On Friday we visited a school in Nima, Ghana. As soon as we walked into the school house the children were up on their seats, clapping and so incredibly excited to see us. They had prepared for us a program full of songs, dancing, recitations, and even a play. The school caters to children in the village, but it is an extremely poor area so tuition is free for those who cannot afford. While this is certainly a wonderful thing, it leaves the school in a rough situation in terms of being able to pay teachers and upkeep the schoolhouse itself. The kids can start as early as 1 1/2 years old and they learn everything from english to french to grammar and proper manners.
Sitting in this single room schoolhouse, I couldn’t help but place myself in these kids’ situation. It was possibly the hottest day we have had here, but extreme heat is nothing out of the ordinary here. Just sitting in the schoolhouse for two hours was difficult and uncomfortable for our group, used to air conditioned and relatively spacious classrooms. I personally could not imagine trying to learn in these conditions, yet here were little kids, with inevitably low attention spans to begin with, fighting the odds to come to school and to do the best they can under their circumstances. Just the extent to which they went to to entertain us/welcome us was incredible and heartbreaking in many ways.
After their performance, we got to play with the kids, which was amazing. They were immediately grabbing our hands, leading us around, wanting to be picked up and spun around–just soaking up the attention and love. They also all wanted their picture taken–as soon as one of us would pull out a camera, they would all swarm, jumping up and down in order to get a good spot in the picture. It was really hard to leave them, but alas, we could not stay forever. It was undoubtedly a life-changing experience.