Express the Experience

  • 01:58:52 pm on May 7, 2011 | 0
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,

    Baby Edwin and me in the Freedom Center living room.

    Yesterday the kids had a blast with Elizabeth and me, dancing traditional West African dances, learning new games, and playing their new favorite, hangman. We had the whole day to play since schools in Ghana are on break until next month.

    The kids were so excited about hangman, they took over the game –they came up with their own phrases, drew their own little man, and maintained their “letter rejection pile” –Elizabeth and I were just there to spell the harder words for them!I’m glad they love that game so much because they’re learning how to spell without even realizing it. =] I even kicked the learning up a notch by incorporating everyone’s different learning levels –first, I’ll have one of the younger students, like Abigail or Mary, read all the letters in the phrase to me, then a more advanced student, like Miracle or Robert, read the whole phrase to me, and

    Mershak in the foreground; Elizabeth leading hangman with the kids in the back.

    finally, I’ll have one of the older kids (usually Paul) explain to the group the significance of the phrase if it is a quote from a bible or another text. I just love how much they’re learning through fun!

    After hangman, Elizabeth and I decided to draw a chalk hopscotch game in the driveway for the kids. We were kind of surprised that they weren’t familiar with the game since so many foreign volunteers come to visit City of Refuge every month. Nonetheless, the kids took to it like a horse to water, even the older boys joined in! The younger kids enjoyed the game the most though; Micheal, Mary, Porshia, and DK just couldn’t get enough once they figured it out. And for the youngest, Porshia, it was a way to learn her numbers. The others would tell her, “Ok, the rock is on number 4, so you have to go there and come back”.

    DK teaching me a traditional dance from the Volta region.

    Seeing the kids work together like a family melts my heart every time. I still don’t know what I’m going to do when I can’t see their beautiful faces anymore. Next week the entire NYU group is leaving Ghana for the US… I’m going to miss City of Refuge so much, especially after everything they’ve shown me. I decided to intern with COR because I wanted to help these trafficked and abandoned children develop a sense of who they are and where they’re going. Ironically, they ended up doing just that for me by sharing their love with me and showing me how sweet and resilient we can all be despite the traumas of our past. I can’t imagine what life away from these children will be like after being around them for the past four months. Regardless, I am grateful for the opportunity that I had to touch, and be touched, by this organization.

    Most of the City of Refuge family and Elizabeth (NYU volunteer) just being silly!

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