ACCRA, GHANA, YOUTH HOPE

Astronomy class

July 16, 2014

Every time that one great trip was over, I felt the anticipation of getting back home, and by home I mean the interns house in Accra. Batteries loaded for a creative school week.

At that time, the interns at school had doubled and two interns matched each classroom. In mine came a very willing, smiling Chinese boy. The students summoned him “Chineseman” and wellcomed him with Kung-Fu moves. He always smiled at them back and copied their moves. One day, as I was squeezzing my mind to find a way to capture the attention of our little students, I decided that the only effective way would be an interractive class. So I grabbed an Encyclopedia, I had found in a super market, and opened it randomly. Astronomy it was! Although I had no clue about this exciting science, I looked at the pictures and got an idea. The teacher made the introduction for us to teach. The students kept quiet. The plan was to imitate the rotations of the earth and the sun. I asked Bill (the Chinese boy) to make the Sun, while I would be the Earth, moving around him and around myself at the same time. After a well dizzy three or four rounds and equal time of childish giggles, we gave the flour to the children to show us what they’ve learnt. “Me, me, me!” Everyone wanted to swirl. So they did! The experiment worked. In the end I asked them “Is the earth moving?” and they knew the answer.

The same night we had a party at home. Next door to our cute place lived a dog. A very strange one. I had well-founded suspicions, that there was something wrong about it. Every night at 12 o’clock the dog barked in a frightening way, as if it was mourning or suffering. I was counting the stars in the endless sky, thinking at my students, when the clock struck 12! Some clouds hid the fullmoon and darkess covered the yard. The dog, or whatever this thing was, started its usual ritual. Standing in the dark alone, hearing this creature’s scream, I realized that I had undergone a little transformation. The way I look at the sky will never be the same again. The curious happy faces of my little students will simultaniously come in my mind, no matter where I am. Maybe they will even remember that the planets are moving, when they look at the sky, and giggle at our funny pantomime.

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