Monday, May 7, 2012

IT'S STARTING!!!

THREE WEEKS UNTIL WE LEAVE!!! And we are so excited! Annelise and I just finished sorting, counting, and organizing all of the donated supplies that we have received from generous donors in the W&L community! We are so thankful for all those who have helped us in our preparations so far. We hope that the more than two hundred children at McColin's Primary School will enjoy the uniforms, soccer balls, basketball, footballs, batons, and kickballs.

So here's the plan: We will leave for Ghana at the end of May, and for the next two months we will teach English, math, and computer skills to the children through a non-profit organization called Ghana Alliance for Community Transformations (Ghana ACT, ghanaact.org). We look forward to being completely immersed in the Ghanaian culture, living side-by-side with members of the community of Ho, Ghana. As cross country and track runners at W&L, Annelise and I are excited to bring our love of sports to the Ghana ACT volunteer program. We will implement an after school sports program for the children. The school currently only has three worn soccer balls. The program director, John Barber, expressed how enthusiastic the children are about sports, especially about football (soccer).

While we are in Ghana, we will also be incorporating our own cross country workouts into our daily schedule. We are currently working with our coach to develop a training program that will be adaptable to the varied terrain and limited resources that we may encounter in Ghana. For instance, because we will not have access to a weight room, we are planning to use rocks and other relatively heavy objects to increase our strength. We know it will be challenging, but we share a commitment to not only maintaining, but increasing our fitness level throughout the summer to achieve the goals that we have for next season. As we are both striving to qualify for NCAAs in the fall, we know that our training intensity will have to reflect this standard of performance.

On the weekends we will travel with the other volunteers of Ghana ACT to various national parks. We will be visiting the Tafi Monkey Sanctuary, Mount Afadjato, Wli Waterfall, Cape Coast Slave Castle, Kakum National Park, Aburi Botanical Gardens, and Mole National Park. Though we may not have reliable access to the internet, we will attempt to update our blog at least once a week. We will blog about our teaching and coaching experiences, training schedule, culture shock, adventures, misfortunes, and everything else that comes our way! Stay tuned!

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