Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 2 (May 21) - PAINTING!!!

George picks us up in the blue VW at 8:30 this morning to take us to the Adotamen Child Development Center outside of Accra. The future school is located in a developing community nestled among the tropical forests. The community is surrounded by rolling hills and overlooked by the President’s retreat. Looking at the lush jungle and the President’s sprawling property juxtaposed against the red dirt schoolyard and its concrete buildings, made me slightly angry. We had heard about previous Presidents who had built themselves amazing palaces while their people were living in poverty. This is more than apparently still the case. It is frustrating to see how easily things could be implemented but there is a lack of governmental help.

It is so hot outside…and inside. The thick, humid air sucks every bit of moisture out of your body…and yet you are soaking wet. The concrete walls suck in the paint and the sun dries it mid-stroke. Multi-colored lizards run from shady spot to shady spot, stopping only briefly to feel the scorching sun. Huge spiders are drawn inside the classrooms, attracted to the cool walls. Anything outside in the sun for too long will bake. It feels good to keep moving so the air can move across your skin.

Midday we stop for a break and walk into the small town to find a store. I have amazingly cold peach Fanta and sweet bread for lunch. The shop owners always want their glass bottles back, as they can make money off of them. Everything in this country can be bought or sold.

After completing our painting for the day, we head to the Kwame Nkrumah National Memorial. Kwame Nkrumah, the“LIE founder and first president of the modern Ghanaian state, was not only an African anti-colonial leader but also one with a dream of a united Africa which would not drift into neo-colonialism. He was the first African head of state to espouse Pan-Africanism, an idea he came into contact with during his studies at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania (United States), at the time when Marcus Garvey was becoming famous for his "Back to Africa Movement." He merged the dreams of both Marcus Garvey and the celebrated African-American scholar W. E. B. Du Bois into the formation of the modern day Ghana. Ghana's principles of freedom and justice, equity and free education for all, irrespective of ethnic background, religion or creed, borrow from Kwame Nkrumah's implementation of Pan-Africanism.” (Wikipedia.com)

Tonight we got our first taste of Ghanaian beer, Star Beer bought from Strawberry (the beer shop and bar near our hotel). What a nice way to end a long, hot day. We ate dinner at the hotel on the patio. Dinner consisted of steamed vegetables and fried rice. We were exhausted and fell into bed around 8:30 pm.

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