Friday, 1 April 2011

A normal day at the office

We struggled to gather 10 of us for Morning Devotion today. Madam Director and the Senior management Team were all at another funeral. It is amazing how many funerals there are and how many teachers and headteachers die. Mind you, they do have a celebration a year after each funeral so I suppose that doubles the number of occasions. Funerals are huge celebrations here with a moderate amount of mourning that happens before the event. Eating, drinking and lots of dancing are the order of the day. I can't wait for an invitation! It appears most deaths are due to accidents. When you see how they zoom around on their motorbikes without any protection at all, it is hardly surprising.

 I have my motorbike training in just over a week. Don't worry Mum, I shall always be wearing my helmet, trousers and reinforced jacket, driving slowly and always in daylight! Seriously, it's not worth the risk even in this heat.

Back to the office......... Everest, the District Inclusion Officer, and I spent an interesting morning greeting visitors and talking about the issues that affect his job. It appears teenagers are the same the world over. You pay 30 Ghana Cedis (£15) for a goat here. Everyone knows who each goat and kid belong to even though they roam the neighbourhood and most households have them, constantly multiplying. A group of boys have been kid-napping at night and selling the young goats in surrounding villages. Everest is on the case!

I was busy making a large calendar for the next school term so that all events could be posted on it and people would know what events and activities were happening on any day across the district. Everest found me a large sheet of paper for this purpose. He suggested I may need to glue 2 pieces together and he would bring some glue when he returned from a short errand. half an hour later, as I was finishing the job, he returned with a bunch of green berries. I assumed these were some delicacy I should be tasting. No no, these were glue berries from the Glue Tree! They work too, when you squeeze them a type of clear gum oozes out. Perfect for the job!

Ghanaians mostly don't know the names of their trees and flowers. They are not taught them in school and have no way of researching them. If there is a particular value to a tree or plant then that is the name it is given - Glue Tree!

On my way out I was talking to a headteacher of an Infant School. I had met her at a Training Day a few weeks ago. Margaret was pleased to inform me she now had some more teachers for her children. When I enquired she told me she now has 5 teachers for 8 classes, 2 are trained and 3 are volunteers. Each class has about 35 children and if they had some resources the older children could work alone when they didn't have a teacher with them. Her school is a little too distant to reach in this heat on a bicycle. I shall visit her on my moto as soon as I have one. What challenges they face!


  1. Hi Debbie
    great to catch up on your news.
    They have the glue berries in the carribean, pleased you did not eat one!
    What would you like in a wee parcel from the UK.
    Hopefully the weather is picking up now and summer is on its way.
    I bet you would like a cool breeze sometimes.
    How are your pets? keeping invaders at bay.
    We are all good here I plleased to say.
    Take care Deb's

  2. Hi Debbie
    Sounds like you are now nearly local, all sounds like a great adventure. Glad to see you are still snap happy the pics are great. What do you need I can send something edible?
    Have fun
    David & Gaynor