Monday 24th January
What a restless night ! I was so nervous about starting at APGSS today that I was constantly waking up throughout the night. Fingers crossed I won't live up to my reputation and fall asleep in assembly...
To add to my stress, my ridiculous rash, which has caused my skin texture to be a carbon copy of a lizards, has now spread across every inch of skin (bar my face, strangely). It's terribly itchy and red, bright red - what a fantastic first impression this will give!
Kofi picked me up in the school minibus to take me to APGSS, where I was introduced to the students during Louisa's assembly. I presented Louisa with a DHSG century mug and a painting of DHSG by Chris Robinson - sadly the mug was dropped shortly after by a young student! The assembly was traditional and not disimilar to a DHSG assembly, bar thebible recital. The girls uniforms looked impeccable and they mostly behaved themselves. After meeting a fwe of the teachers, I was left to my own devices in a spare classroom for several hours. I must admit I struggle with the heavy accents - they must find me impossible to understand! I fear I have been a little naive in my preparation for this trip - I brought with me colouring books, pencils, sweets amd otehr trifle things that are probably far too young for the girls here. Having evesdropped on a lesson from the classroom I was left in I feel completely out of my comfort zone and panic I will not be up to standard. After all, I have no teacher training and it's been an awful long time since I've opened a textbook...
After a reassuring talk with the science department over a late breakfast, I was invited to sit in on a class to get a feel for the style of teaching. The girls are all fantastically enthusiastic and have a good knowledge of the curriculum - it would appear they study ahead in their own time and thus the lessons themselves are more like recaps and just reiterating assumed knowledge. It is inspiring to see their enthusiasm and competitive nature. They seemed very excited to have me in their class, when in fact the honour was mine.
At lunch, I ate traditional kenke (spelling?) with a spciy sauce and a smoked fish (of questionable origin) with the rest of the staff. After school, I went to Market Circle with Goason (who is currently fulfilling his year of National Service) via tro-tro and purchased a painting as a souvenir.
Cephas Bruce, a former student of University of Plymouth and a friend of Christopher, called to introduce himself - I had expected to meet him later that evening but I believe he was tied up in work.
I do find the relaxed attitude concerning arrangements frustrating. Whenever I ask APGSS about budgeting or simple things such as, "Am I staying in Boybosion for the duration of my stay and, if so, how much does it cost per night?", I am met with shrugs of shoulders and talk of "Later, later." I have no idea if I have enough money to pay for a hotel for a whole month, let alone any contributions to Louisa for food etc. The whole situation leaves me feeling exhausted.
In a complete moment of weakness, I buckled and Bob came to the rescue, offering me shelter at ABH for the night. I settled the bill at Boybosion and was shocked to be charged 90 cedi - I certainly could not have afforded to stay there for the whole month! Tomorrow will be time for a serious rethink.