Thursday, September 1, 2011

goodbye august, hello september

August is over! Internet has been down for awhile (which, for me, is really hard to deal with not having any communication with home) so I have a bit I can catch you all up on J.  

We had classes on Monday and that was good.  We had Twi class on Monday and our professor was 30 minutes late…. Let me try and explain how afraid we all are of this class.  Every time the door opened during that 30 minute period we all froze in fear and jumped because we thought it was our professor.  It was as comical as you are picturing.  Tuesday we were supposed to go on a trip to observe the Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan but that got pushed to Wednesday so we ended up not having classes on either Tuesday or Wednesday.  Thank you 1 day class week!  So Tuesday and Wednesday we spent working on homework and relaxing and watching movies together (like Passport to Paris- thank you Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for that hilarious childhood memory).  We also went to the mall again to compare the Shoprite (reminds me of a K-mart) and the local market for a cultural essay to right.  Plus on Tuesday pizza is buy one get one free at the Pizza Inn and we all know I will never pass that up. 
Wednesday morning we woke up bright and early and left at 7am to head over to independent square.  Wednesday was a holiday here to honor the end of Ramadan.  All the Muslims gathered and lined up to pray to end the fasting.  There were so many people and it was very interesting to see.  I can’t even think how to describe it.  They all prayed in unison and moved together, it was just incredible.  Afterwards we headed over to the craft market to browse, shop, and waste time because there was no way we were ever going to get out in that traffic.  It was a good afternoon and a lot of fun.  The craft market is geared towards tourists but hey that is what we are so I don’t mind too much.  There are still a lot of locals there and its fun to joke around with the shop owners. 
Wednesday afternoon we finished up homework and then headed to group dinner at the professors flat.  We had a lot of guests with us last night but one in particular was amazing.  James is the founder of the NGO called Challenging Heights were 2 of the girls in my group are interning.  Challenging Heights is an organization that rescues children from slavery in Ghana and also works on prevention and education of child slavery.  James started this NGO with his own money and has now passed a few laws and is working on passing more to save these children.  If that is not incredible enough, James started this NGO because he was a child slave himself.  From the ages of 6 to 13, James was a slave in the Volta region of Ghana.  He tried to escape a few times and was caught, and when he was caught a rope was tied around his neck and he was dragged around to show the other children what would happen to them if they tried to escape.  At age 13, he tried to escape again and succeeded.  He is such a remarkable man.  He then went on to get amazing grades, graduate from University of Ghana, work for a few years, and then start an NGO that is continuing to grow.  This man is just beyond remarkable.  I am even more excited now to start working at my NGO and help in any way I can.  Being here to help reminds me of why I chose to do the Ghana semester in the first place.  I cant wait to see what other amazing people God has in store for us to meet.

Today is another day of relaxing and working on homework.  Tomorrow morning we head to Cape Coast for 2 days.  I am so excited for that trip!  I will of course blog about it when I get back! 
As always, I miss you all so much and I cannot thank you enough for the support.  You are all in my prayers just as much as I am in yours. I can’t wait to see what September has in store for our group. 

Here are a few pictures from the Ramadan festival,  this is like a 1/4 of the amount of people that you could see. 

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