– Reposted after the Ghanaian internet failed the blog world! –
Yesterday was an amazing day. Our final classes consisted of many a performance, speech, and story presented to us in class, and some of our amazing teachers (especially Kacy and Rachel H.) did performances of their own. The kids in our classes all taught us new dances (which were really cool and original), and we came to the revelation that American dance moves are just sort of lame. The best we could do was the macarena, cotton-eyed joe, the cupid shuffle and (at night at our private dance party) Rachel J taught everyone the worm… which was actually QUITE a hit.
The day closed with many pictures taken of us with our reading groups, many letters given to us with kids telling us they wanted us to be their penpal and that they were going to miss us, and of course, beautiful songs. At the end of the day, all of the 10th graders gathered in one of the classrooms, and about 25 of them who comprised a chorus, sang us an incredible song that brought tears to almost all of our eyes. Led by Lydia, and conducted by Celestina, the students broke out in harmony, their deep and loud voices carrying through the room and into all of our hearts. The teachers then presented us with a card they had made thanking us and blessing us for coming to Heritage. Walking back down, we saw all of the Pre K-9th graders lined up outside of the JHS building. As we stood before them, they sang for us the National Anthem of Ghana and gave us a few “hip-hip-hoorays” led by DeGraft, the headmaster of the school, who then presented us with a gift that will tie us to The Heritage Academy forever. One at a time we were presented with unity knots, which are three independent figures all intertwined that have been carved out of one piece of wood, so they can never be separated. This, DeGraft said, will always keep us connected to Heritage forever. He then presented us with a large unity knot that is a gift to F&M to tie Heritage to F&M for years to come, and to serve as a symbol of our bond between schools and the people of each school.
After this heart wrenching display, we took the last walk home from Heritage (Kelly having to take a taxi because she got a HUGE blister while playing football/soccer with the kids barefoot after lunch). After dinner, DeGraft came over and we did highs and lows with him, as we do every night, but this time it seemed a lot more emotional as it was the last time, and a big time for reflection. DeGraft provided some great insight on what impact we made on the school and the kids, and we talked about how lecturing is so different from teaching, and how we as teachers were able to exemplify that. It truly amazes me how innovative and challenging Heritage is as a school and how valuable it is that we have a partnership with such a wonderful institution.
At the end of the night, a few of us ended engaging in a pretty intense and hilarious dance party with some of the guys at JimmyCom, which was not only fun but, but extremely hot. As Oduro sweated up a storm, he told us he was “sweating like a pregnant fish” which… didn’t seem to make much sense at the time, but upon watching each other try and do the “worm” on the floor, we realized that we looked JUST like a sweaty pregnant fish. We learned yet again through this dance party that we have no skills as Americans in the art of dance, and that our “traditional” dance moves consist of Soulja Boy and the Dougie. We did, however, learn to do the Azonto, which can take many forms, and, our sweaty random friend (we still do not know his name) pulled many a lady out of their rooms at 10 pm to teach them the very interesting rendition of the kangaroo/bird/velociraptor Azonto, which can only be best displayed by Oduro. It was truly an amazing night.
This morning, we must say goodbye to Ghana, traveling in the rickety school bus for the last time to the airport. We will first go to the National Museum of Ghana and visit Independence Square, and then get to the airport NICE and early to prevent any worries. See you soon, America, and Ghana.. you will forever be in our hearts.
Love and unity to all!
Your faithful leader, Lilah