Jan 242010
The Two Hundredth Article!

Today marks the TWO HUNDREDTH article of this Around the World blog!!!

I began writing on July 27, 2009, meaning I’ve posted an average of about one article per day for all these seven months. Oooh these insatiable fingers!

Anyway, hooray! May there be many more articles to come, and may there continue to be wonderful readers like YOU. Let us use this joyous landmark for an overview update!

A.) An [...Read More!]

Jan 232010
Dalive Donations

Most of us from America have tossed our old clothes into a donation bin at some point.

Maybe you threw in that free tee shirt from your school spirit day four years ago.

Maybe your mother snatched those raggedy pants out of your closet and screamed, “Give these away now! I’m so sick of seeing you schlump around in them!”

Maybe you had to dump out an entire wardrobe after a miraculous weight [...Read More!]

Jan 222010
Beating Students with Canes

(Note: All photos for this article were obtained by walking to the closest school today and saying, “I’m an American teacher and have never seen a punishment cane. Can you show me how it works?” It may seem bizarre to be smiling in photos about corporal punishment, but here, the whole affair is discussed with levity.)

“How many of you were beaten with canes by your teachers TODAY?” I asked [...Read More!]

Jan 212010
Internet Access in Ghana's Volta Region

There are a whole lot of heart-warming, tear-jerking ways I could start this article, but let’s just begin like this: it’s really fun to do a photo shoot with an Edge USB Wireless Modem. (Gorgeous results pictured, left.)

And now let’s move on to business.

In Sogakope, just two hours from Ghana’s capital city of Accra, there are no telephone lines. This means that high-speed, low cost DSL internet is impossible.

So [...Read More!]

Jan 202010
Do's and Don'ts of Ghanaian English

Ghana’s official language may be English, but be prepared for looks of utter shock if you take certain words here in Ghana for their American meanings!

Here’s a handy guide of Do’s and Don’ts for a few Ghanaian phrases to keep you out of jail.

1.) “Flash me.”

DON’T: Yank up your shirt, wiggling your bare chest and screaming, “Throw me some Mardi Gras beads, baby!”

DO: Call the person on their cell [...Read More!]

Jan 192010
Cape Coast Slave Castle

It is true: seeing remnants of the brutal trans-Atlantic slave trade is an utterly different experience in Africa than in America.

Throughout our lives as Americans, we study slavery and its legacy, reading textbooks, going to museums, hearing guest speakers, writing reports, and seeing movies. It rips your heart out, but America must never stop remembering!

When you enter the doors of Cape Coast slave castle in Ghana, however, you realize: there [...Read More!]

Jan 182010
An Intro to Food in Ghana!

“Okay,” you may be saying, “youth organizations are all well and good… but what are you EATING in Ghana?”

Glad you asked! Here’s the crash-course intro to delicious Ghanaian food that I have gotten over the past ten days. Dig in…

1. There will be banku!

On your table, you will see (pictured, left):

a) A ball of soft corn/cassava/yam dough of clay-like mush-ability.

b) A bowl of water with liquid soap so you [...Read More!]

Jan 172010
The Incredible School of Rural Dalive

It is a scientific fact: when students take a leadership role in their own education rather than blindly swallowing a teacher’s “answers”, these students develop ownership, pride, and confidence in their learning, and the results are rich.

Similarly, in development work for impoverished communities, if the community seeking aid actually helps to diagnose and solve its own needs rather than being spoon-fed an outsider’s “solution”, the resulting projects become more wisely planned [...Read More!]

Jan 162010
Ghana Will Miss Efo Kwabla!

It is currently five in the morning: the time that most punctuality-abiding Boston Public Schools teachers and students arise each morning to make it to school on time.

Here in this mosquito-infested hotel in Accra, what on Earth awakes us at this shocking time? Alas, it is time to escort our dear efo (brother) to the airport!

Dan (born on a Tuesday, and thus called “Kwabla”, in Ewe) is the son of [...Read More!]

Jan 152010
The Tale of Kwame Peter

Seth (pictured in the white shirt) told us a funny true story tonight…

Noble YCC Treasurer, Seth, was sleeping peacefully in the guesthouse, when a young boy from town appeared at his door.

“Seth,” the little boy said (pronounced “Set”), “do you know where is Kwame Peter?”

“Huh?” said Seth, “There is no Kwame Peter living here. You have the wrong house.”

“No, no,” insisted the boy, “I know I saw Kwame Peter here! [...Read More!]