Feb 052010
 
Unity and Help: The Lesson of the Tortoise

Chances are that you’ve heard the story of the tortoise and the hare before… at least you’ve heard ONE version of it.

In this classic Aesop folktale, the speedy, cocky hare challenges the slow-poke tortoise to a race, and the tortoise shockingly agrees.

The race begins!

Halfway through the competition, the hare becomes so overconfident at his giant lead that he takes a nap, dreaming of his glorious and easy victory.

When the hare awakes– [...Read More!]

Feb 042010
 
A Brilliant Method of Eating Mangoes

First: admit and submit to the glory of the mango. It is the best fruit ever.

Second: Yes, my skin is now a crispy shade of red-brown, as the photo to the lower right reveals. I can’t help it! The Ghanaian sun is literally GIANT sized here, and has the super-ability of crawling beneath hats, awnings, roofs, and sunscreen.

Oh little epidermis– keep trying your best to protect me and [...Read More!]

Feb 032010
 
How to Get a Custom-Made Dress for $15

Want a custom-made dress for just $7.50 for the fabric and $7.50 for the sewing, making a grand total price of just $15 U.S. dollars?

Just follow these simple steps!

1.) Fly to Ghana. (Don’t forget your visa and your vaccinations.) I told you this would be easy, right?

2.) Trot over to the nearest hectic, madly bustling outdoor market you can find.

In Sogakope, this market (pictured to the upper [...Read More!]

Feb 022010
 
An Extremely Important Point for Teachers

I looked at the list of words on the green chalkboard. For the past ten minutes, the sweet Ghanaian pupils of this Volta Region school had been raising their hands to share the words in their donated independent reading books that they did not understand.

Here were a few of those words:- Weirdest - Garbage- Massachusetts- Mallow-blaster cookie - Scarecrow - Arnold

I was mystified. These children in the Total Child [...Read More!]

Feb 012010
 
Stay at the Wonderful YCC Guesthouse!

Have you always been intrigued by the idea of a visit to Africa but are unsure about how to go about doing it?

Listen: if a seventy-one year old German woman who speaks just a few words of English can have a fabulous month-long volunteer stay here in Ghana, why can’t you?

You can be guaranteed a large and comfortable bed, a powerful and refreshing shower, scrumptious local food prepared for you at [...Read More!]

Jan 312010
 
A TV on the Head and a 30-Foot Pole on the Shoulder

I shrieked when I looked down the long dirt road and saw what Seth and Oliver were doing.

“You said it would be easy!” I screamed as I ran towards them. “You said it would be ‘no problem’ to move the TV here from the office! This is NOT easy!”

Perched precariously atop Seth’s grinning head was the massive television, jerking heavily with every step Seth took as he strode towards [...Read More!]

Jan 302010
 
African Cultural Values: Honoring Humanity

YCC’s Director, John, has given me some serious homework.

The task: to read African Cultural Values, by Kwame Gyekye, and then to devour the very hefty A History of Indigenous Slavery in Ghana, by Akosua Adoma Perbi, ultimately digesting all this new information into lessons to add to the curriculum of the twice-weekly Cross Culture class.

I accept this mission, sir! And thus I am halfway through the easier of the two [...Read More!]

Jan 292010
 
Ahh!!! A White Person!!!

“We don’t mean it to be rude at all,” explained YCC teacher Derrick, smiling his luminous smile, “it’s just, you know, it’s unusual to see a pale person, and so the people get excited.”

YCC’s Director, John, laughingly explained at YCC orientation that volunteers will begin to think there is a national song in Ghana that goes something like this: “YEVUUUU!”

What does this strange howl mean? The answer is easy: [...Read More!]

Jan 282010
 
An Update on the Ghana-Britain Student Exchange!

This Sunday, YCC’s Director, John, held another meeting with the parents of the young Ghanaians planning to voyage to Britain for three weeks in August for the return half of the wonderful educational exchange begun last year.

Several of you have asked for updates on this inspirational project, and a few of you (thank you again!) have even donated money through the Paypal button on this very site. I promise to [...Read More!]

Jan 272010
 
New Climate, New Cravings

Fellow volunteer Dan was on his fifth Coke of the day, I kid you not, when I finally asked him: “Is this how many sugar waters you chug back home in America?” (I may have added “you freak” to the end of this sentence.)

“Nope,” replied Dan with a (literally) sweet grin, “I never touch the stuff at home. But in Ghana, it’s heaven!”

Freak.

But wait– judge not, lest you be [...Read More!]