Kumasi Teacher Blog
Thursday 23rd October
We're really excited, as we're about to book our seats on our flights. We've just seen our intinerary for the week and have lots of fun things in store!
See if you can locate Ghana on Google Earth!
How many miles will Mrs Fox, Mrs Fesnoux and Miss Sopp travel?
Friday 24th October
Arrived safely in Accra after a 6 hour flight and a hair-raising taxi drive from the airport. The Highway Code doesn't seem to exist here! Kwame and another teacher, Thomas, were here to meet us.
Saturday 25th October
Today we woke up and had a lovely breakfast outside in the sun. We then went to a small market where they sold textiles, jewellery and souvenirs. Miss Sopp was shown how to play a musical instrument and despite her musical talent, she might need some more practice!
At midday we set off for Kumasi and travelled with Kwame and Thomas on a VIP coach. The journey took 5 hours and most of the road was smooth. We passed local communities and trades men and women who are able to carry their produce on their heads without using their hands!
Lovely to see you've arrived safely !! Enjoy and keep blogging!
Sunday 26th October
Well, Mrs Ford, it was about 27 degrees and quite humid. We started our day by looking around the school. It seems very weird that we're going to be there tomorrow with 70 children in each class.
Afterwards, we visited Kwame's home, where we met his wife and daughter. Very cute! From there, we went to Lake Bosomtwe, the largest lake in Ghana. Some local children volunteered to show us some cocoa pods growing on the trees, after we had shown an interest in some cocoa beans that were drying in the sun.
On the way home we listened to the commentary from the Chelsea-Manchester United match in Twi. Every now and again we would catch a player's name that we recognised.
We're really looking forward to going into school tomorrow; we have lots to tell and show them.
The pictures are amazing!! Really looking forward to hearing about the school day in Ghana! Mrs Lord x
Monday 27th October
We've had an exhausting, but fascinating, day. The children and staff were so pleased to see us; we felt like royalty! As soon as we walked through the school gates, all the children cheered.
After a welcome from the headteacher and staff, we observed assembly and had to introduce ourselves to the whole school. From there, we spent the rest of the school day in the lower school, telling them about a typical Malmesbury day (thank you very much to Oak Class and Ellis in particular, for the lovely letter). We observed some of their lessons, read a story and taught them some English songs.
Later on we were taken to Kumasi Central Market, the largest market in West Africa, where we bought some lovely fabrics, including Kente cloth. It was incredibly busy and full of stalls selling everything from washing-up liquid to traditional Ghanaian outfits.
Wow! It looks as amazing as I imagined! Nice to see Miss Sopp shopping away. The fabric she bought looks beautiful. I can hardly wait to see it in person.
What has been your favourite food so far?
Was it overwhelming being in classrooms that had so many children in them?
I hope you have another great day tomorrow and look forward to your next update!
Miss Gunderson x
Tuesday 28th October
Thank you Miss Gunderson for your questions. Our favourite food we have tried so far has been the fried plantain because it is a mixture of both savoury and sweet. We have decided that our high point of our trip so far, is how polite, well mannered and eager to learn all of the children are.
We began our day at 7.30am by walking to the school and again being greeted by many happy faces. We observed teaching in years 4, 5 and 6 and were able to see some clear similarities between the learning in the Opoku Ware school to that of Malmesbury Primary School. We then taught the year 5 class a song called Mr Miller and the children loved the the actions for playing the trombone! We all read out some of the letters that year 6 had written to the children. Although it was a lot of information for them to understand they wrote back immediately and we are happy to say we have an envelope full of letters for the school to read.
Wednesday 29th October
Thank you for your great feedback to our blog. Yes, that is the headteacher and yes, it is Kente cloth, so full marks, Mrs Ford! Mrs Lord, some great questions. Most of the children live locally, but some have to travel and many walk by themselves, even very young children.
So, our day started a little differently from how we expected it to, because all government workers are now on indefinite strike action due to problems with pensions. However, the Headteacher, staff and PTA decided that we needed to see a little bit more of Ghana, as we weren't able to get into school, so they picked us up from our hotel at 5am to visit a monkey sanctuary and waterfalls!
It was a long and very hot and bumpy journey, but well worth the effort. The monkeys live in the forest around the village and are protected due to local beliefs. They are very friendly and inquisitive, especially if you happen to have some bananas!
We then travelled to the Kintampo Falls, along an even bumpier road! At one point we thought we might have to get out and push. The Falls were stunning and very refreshing after our hot journey. A meal of Kenkey, fried fish and chilli sauce (cooked by the Headteacher at 3:00 this morning!) finished off our cultural experience.
Thursday 30th October
Last day in Kumasi! Today began at a more reasonable time. Kwame met us at the hotel and we travelled together to Manhyia Palace Museum, residence of the King of the Asante. We had a tour of the museum where we learned a little bit of the history of the Asante kingdom.
From there we went to the National Cultural Centre where there was an excellent craft market. Tonight we have been invited by the Headteacher and staff to a dinner and are very much looking forward to it. Tomorrow we will be flying back to England after a week of eye-opening experiences. We can't wait to tell you all about it!
When we exchanged our money, we were able to get 5 cedis for each pound. How many cedis can you see? (the coins total 0.8 cedis). How much is the equivalent in pounds and pence? See if you can be the first person to tell Miss Sopp the right answer on Monday.
It has been wonderful reading all about your exciting experiences. You must have so many amazing memories! I can't wait to hear even more about your Ghanaian adventure on your return to Malmesbury.