Mutual Respect

As our time winds down in Ghana, it feels like just now we are starting to get in the rhythm of things. The open-air classrooms at Heritage have no solid doors or windows, just frames, causing many children to wander in and out throughout the day. Today one of Erika’s students, who she didn’t even know left the room, suddenly popped in through the window and casually sat back down in his desk. Elee finally discovered the perfect solution to all of our combined frustration; a Les Mis style barricade in front of the entrance to the room.

The daunting feeling of teaching is behind us as our lessons have come together and we are organizing final topics and projects. Our students also seem to be acclimating to our teaching, even making connections between our individual classes. After a health lesson on relationships with Jennifer and Carey, Molly taught the same students about animal behavior. When asked what a zebra looks for in a mate a student responded “mutual respect.”

Although we knew from the beginning that our stay in Ghana would be short, we are truly starting to feel the emotions of creating connections with students and then picking up and leaving just days later. Although many of us plan to stay in touch, we also understand how difficult it is to maintain these connections through sporadic letters that can take months to travel back and forth. We are used to relying on technology to maintain long distance relationships, which is not an option for most students at Heritage.

We are not just forming new bonds in the classroom. Our guesthouse, Jimmy Com, has also provided a community for us. Whether it be Lilah and Katie teaching yoga to Emmanuel, Bright, and Michael (all Heritage students staying here to help), or having a ping-pong tournament with the staff, we are continually forming friendships here in Ghana. Even our little neighbors, who would scream “Obruni!” and run whenever they saw us walking by, are now hanging out with us on the back porch. It is these simple encounters that are going to make it that much harder to leave. Hope you are all fairing the cold weather in the US. Many thanks to all our commenters, please keep them coming! For those who have not commented….we know who you are.

Peace, Love, and Pineapples,

Carey, Samantha, Elee and the gang

P.S. Pictures will be posted upon return!

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7 thoughts on “Mutual Respect

  1. Tisha Walmer says:

    Ah ha! Here I was checking emails when a notification came through. The obrunis have posted!

    Although … it seems a bittersweet post of new beginnings and then a departure on the horizon. Mutual Respect? That’s also what you are achieving between young people who come from areas that are truly worlds apart. How cool is that?! Keep up the good work!

  2. MamaNell says:

    Checkin in one more time to thank each and everyone of you for your reflections and posts!

    I only hope that when y’all get back to the states and to school, you continue to somehow post your “post” ghana experiences because once again you will go through another metamorphosis! You may question why people do what they do, act the way they act and say some pretty caddy things sometimes. You’ll probably say “these people have no idea, clueless!” This experience has sparked a new awakening I think for most, if not all of you.

    A new year, A new beginning, A final sayonara to a chapter in your life and a chance to make things better every moment of your life.

    As you pack up your teaching supplies and give your final hugs to those who have truly made a difference in your life, wipe your tears of joy knowing this was the best experience of your college life! When one door closes, many others open.

    Safe travels DIPS!


  3. Suanne Blumberg says:

    Thank you for giving us all a glimps into your adventure. I have so enjoyed reading about your experiences and how you have each worked through some of the difficulties you’ve faced. I hope you all leave with a better understanding of yourself and a new seat in the world from which you view others. Safe travels home. Carey be safe, xoxoxo.
    Aunt Suanne

    • Cheryl says:

      My thoughts are with you all as you start your farewells and prepare to return to your lives as students at F&M.

      Treasure the time you have left. Know that your intentions to be of service were realized. You touched peoples lives and in return, your lives have been changed in profound ways..forever! Protect that change and remember how you feel right now! If you haven’t kept a personal journal, your blogs and each other will serve to remind you of this incredible experience and the importance of living a mindful life.

      Be Safe. Enjoy your time together.

      Kyle, can’t wait to see you!

  4. Eli Sentman says:

    I can’t even keep a houseplant alive. It’s amazing that I have such an amazing daughter and her great friends in Ghana. What you and the others are experiancing. (Carey ) is what I’ve lived for . Very proud of u and ur way smarter than me friends. Love following the blog. Staying at Randy Zorns on Long Island and picking u up. Want to see monkey pictures. No nudes! Lol love u DA

  5. eljnum1f says:

    LOL @ Erika’s student escaping from her classroom. That would’ve so been me

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