Life Skills From the 9 Obrunis

Although we initially had some difficulties with teaching, today we found that the process came more naturally. We spent our Saturday conducting a life skills workshop with the 12th graders at Heritage. We covered topics about relationships, career goals, and interview skills in order to help facilitate conversation about life after high school. We came into the workshop we a lot of apprehension. We weren’t sure how much we could offer the students since we are very unfamiliar with the business world and dating environment of Ghana (and in the US).

For the relationship workshop, we split the 12th graders up by gender with Elee and Jen leading the females and Kyle and Carey leading the males to make the students more open to conversation. We proved to be more competent than we thought, and all groups were very successful. We under estimated how eager the students would be to participate, and facilitate the conversations we wanted to have. In the healthy relationship workshop, both groups had open discussions about values and expectations in relationships. Through this we learned a lot about the dating culture in Ghana and did our best as young adults to act as mentors to the students and give them our thoughts on healthy relationships whether they be sexual or not.

In the business skills workshop, we conducted a Myers Brigg personality test, and then split up into small groups to discuss the meaning of the results. This workshop was very focused on pushing the students to identify and communicate their goals, and plan the path they need to take to achieve them.

We concluded the day with an etiquette lunch that was set up as a mock interview. We had students follow etiquette rules and pressed students with difficult interview questions. During open discussion, Katie and Chloe’s table explained how western culture overpowers Ghanaian influence in the business world of Ghana. This disturbed some of the students who felt like while they are open to bringing in western culture, countries like the United States do not bring in pieces of Ghanaian culture. Furthermore they voiced that when introducing US business culture they are sacrificing their own culture. For example one of the students noted that as a business man in Ghana it should be appropriate for him to wear his batik, he is expected to wear a suit.

The students reflected that Heritage is one of the few schools in Ghana that offers workshops such as this to better prepare students for the future. It also gave us a great opportunity to speak with students closer to our age and compare our goals and aspirations. While we think of college as a time to explore our choices before making critical life decisions, students in Ghana feel more pressure to have a career choice in mind before pursuing the financial and time commitment of university.

After the workshop Lilah and Rachel sent us all on a scavenger hunt in Ajumako. All of us enjoyed the experience of exploring the area on our own and creating connections with the local townspeople. The word “obruni” rang through the town as every child we passed waved and screamed. Within minutes we had a full entourage of little children.

We made it back in time to travel to a local woodcarving shop (Which many of you will be receiving presents from). We were in awe at the skills of these craftsmen who formed a chunk of wood into an intricate work of art within minutes.

Our day concluded with Elee befriending yet another Ghanaian child.

Tomorrow we are off to Elmina Castle to learn more about the slave trade in Ghana… check in later to hear more about our adventures ;)

Peace and Love,

Carey and Elee and the 7 other obrunis

P.S. comments never hurt nobody

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8 thoughts on “Life Skills From the 9 Obrunis

  1. You all should be very proud.
    Warm Regards

  2. Paul Jamrogowicz says:

    Hello Guys, great post! I just have a few questions if you guys have the time to answer great, but I understand how busy you guys are too!

    The etiquette lunch sounds like a great idea, what were some of your tough questions, and what was the most interesting response did you guys get?

    Could you also explain what a ‘batik’ is? I did a quick google search, but is it some family made clothing garment.

    In what other ways does the Ghanian culture clash with the more modern culture that these teenagers are exposed to?

    Visiting the castle sounds great, you guy should post pictures if you can! What more do you have planed?

    Stay safe and have fun, and stay hydrated!

    ps.
    Carey and Jen, miss you guys!

  3. Cheryl says:

    First, a “shout out” to our son…we Love you, Miss you and can’t wait to hear about all your adventures, challenges and insights!

    We are so proud of what you and your entire group are accomplishing! The challenges you all encountered on the first day of teaching may have been alittle frustrating but you guys regrouped, brain stormed and had success the VERY NEXT day…that must have been so rewarding! You guys ARE making a difference!

    Thank You for all your blogs! We look forward to reading them.

    Hard to believe you are at the half way point of your trip and have already experienced so much.

    Just in case your all longing for cooler weather…it was -1 this morning and is now a balmy 13 degrees!

  4. Ann Dickey says:

    It sounds to me as if nine inexperienced teachers arrived with so many life skills of their own that they are making a real difference in the lives of their students. Be proud of yourselves. You should be. Jen’s Tucson grandmother.

  5. MamaNell says:

    It sounds to me like you are all learning so much about yourselves during this amazing experience and that is priceless for graduating seniors in college!

    Your journey has begun.. A win/win situation so keep up the great work. Everyone should be so lucky to have this wonderful, life changing experience and again I applaud you for your courage, insightfulness, strength and determination. I am confident you will all become different human beings after this journey.

    One week left so enjoy and be safe. Take good care of yourselves and each other! TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES.. Love to my Katie and her side kick Elee ;]

    Namaste!

    Mom

  6. gayle sentman says:

    Hi to all and especially my granddaughter Carey| You are all so fortunate to have this experience. I will have some questions as Paul did so I’ll check in when you are home. love you xoxoxo Nanny

  7. Susan Dicklitch says:

    Wow! It sounds like you are all learning so much. I’m very pleased that you are reflecting on your experiences and getting such a breadth of experiences.

  8. Melissa Koomson says:

    Batik is wax resist on cloth. http://www.globalmamas.org/Info/WhatIsBatik?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

    Please send everyone greetings from Madam Melissa! =)

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