In retrospect, it was probably a little ambitious to arrive in Ghana after a 23 hour flight and be ready to teach a 3-hour a day everyday course that still needed some prep work within 36 hours of arriving. Even though I have lived and worked here before. Even though I have taught this class before (although not exactly this configuration of class). A bit ambitious, in retrospect.
So, I was off and running. No time for jetlag, no time for errands, no time (well, not much time) for visiting with friends and colleagues I haven’t seen in a year. No time for pleasure reading, blogging, or stopping to smell the roses. I haven’t even had any mangos yet!!! I did decide to forgo some sleep tonight to get the first blog post written (I’ll post tomorrow), since I do know that my friends and family back home want to know how things are going.
Probably also a bit ambitious to say, “YES!!!” to an offer to tag along on a beach trip this weekend – which means we need to leave campus Friday (tomorrow) by 2pm, which means, since I teach all morning, that any prepping I need to do for Monday must be done either before or at home (with no internet) on Sunday. But, it’s the BEACH. A west coast of Africa beach! With transportation and hotel already arranged (thanks, Mary Kay!). There was NO WAY I was going to say no to that! I’m trying to find lodging for my me and my student for Saturday night in Accra but so far am having trouble finding availability at our price and comfort point. I’ll have a few more hours to try tomorrow, otherwise we’ll need to head back to Berekuso Saturday evening which is not ideal since there isn’t meal service on campus on Sundays. But we can shop in Accra and bring in some prepared foods, so it can work.
So anyway, today was the first class day and it went very well. 15 Ashesi students plus the student I brought from Southwestern. Some technology hiccups to start, but I was up and lecturing at twenty past the hour (the class was to start on the hour). Class included the fun (and sometimes inappropriate by American standards) class interactions that I love about Ashesi. Got the Moodle courseware populated that afternoon so maybe the students will have done their readings for tomorrow – somehow. One more lecture-only day then we start ½ lecture, ½ lab 3 hour blocks next week. Most of the labs are largely prepped, so hopefully it will all go pretty smoothly.
Two stumbling blocks to being as efficient as I might be: no internet (and sometimes no power) at the faculty house where I’m staying, and, it’s not walking distance to the campus which means I hitch a ride with someone driving past, which means I can’t work late. Aeh! I bring my laptop back and forth each day and can work at home, but not having access to the internet or the Moodle courseware is a hindrance. But, I’m a good adapter, I can make it work. The house is huge and lovely (although with oddities like the tub for which there is not near enough water, and the details that don’t work well – but, can be typical of Ghana).
Anyway, that’s it so far. Safe travels, uneventful flights, a blessed homestay with our friends the Jacksons the first night (plus they picked us from the airport and took us up to Ashesi the next day!!!). No illnesses, no worries except for getting everything ready for class each day and wishing I had more time for visiting. But so far, so good in Ghana, West Africa!
|Nana and Suzanne in front of the Faculty House|