Wednesday, June 16
Wake up. Say good morning to Gladys, the nice grandma I’m staying with. Say hi to Kofi, her grandson who helps out around the house. He will probably insist on filling my water bottle or giving me some sliced fruit (washed and peeled, don’t worry Mom or CPGC).
Breakfast at Headmaster Samuel’s, made by his lovely wife Euphemia. Maybe an omelet and tea bread. Maybe oatmeal and bread with that French cheese that comes in packets and has a cow on the packaging.
School: Presby JHS (Junior High School)
Teach my first class, probably creative arts at the primary school. Remind the kids to look at what they’re drawing, not just draw what they think they see. Look at the million pictures kids are waving in my face and get excited by how excited they are.
Sit and read in the teachers’ office until they give me something to do. Make small talk with the other teachers. Hear about what they wish they could do and all the setbacks at the school. Wait out the rain, cause it’s probably raining.
Teach creative writing maybe, or lead a French learning game. If it’s the former, help the kids come up with a story they would enjoy writing about. If it’s the latter, the game will probably involve drawing or charades, and me speaking very slowly in both French and English because they have trouble with both.
Sit in on Mr. Isaac’s French class, or possibly Mr. Fred’s ICT (Information Computing Technology, or something like that). Find it interesting but maybe zone out a little.
Sit in the office and read for a bit.
Head to lunch at Euphemia’s. Maybe fufu and chicken stew, maybe banku and fish stew (various doughy grain dishes made of combinations of maize, plantain, and cassava).
Work on Theatre Spectacular, the play JHS is putting on in collaboration with the Junior Art Club. Go through lines a bit, then lead tongue twisters and exercises to loosen the kids up. Direct blocking and acting and help prompt lines.
Head home. Try not to get my legs covered in red dirt from the road.
Go for a run on the road along the beach. Wave at the people who stare at me. Wave extra at the kids screaming out “Obruni” and running after me. (Seriously, it’s like having my own marathon cheering section).
Shower and do laundry (by hand! the bane of my existence).
Dinner at Euphemia’s. Maybe watermelon and fried rice or stew. Maybe this thing I just ate that I think is called obolo (spelling?). It’s a sweet, pale doughy crescent made of maize, and you can eat it along with scoops of a tiny tiny fried fish they get from the river here.
Go to the internet café or watch an African movie at Euphemia’s. Last week I saw the Nigerian film “Buy Me a Rose.” I found the elevator music that accompanied the raucous pool party scene especially amusing.
Sit and talk with Gladys and Kofi, read, write in my journal. Maybe I’ll show them my pictures of my friends and family from home. Kofi will have some serious trouble picking out which one is me in pictures with my friends. First he’ll think I’m Emma, then Izzy, then Lizzy, and in another one Jamie. We all look the same to him.