Sunday, June 22, 2014

A New Opportunity

In 2013, an Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) was done here in Ghana. Eight thousand (8,000) second grade students from all over the country were assessed. Both English reading skills and the local language reading skills were tested. (English is the national language.) The results were unbelievable! Overall, not one student could read a primary two level story, 50% could not read a single word of the story, 44% were struggling readers - reading less than 10 words a minute, 4% were able to read with SOME understanding, only 2% could read fluently and understand what they read.

Literacy in the local language scored even lower. 86% of the Dagaare speaking students could not read a single word of Dagaare. 10% were struggling readers. 4% were able to read with some understanding. No one could read Dagaare fluently and understand what they read.
So, as an elementary education teacher, one who has taught reading in the past, the very distant past, I have started to go to the Kindergarten class last week. (There are six more weeks of school this year.) I wanted to evaluate what the children knew. So, I started with letter recognition. The highest score was 10 (ten) out of 26, the lowest was 0 (zero) out of 26. Both of these students were in the KG 2 class...they have completed almost two years of school! (You must keep in mind, most of the parents are illiterate.)
For the remainder of this school year, I will work with the Kindergarten students. In September, when the new school year starts, I will work with the lower grades and start reading clubs for the upper grades. And, I will watch and listen to see what God has in store for me! (I will still be taking care of the Kalsagri church, I am not leaving that!)

The Making of a Garden, on a Savannah!

For almost two years I have wanted a garden. So, when my friends, Tula & Gary were coming to visit and Gary was planning on planting me a garden, I was very excited. When Gary came, the reality of life on a savannah hit him, as well as the rocky, clay filled soil. Needless to say, a garden was not planted. It was ok. Gary did plenty of other things.

A few weeks ago, I threw some watermelon seeds into a hole. And, God grew them! So, my dear friend, Jonas Delle, took it upon himself to make sure I had a garden, a safe place for watermelon to grow where the sheep, goats and cattle would not eat them. 

One day, after work, he came with his CUTLASS to dig/cut out holes in the hard earth. These were pole holes - holes to put in poles which would be part of the fence. The fence would be made from nym branches which he cut down and removed leaves and whatever else was on them.

My two friends, Gabe and Sydney came to help build the fence. But, Sydney and I are not Ghanaian. We did NOT want to build a fence in the heat of the afternoon.

So, when the poles were in their holes, we pleaded with the guys to let me lash a fence together small, small, each day, in the morning, before it got hot.

The guys agreed and we stopped our work for a photo op!

It took a week or so, and plenty of curling ribbon (I used what I had) and the fence was finished.

Now, the next step...making cages for bell peppers and banana peppers and tomatoes. The carpenter, David, said he just cuts the wire with the wire cutter on a pair of pliers. Where are Chuck and Gary when you need them?

The almost finished product! Seeds were planted, and I did finish off the fencing on the right side, by the house. I've watered my seeds, God has been giving PLENTY of sunshine. I will wait patiently for the harvest!

Honor the Lord with your wealth and the first fruits of all your produce,
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Proverbs 3:9-10

Saturday, June 21, 2014

For Nancy Roddy!

Well, this is not going well at all! I am trying to put a picture on this post and it won't let me resize it. Grrr! It could be because my internet is so slow and I do not have the patience for it. It might be something else. So, Nancy Roddy, this is for you!!!