Written by Allison Grass, Class of 2012
Greetings from Winneba, Ghana. I am two weeks into my eight week student teaching placement in Ghana, Africa. I wanted to take a moment to send out a quick update and give you a glimpse into the daily life of our team.
Our day starts bright and early as we begin our three mile walk to school at 6:30 a.m. While it can be a long and humid walk, it is one of the most peaceful times of the day. We get to watch the sunrise and the city come to life. We also get to visit with our favorite shop owners that we’ve built relationships with along the way. We arrive at school around 7:30 a.m. and begin morning exercises with our students. Each child has a chore that they are responsible for completing before the morning assembly where they have a time of prayer and worship. Even though it is a public school, they still take time to worship God every morning. After prayer, the drums come out and the students march off to class where they study a variety of subjects similar to that of an American school. This being said, there are many stark differences. First of all, I have 80 6th grade students packed into one room ranging in ages from 10-17. We have very limited teaching resources, and we often have guest appearances from lizards and rats. Despite these factors, the students love to learn. Their desire to learn is truly inspiring. School ends around 1:30 p.m. and many of the students offer to walk us home. While the walk is long, it’s a sweet time to get to know them and see where they live.
Although I have only been here two weeks so far, I have already learned so much.
- The greatest thing you can do for someone is to truly love them. When I walked into my class on day one, I was overwhelmed with the poverty represented among my students. I wanted to buy them all water, clothes, and shoes. I want to be able to provide shelter and health care for them. I felt defeated at the power volume of their needs. Then I realized what most of them wanted more than anything is love. I am striving each day to love each individual I come into contact with the best I can. My interaction with them may be their only glimpse of the love of Jesus.
- I have also been challenged to handle the inconveniences of life with grace and love. One day last week it was pouring rain on our walk home from school. We were lost, soaking wet, and filthy. In the midst of my complaining thoughts, I looked down at the little boy walking us home, and he said, “this rain is a blessing from God”. He was able to see the beautiful in the midst of struggle.
I encourage all of you to look for the beautiful moments in the midst of life’s trials. Love those around you and rely on Christ as your source of strength. I appreciate all of your love and support!