Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Thank goodness for Blogger! My hotmail saga continues. Today, I could only read the lovely emails you sent. I couldn't reply or compose a new email. Frustrating!
So Stacey:
Thank you for writing the check. I hope remember to withdraw the amount from my account. Did you find anything out about insurance? Do you know why muscles twitch? My quad won't stop twiching. Dan's phone is still broken and the other one is lost. Xmas when I get back sounds weird but not unthinkable. I really only miss my blanket and we can't lose that in the mail ;)
Hillary: Thank you for the lovely message. I didn't get a rabies shot either. Thank you for the package. It has not yet arrived but I have hope. If you send in the future, send it to the address on this site. I am so very excited you are on your way to Honduras!
Sarita: Thank you for the J house update and the mail update. Stupid SCCC. Go SCA! I will be sleeping on the floor for awhile in Feb, I suppose. I'll work something out;) My address is in the comments on this site or KAUFMAN, RACHEL C/O AT Amanor PO Box 0602 Osu, Accra, Ghana.
Cynthia: If you are reading, I miss you and my mom sent the check. I hope you are readjusting well.
Gramma: I have not received any packages. I am waiting with baited breath. I love you tons and tons thank you for the emails. rachels_imagine@hotmail.com is the correct one.
Chris: It took awhile for the good vibes to get here but apparantly, they travel faster then mail. Thanks

"Good afternoon. How are you?"
"Fine thank you. How are you?"
That is how I start my mornings now. My co-volunteer, Cynthia and I decided not to plant trees anymore for various reasons including my hip and the seeminly pointless nature of the daily work. I was unsure of how my remaining time would unfold but my host brother, Dan, introduced me to the headmaster at a nearby school and he said he would be happy to have me help in the class rooms. I started at the school last Friday in the Kindergarten class. They call me Auntie Ra-hell and they start at me with huge white eyes like I was a giant chocolat brownie.
The school is a slap in the face. If I thought I was fortunate to live in America before, it is now painfully clear to me that I am more than fortunate. I now realize why there are so many kids on the street selling water or gum during school hours. Many kids can't afford to pay the 20 dollar fee. Nor can they afford to pay for their uniforms or books and paper. The parents don't take an interest in their children either. As for the kids who do stay in school they face barren walls, bookless shelves and earsplitting noise from the classes in the same room. It makes me very sad that my program fee has been wasted with the Save the Earth Network instead of paying for crayons or books or paper for these school children. Despite their lack of supplies and tools and books and a teacher who spends all her time nursing her 8 month old baby, the children of the KG continue to impress me with what they know. For example, they can recite numerous bible verses and sing any number of songs. They know thier ABCs and numbers. Most can spell and do addition and recite the months and days of the week. They are also rehearsing for a fairly extensive Christmas program. They sing "the list has been done" instead of "felize navidad." The headmaster said I will be able to help in all the grades (up to 6) and I am anxious to see if their first years of school were at all affective.
On another note, the teachers swat at the kids with sticks if they are misbehaving. I was appalled. But still, the kids smile and hold my hand or stroke my straight hair. I taught them the Hokey Pokey, a hand clapping game, high fiving and a hand trick. It makes me sad that I can't take them all and give them crayons and construction paper and scissors but I hope that my presense will make them more worldly. If anything, I am learning more from them!

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