The Kindergarten

Good afternoon!

First two weeks of kindergarten is over, and I am left with so many new impressions. Even though we only have four hours there a day, I am exhausted when I come home. Partially because Ghanaians start their day way too early. Most of them wake up around 4am to prepare for school and work. There are roosters and goats walking around everywhere, and they also start their day around that time.  So normally, I wake up twice before 6am trying to ignore loud music, radio, roosters, goats and drums just to mention some. The kindergarten that Julie and I go to is about 5km away, so up to this point we have taken a taxi there back and forth (it’s only like 5ghc/10nok). However, last week we bought ourselves bikes! They were not too expensive and they came with a nice basket and locks. So now, we are not only the “obroni’s” in town, but the cycling ones as well. And yes, we get a lot of looks from people. We went out yesterday, and met so many who said they’ve seen us biking around on campus. Embarrassing enough. Anyways, 5km each way = 10km a day, four times a week. Cycling 40km, (at least) every week for a month will hopefully get my legs and butt in shape. There are no gears on the bike either, so it is quite heavy.

But back to the kindergarten. They do everything different from us. There is nothing to compare other than it being children and adults together in a restricted area. In this private kindergarten they have Nursery 1 & 2 (1-2 yrs, and 3yrs), KG 1 & 2 (4 yrs and 5-6 yrs). The first week I decided to try all the different classes to see how they do it and what the children learn. Surprisingly enough it is in Nursery 1 where they cane and punish the children the most. These are 1-2 year olds who have to sit and count to 5, repeat the teacher and do parkobling and show they know kardinalprinsippet (don’t know the English terms). In Norwegian kindergartens, they start doing this at age 3-4, give and take.  In KG2 (Kindergarten 2), 5-year olds sit and do math in books and on the blackboard. This does not seem too bad, but again, compared to Norwegian standard, it is insane. If I were to write down everything I see and feel after this week, I would write a 500-page book.

With all this said, it really is interesting to be here, and the woman who runs the kindergarten is super sweet. She has a completely different view of things; it is almost as if she is much more Norwegian in her thinking. The children are also nice and fun to be with, except for the fact that they do not know how to play with each other without biting, kicking, punching, pulling, throwing stones and so on… They are also really fascinated by our skin and hair. Not to mention my hamsa hand/lotus flower tattoo. I don’t really think they understand what it is.  They keep telling me I have to wash my arm, lol.

Other than this, we’re slowly getting used to things here. Going to the market, biking through all the honking in the traffic, greetings, what we actually have to pay for things etc. I’m not really thinking that much about how it looks around here anymore; getting more used to that too. So things are getting better and better! Tomorrow it will be three weeks since we left home. That’s totally crazy. It feels much longer, but still. Time flies, and suddenly we’ll be back home where everything is the same.

So long peeps!

– Kristin



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