- Group:Duston Rangers
- Age:14-18 years old
- Group Size:10
- Project:Care & Community
After confirmation of the trip, we began planning immediately. This meant compiling a kit list, starting fundraising endeavours and getting into contact with one another. In the following months, we all put our efforts into fundraising activities and the feeling of excitement grew for our adventure.
What we did
Finally on the 21st July we boarded the mini bus to Heathrow Airport and flew to Accra via Amsterdam. Once at the hotel, we crashed in our rooms, exhausted from a day of travelling. The next day we drove through the small village and lots of children were waving at us in the minibus, this was so exciting for us. When we arrived the children were sat in big groups underneath the trees looking intrigued by our presence.
Before we started the construction, the school children sang us a welcoming song which was so flattering and lovely. We then got started with moving the sand with big heavy metal pans. Despite having to use all of our strength and stamina, we were having an amazing time, it was so fun to do something so different. We then had to collect water and turn the sand into plaster by adding cement and mixing it all together. This was quite hard as the mixture got very heavy as it took on the weight of the water. With the help of local builders we were shown how to plaster and made quite of a lot progress on the first day.
In the afternoon we were aiming to focus on maths with the children. When we arrived back at the school after lunch the children were again excited to see us and we had numbered sports bibs that we were planning on using for different maths games. It was so lovely to see them enjoying the game and laughing. We also watched the kids various dancing games and we taught them different hand games.
We had extremely positive first impressions of family life; we absolutely loved our meals (delicious rice and noodle dishes) and the family were all really nice. Our beds were so comfortable and it was really nice to get to know the people we were staying with. The family had a basketball hoop and we loved playing with the family and staff. One of the nicest experiences with the family was visiting the church. We received such a warm welcome and it was so nice to let our hair down, dance and listen to the Reverend’s daughter’s sing.
After a few days of intense plastering in the radiant Ghanaian heat, we soon found we had adapted our methods to make this job more efficient. We made a huge chain of people to carry the pans as a group, this was tiring but we grew stronger. We would always drive back to Rev Emanuel’s house for lunch. The lunches were perfect after a long morning of hard work. The afternoons were always filled with fun and games while also trying to teach the children some basic letter and number skills. We always started with a few songs which the kids picked up very quickly and they really seemed to engage with us.
We had a home cooking lesson of the very well-known delicious dish called ‘Jollof Rice’, with the Rev’s daughters. A group of us cut the vegetables, with the others doing the base sauce, which consisted of aromatic spices and tomatoes, the smell was amazing. Twice we had language lessons at Rev Emanuel’s house, provided by Projects Abroad. It was great to learn some of the local Twi dialect. The language lessons were very beneficial and helped us a lot with our day to day conservations in Ghana.
One evening we were lucky enough to have some drumming and dancing lessons, which were held at the Projects Abroad Office. The drumming was amazing and very different to the type of music we usually listen to. The dancers were also incredible and very energetic.
On our weekend we woke up early for the 5 hour drive to the Cape Coast. When we arrived we went straight to the beach to have a breakfast buffet. We visited the slavery castle to learn all about the slave trade in Ghana. We also visited Kakum National Park. We went on the canopy walk which was really high in the trees and had really amazing views.
After a refreshing weekend we had two more days of painting before we had to leave. After the two days of painting with rollers on large sticks we had to say a very emotional goodbye to the school children, but before that we orchestrated a fun sports day. All the children participated and they were having a great time. After all the fun we had, we said goodbye and there were many pictures and many tears, we will all miss the people we met there.
On our journey back to Accra we also stopped by another school where we met the East Anglican Guide group that had just arrived to do work at another school. We also had the fortune of meeting the man who started Projects Abroad, Peter Slowe. He congratulated us on our hard work and told us how and why he started the company.
Whilst sometimes we were homesick, overwhelmed or tired, the thing that I will remember is how brilliant this whole experience was. This has been a trip which shall be unforgettable for all of us. All of us left Ghana having changed slightly as people, becoming more grateful, social, accepting and understanding than before.
If you would like to learn more about our Care & Community Project in Ghana then please click here.
If you would like to learn more about our Care & Community Projects then please click here.