Changing of Schedule and Antoa Final Test

Thursday, December 5th, everything is normal in the morning and in fact I feel really great. I’m sure now that my stomach problems are gone and I’m feeling better than ever. I go to fetch some water in the morning for my wash I need to do. I fill up two tubs and wash as many clothes as I can bare in one load. I have some shirts that have been in the dirty pile for too long and I just want to start over with a full bill of clean clothes. I get my load done in an hour and rest between washing and ringing out. Then after a bit I go and ring out the soap out of the clothes and let them soak in the tub with just water. It’s now coming to 07:00 and I get ready to go meet Bush. I don’t leave the house until 07:15 this morning and put a little haste in my step. Rigth outside of the compound our neighbors are sitting there and I stop to greet them. They have a new friend with them and he’s delighted to talk to me in Twi. I’m trying to be patient and give them my time, but I can’t help but think about getting to Bush before he leaves. I leave them and go down the normal path. The woman who gives me food a lot, stops me and says something in Twi and I’ll I pick up is that she’s mentioning church. I tell her I’m not going to church today and she interrupts me and starts in more Twi. The boy next to her translates and says she’s asking for her envelop for the church donations. Astonished and slightly embarrassed she remembered, I tell her I don’t have it and that I have to go meet my friend. I leave them and make it to Bush’s compound after a few more people try to greet and have conversations with me. I didn’t realize, but the people along this path have now been seeing me this whole week and now want to be good friends with me. I will have to plan to leave earlier in the future so I can make sure not to rush any of the conversations with the people along this path. I get to Bush’s house and he’s already sitting out front on his stoop. He tells me to go around and greet his family and then we will leave. I do so and then we leave. We get down to his shop and start to talk about how we relate to other people in our lives. He tells me that his grandma taught him to love all people and animals and I agree with him that is a very good feeling to have toward people. We talk for longer than any of the other days and then he breaks the conversation and says he should get to work. From there I leave to go home before leaving again to get breakfast.

 I leave the house and buy some of the crispy donuts. I buy some for myself, Andrews, and his friend sitting with him. I sit down to enjoy the food with them and they ask if I’m going to teach today. I tell them no, I’m going tomorrow. Andrews pauses as if he’s thinking about the validity of my statement. Then, he asks how I’m going to teach if it’s a holiday. My heart sinks to my feet as I realize that I need to quickly adjust the Antoa program scheduled test. I tell him thank you for telling me and I leave him to figure out a solution. I try to call Tio, but the network is down and my calls won’t connect. I really love the creativity that the problems in Ghana ask for. More excited than frustrated by the problem, I first head over to print the tests in case they have time to take the test right when I speak to them.

 As I’m waiting for the Tro Tro to Kenyasi, one of my friends comes over and asks what I’m doing. I tell him and he tells me that there is another print shop in town besides the one I’ve been going to. This is another lesson I’ve learned in Ghana. The more important the information your trying to receive from asking someone, the more people you need to ask to confirm if what they’re saying is true. I don’t think that the people are intentionally lying. I actually think it’s the opposite, they are embarrassed to not be able to help you, so they give an answer to the best of their knowledge instead of saying they don’t know. Frankly, I would prefer the “I don’t know, go and ask so and so” answer. Anyway, my friend walks me to the print shop and I quickly get everything printed and I’m on my way to the JHS with a spring in my step. When I get there I tell Tio my problem and after some thinking he says that we can squeeze the test in today at either 13:00 or 14:00. That doesn’t exactly help with the tutor situation. I call the Academic Head Master at the SHS before I start to negotiate times and find out that they have tests until 15:00. I tell Tio and he says that he will be happy to wait around to help me proctor the exam.

 I leave from the JHS to get some food before it’s time to come back for the test. When I come back, at one, all the students are taking a test. Tio tells me that they probably won’t be done until 14:30. I sit down with one of the teachers and we chat about different things. He’s mostly asking me about the differences between Ghana and the U.S. 14:30 comes around and the students all go to closing ceremony. Through out the term I had 33 students on average show up to each session. I printed a few extra tests just in case there’s a few more that show up today. Actually, almost all of them show up because they had to attend school because of their testing. I don’t have enough tests. I send a student to the print shop to make more copies to cover the additional students. In the meantime I hand out snacks and discuss the directions of the test. The student comes back surprisingly quick and we get out the rest of the tests and start. I’m a little worried at the amount of students and the fact that they’ve been taking tests all day. Wonoo only had 18 students and they were wild with energy, much different then the first two tests we took together. I think Tio being present really helped because most of the students stayed quiet and the test went smoothly. After the session I headed home to collect the attendance data and start to grade the tests.

 As I’m grading the tests I’m not as impressed as I was with Wonoo. However, I remember that the majority of the students at Antoa are in their first of three years before they have to take their High School Examination test. I’m still very proud of the tutors and the students for all of their hard work.

Stop Thinking and Write It Down!

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