Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Boy's Day Out"

Last Monday we had all of the boys over to the volunteer house. There are 16 boys but Jonas and Adolfo weren't back from school so there were only 14 at the house. They were all so excited that they were on their best behavior. I have never seen 14 children be so quiet before and listen so intently. We made telescopes out of toilet paper rolls and let them decorate them with tissue paper. Then we had them decorate plain paper and make paper airplanes. They were so involved in doing the projects and it was so cute how much concentration they put into it. The younger boys had a much shorter attention span and so it did not take them a long time to do everything but they were so excited to get to come to the volunteer house and get out of the orphanage. At the end, we gave them all toy whistles, and biscuits. Even though they were small prizes, they were so excited and were so grateful. They are still blowing the whistles at the orphanage.
On Saturday we went to the beach again. The kids had such a blast. They have asked everyday since if we can go to the beach again. Spencer and I were digging giant holes and burying them in the sand so only their heads were sticking out. They thought it was the funniest thing and none of them wanted to get out of the holes once they were buried. They were only get out once a wave came up and washed the sand away. Even some of the younger kids were are a little afraid of the water, like Agogo, wanted to be buried and wouldn't get out.
Kwashie, Akua, Kweku, and Barbara had a blast "bathing" me at the beach. They were using seaweed as the "sponges" and sand as "semena" (soap) and were bathing me, just like we bath them at the orphanage. It was really adorable to see them imitating what we do to them. Needless to say I was covered from head to toe in sand when we got home and brought home about 1 pound of sand in my bathing suit.
On Friday morning, we are organizing a field day for the kids since they are on vacation from school. We are going divide them in to 2 teams and do a bunch of relays and then get oranges and biscuits as a prize at the end. Here are some pictures from the "boy's day" and the beach!!

Monday, April 11, 2011


Things at the orphanage are going really well right now. 2 weeks ago a lot of the kids were sick and pinkeye was going around the orphanage. Almost all of the kids had pinkeye but now they are all healthy and doing great.
Last week we took the older kids for a hike. There is a giant hill in the next town over, so all 18 of us piled into an 8 person tro-tro for the 10 minute ride to the hill. It wasn't a very hard hike but the kids enjoyed just getting out of the orphanage and doing something different. It only took us about 20 minutes to get to the top and the view was amazing. Promise, age14, could see the village he was born in from the top of the hill and he was really proud to show the other children. Grace, age 10, one of the oldest girls at the orphanage, was very mother-like during the hike. We had 14 kids with us and when we got to the top of the hill she counted to make sure all the kids had made it to the top. Then when we were going down the hill Spencer, one of the other volunteers, was the last one and he was wearing flip flops so he was slowly making his way down the hill and Grace kept calling back to him to make sure he was still OK and was still behind us. It is really amazing how all the children become their own little family with the older children really stepping in and acting like a mother to the younger children. Especially the older girls, take on a lot of the responsibility around the orphanage and caring for the younger kids.
On Saturday we had a "girl's day" at the volunteer house. They each made their own jewelry box out of empty tea boxes and decorated them with tissue paper. They were so immersed in the project that as soon as they started it got silent. When they were done with that, we gave them mini pedicures and painted their toenails. Before they left, we gave them little goodie bags with markers and paper, and activity pads. Today we are going to have a "boy's day". We are going to make paper airplanes and telescopes out of toilet paper rolls, and we have little goodies for them. This morning all the boys were really excited!
On Saturday we are going back to the beach so all the volunteers can go back one last time before we all leave and the kids are getting really excited. Here are some pictures from the last trip to the beach, the hike, and the "girl's day".