I apologize for taking so long to update you all on life here in Accra! Sometimes I forget how much time has past. It may be that it still feels like August (well twice as hot and humid as August in Colorado). This past month has been crazy busy, but when you get to hang with these kids everyday, all the late nights and stress is well worth it! I have officially survived my first quarter of teaching, first field trip, and first parent teacher conferences. I was also able to spend a long weekend relaxing on the coast outside of Accra during our fall break. This past month has been full of challenges, anxieties, and exhaustion. But along with the challenges there are endless blessings, thanksgiving, and joy. Rather than telling you everything that happened since the last time I wrote, I want to highlight just a few of the joyful moments in the Chaos that is teaching.
My class, as well as the 4th grade class, spent the day at the local botanical gardens on our first field trip! We had a blast running around the gardens in a scavenger hunt searching for different types of animals and plants, complete with a monkey chasing us out of the gardens.
October was reading month at AIS (American International School). The students made reading goals and we had various reading activities throughout the month. We finished off the month with “read all day, day” and “character dress up day”. Third grade, as well as many other classes at AIS, spent “read all day day” reading in forts and sharing books with other classes.
Fall break followed first quarter. I was able to travel outside of Accra and spend the long weekend on the beach with a few friends. Nothing is better than a hammock on a beach to help you recover from your first quarter of teaching. Enough said.
Transitioning from life in the States, Ireland then to Ghana has not been easy, and transitioning from college life to my first year teaching has been even more challenging. For the first few months I was here, most of my thoughts were filled with questions. Questioning whether I am bartering the right price for a taxi, whether I washed my fruits and veggies the right way, whether I taught that lesson to the best of my ability, whether paying double price for cheese is worth it, and much more. I have had days that were more exhausting than I have ever experienced in my life, and then another day comes a long that beats that one. Teaching is hard. Of course I knew that before becoming a real teacher, but the reality is you do not understand until you experience it. But the rewards are so much sweeter than you imagine as well.
While the end of September and most of October was a very busy season for me, it was also a very restful season. Lately I have felt, the biggest part of my transition to life here is over, and I feel more comfortable and at home here in Accra. I have more room to think and reflect on the amazing things that God is doing through AIS and in Accra. To be filled with thanksgiving for my calling here. For the joy my kids bring me each day, for the fresh pineapple (pineapples at home will never compete), for the community I am building at church, for the peaceful walk to school each morning, for kids club (kids from our neighborhood come over to school us at soccer and learn about Jesus), for my amazing co-workers and the vision of AIS, I could go on and on.
Most importantly, I am thankful I get to serve a God that fills me with joy and peace each day. In church there is a song we sing with the lyrics, “One day in Your courts, is better than a thousand elsewhere”. I love this verse, meditating on it. I think back to before I knew Christ. My insecurities, lacking understanding of unconditional love, unknowingly loneliness, and compare it to my life in Christ. The complete joy I have in Him, the love he gives me that I don’t deserve, and the peace in my soul. I would take a thousand of my hardest days as a Christian over one day without Christ.
This past month has woke me up and reminded me to live each day knowing that I get to spend another day in His courts.
- Pray for the health of all AIS staff
- That God would speak through the staff at AIS and students to reach students who don’t know him
- For strength and energy for all of our teachers and staff
Ways to support AIS and Accra:
- AIS’s high school basketball teams are going to Uganda for basketball tournament and missions trip. They are raising support to get there! www.gofundme.com/ghanatouganda
- The church I attend here, Hope City, is partnered with a ministry called City Hearts. They are an incredible ministry that helps at-risk students stay in school. http://www.city-hearts.co.uk/what-we-do/city-hearts-africa/
Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers!