not sure if i'll be able to be blogging this time. this is my first attempt yo get online in about a week and it took about an hour to even get connected.
in short - everything is fine. but, although i may be just imagining this, things have gotten worse here.
this kids look even poorer, their clothes dirtier and more ripped, their bodies skinnier.
The young adults aged.
The ones that are better off look the same or better.
Emma lost weight to look better.
Kofi lost weight because he grew a lot, or because he's not eating enough.
Mesnah aged ages - he had an bike accident a few months ago and had lost a tooth.
Here - if you loose a tooth - you've lost it. You will not get it replaced. The few ones might, but you, the regular, everyday you, even if you are a teacher in both KBSchool and the Dagbe center - you won't.
Nevertheless - Mensah was lucky to have stayed alive - Rueben found him, Emma took him to Aflao hospital. Him, and the other guy - it was a clash!
Blood everywhere. At the hospital - the doctors didn't want to start anything (surgery was needed on both kids) until someone paid. So Emma did.
Today, they are both alive, although noone showed up to visit the other kid in the hospital, so his recovery took longer...
The brightest, happiest ones around are the youngest ones. And this time - I am realizing very clearly, they are to be my focus.
Laptops are installed, and working properly. I did not have any problems getting them in - noone asked me anything.
Once I got to Kopeyia - the problems began.
Emma told me he needed to pay about $15 to the education office in Ketu to write a letter that will ensure I get through the customs without problems.
They considered writing such letter to be favor to Emma, then me, so they asked for money.
Once again - I am stunned as to who is doing a favor to whom in this chain. And that is only the beginning.
Did you bring anything else - the headmaster asked once i arrived to the school.
NO sir, I did not.
Anything nice for me?
The next day he suggested that we both go to the education office, where they have written that costly letter, to "express our gratitude to the director".
I said it was a great idea (thinking - great, I'll shake hands, take photos and "officialise" the whole thing. The we would invite the office the come to Kopeyia for the official opening of the new computer lab.
Even better. The Give to Grow computer lab launch. A little presentation.
Kofi is already on it. He's been on one of the laptops 24/7 so far. So much so that I had to tell him to stop and go spend time with his family!!!
Then the headmaster said the director wanted to know if I brought any "similar items" for his office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
he works for the government.
the government supports the school.
He - through the help of the government supports my supporting the school.
Therefore - I should support him - the government back.
Is that the logic?
Are we partners here?
What are you seeing in me exactly?
I cannot wait to meet the guy and hear him ask me that question.
But then again - if i answer rudely - who's going to write the letter next time?
on a bright side -
the kids are AMAZING!
They are learning so quickly and are so excited about the gear.
As a side activity - I am working with the KG kids (preschool) on reciting English and EWE poems and nursery rhymes.
Their smiles light up the dim hazy air of the rainy-season colored Kopeyia.
With Mensah - I'm developing a G2G Line - this afternoon, we will work some T - shirts designs, which he'll batic and I'll take to NY to sell and fund raise as well as help him earn a little bit.
Next time - we do the kids line!!!
OK, so the three hour block of internet for the day is near expiring, and I still have some 200 emails go through. (the first hour and a half was just me and the owner trying to get me online...)
Will look for a better way - and to blog again soon...
but in the meantime, please bear with these not being edited.
Absolutely no time for that rt now.
There is work to be done.
I need to go hug a few more kids today!!!!