fortnight) here in Hohoe. It has been great fun so far.
I forgot that when I got here I was gently eased into the culture with Peace Corps help and guidance. When they both arrived at the airport I was there to greet them, welcome them, and then get them right into the middle of culture shock an hour after they arrived. In hindsight, putting them into the thicket of humanity at the station to board the tro-tro was not the best idea. People everywhere, me trudging forward and avoiding the barkers who keep asking, "Where are you going!?", getting to the right tro and trying to reduce the luggage feel to something much more reasonable may have been overwhelming.
We had a good time, and I think they survived the ordeal nicely. Long plane rides followed by long tro rides are difficult at best to handle, so given that they were still smiling on the following morning seemed to me to be a good sign. I suspect we will be visiting of few of the touristy places around the area so maybe I can get around to updating my picture album soon to show off some of the sites. It is great to have good friends come here and reminds me how much life has changed for me in the past year.
More updates to follow we hope.