Las Quatro Harwoods

Into the Groove

Well, kind of anyway.  As I’m writing this Robyn is in heated negotiations with Josie over bedtime as its almost nine and she swears she’s “had enough sleeps”.  Yeh, funny.  From where you’re sitting anyway.  To be fair to Josie, Tina let her sleep for over three hours today at nap.  Say WAH?  Yeh, she just couldn’t bring herself to wake the little sleeping angel up.  Rookie mistake. We talked about it and hopefully that won’t happen again.  Tina is still awesome.

So week one of our official career at Lincoln is in the books.  I have to say it was a pretty good week too.  We’ll break it down a little here and review some tapes to be sure, but I feel like we performed well as a team overall.  There’s some tough opposition out there and you know we’re just happy to have this opportunity to be representing our country on the international stage.  You just go out there and… Ok.  Sorry.  Wrong media outlet.  I’ve been practicing that one just in case I get the call from Jurgen for the fall round of qualifying.  
Lets start over.  My week was good.  I’ve got five classes.  One seventh, three eighth and one ninth.  My biggest class has a roster of twenty-two.  Yeh, I said it.  My biggest class is twenty-two.  I haven’t had a class that small since Jackson and I’m not really sure if that class was really small or just nobody ever showed up.  The sevens are incredibly immature and will be my biggest challenge.  They don’t know what they’re dealing with yet though.  I’ve already brought the hammer down once.  Gently.  They shall learn.  The eights are pretty good.  I like them, can’t complain.  So far though, the nines are my favorite.  It’s a whole new world of involvement and thought processing that I’ve never experienced.  I’m excited to see how it all goes and if my ideas about all this change by the end of the year.  I have two classes on days one and three and three classes on days two and four.  That translates into no class until almost noon two days a week.  Except for Wednesdays when we get out at one thirty for G&G, which I can’t ever remember what it means, but roughly translates into staff development.   So the schedule is pretty awesome if not slightly confusing,  I’m still working on figuring out the curriculum and all the IB stuff, but that will come with time and everyone is willing to help.  I can honestly say I’m excited about this school year.
Maddox.  Poor Chuckleberry has had a little bit harder time adjusting.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think he absolutely loves school, but he is miserable every morning as we drop him off.  Except for the first day, he has bawled when we got down to his room to drop him off. All the parents in the house feel me here when I say that is absolutely heart wrenching.  It’s been a tough way to start each day.  Thankfully by the end of the day he is all smiles and just babbling on about everything he did that day.  Today he said, “Remember how we all flew over on the plane together and spent a lot of time together?  I liked that.”  Poor guy is feeling a little separation anxiety I guess.  He’s had a little trouble finding kids to play with on the playground too.  I think he feels like he’s a little older than some of the other kids and in truth the are some four year olds in his class.  But he just doesn’t play the same way as theaverage  kindergartner I think.  The other kids are just digging in the sand and swinging and skipping around.  That’s not really Maddox.  Finally, I think it was Wednesday, somebody got him a ball.  Money.  He eventually managed to talk some boys into playing some soccer with him and he was golden.  That’s my boy.  By today he was telling us that he had given someone a red card for excessive fouls.  Hilarious.  He was still crying when I left him this morning, but I knew soon after I left he would sort it out.  It will get better.  
As for class stuff, he signs his name in every morning, has a PE uniform, gets to go swimming on Wednesdays, has French, Art and music classes along with all the other usual stuff.  He’s already been to the library and told us all about how to be extra careful with library books.  So much so that Josie couldn’t even touch it.  He’s also got a little clear pouch for notes to and from the teacher and his library books that he has already scolded me for crumbling up and putting in his book bag.  It has to lay flat you see, because we will use it all year.  He’s serious.  
Robyn.  From what I can tell she’s enjoying her job too.  She’s busy.  I see her walk by all the time, kind of cool and some what distracting, wink wink, headed back and forth across campus.  She’s already presented to the lower school staff and met with some parents, the Head of School’s wife, and all kinds of other stuff.  I can’t write as much about her week because we haven’t  gotten to talk about it as much.  I know she’s good at what she does though.  
I have to take a second here and say how awesome it is to be at the same school with two out of three of my favorite people.  It’s cool to see Robyn and get to talk a little during the day and absolutely priceless to be able to walk Maddox down to his class and then walk down to get him or have him pop into my room at the end of the day.  I absolutely love getting to sit and talk about his day for a couple minutes while its all still fresh.  Many thanks.
Josie is having a blast too.  She and Tina have become fast friends.  She gives Tina a hug or blows her a kiss each night as she leaves now.  She even told her she loved her the other day.  They’ve spent their days mostly around here.  They’ve ventured to the Kids Cottage for bouncy fun a few times.  Josie has made a friend there, Emma, and Tina has gotten a phone number so we can set up a play date at some point.  Tina carries Josie on her back wrapped up in a cloth when they leave as she is usually about to pass out.  It is the cutest thing ever.  Well, next to Josie walking around the house with her baby doll “sleeping” on her back. Hilarious.  She even got in bed with her baby still on her back last night.  She’s not really feeling us leaving in the morning either, but she’s doing ok with it.  She’s definitely ready to go to her school.  She asks about it all the time.  Unfortunately that’s still a few weeks away.
Speaking of a few weeks away, we still haven’t gotten our shipment yet.  Rumor is that our ship is in port, it just hasn’t been disembarked yet.  So we could get our stuff sometime next week, or maybe the next.  Who knows.  It’s not like we have to have anything in there or we will perish, but it would be nice to have our things to make our apartment just a little more homey.  And some sheets that fit our bed would be nice.  
Finally, we managed to have a pizza Friday today.  We came home, snacked up, decompressed and then loaded the car and headed to Mamma Mia’s for what was rumored to be the best pizza in town.  Now it was no Elizabeth’s or Mellow Mushroom, but it was good and we earned it.  They even had a little foosball table that the kids could play with.  By the end of the night they were playing with two Indian kids, a British kid (I think)and one of the Ghanaian waiters who was probably in his twenties.  Pretty cool.  Oh and all the kids went to Lincoln.  We are learning quickly that its a small community in a big city with a few places that most people frequent.  
As we left, I pulled my keys from my pocket and heard a little clink as something hit the grate below me.  My first thought was a rogue key, but I soon realized I had left my thumb drives in my pocket.  A quick check of the drainage ditch, I use that term loosely as I’m not quite certain what function these mostly open concrete ditches serve, with my handy flashlight app and my fears are confirmed.  There in the semi sludge lay my two thumb drives.  Not to fear.  Two parking guys, this has to be one of the major job categories in Accra as every business has at least one if not six people to help you park your car and pull away as you leave, jumped to my assistance.  They walked across the street and broke off a couple of twigs and started fishing.  After two heart wrenchingly close attempts that left my drives slightly more sullied each time, they discovered that the next grate down was loose, lifted it up and scraped the drives in that direction as one guy reached in and grabbed them.  He quickly dashed off to wash them off and return them to me.  My heroes.  I dashed them each a couple cedis, to which they had some sort of conversation that I could not tell was pleasantries or curses upon me and my family.  I haven’t exactly figured out the whole dashing thing yet.  I’ve been told the average worker makes about seven or eight cedis a day, so to me two was pretty good.  I don’t know.  I also haven’t tested if the drives still work or not. I’m kind of still scared to touch them.  Gives a new meaning to a potential computer virus.
Oh, one more thing.  I got to play some soccer after school on Thursday with a bunch of the staff.  It was a ton of fun.  Just small sided stuff, but it was dubbed as training for their league games.  We played for about an hour and a half, of which I managed about eighty percent.  Still getting accustomed to the altitude you know.  I had a blast though and it was a good way to get to know a few more of the staff.  It was a pretty even mix too between internationals and Ghanaians.  I’m looking forward to a lot more of that.
So all said and done its been a roller coaster of a week.  We made it though, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say we are happy to be here.  It’s not easy, but seems like the things in life  that are worth it never are.  
One Love.

Walking to school from the staff parking lot.

Thursday afternoon kick around.

The view out my classroom door

Proud of this kid

Robyn at the fruit and veggie stand.  It really is amazing

Foosball at Mamma Mia’s.  This was the second waiter to stop and play with the kids.

Josie sacked out on Tina’s back
This entry was published on August 16, 2013 at 9:51 pm and is filed under family, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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