After two months of trying to start my project, I finally began my research yesterday! It went well...definitely not the results I expected. The students scored really low on the core stability tests, which I attribute to their Western influence of a society in which children are trained physically to pass a fitness test instead of to sit up straight or carry their own backpacks. I thought it was really interesting, though.
Wednesday was a holiday--Republic Day (the day upon which the republic was formed). And TOMORROW is the Fourth of July! We'll be going to a funeral, which should be an interesting cultural experience. We are going to the part where the people dance and eat lots of food, not the wailing and mourning part. A man who goes to our church has a brother who died in Canada, and his body was shipped back to Ghana. The people here traditionally wait forty days before they bury the body (unless they are Muslim). Interesting...
I know I wrote to everybody on Monday...I do have a cute story from yesterday, though. Shannon, Kayla, and I went with Grace (the daughter of our host parents and our translator) to a house so that Kayla could meet people to interview. We went into the compound, and a billion little kids were in there. The mothers were pounding fufu. Fufu is basically yams that are pounded into a gelatinous goo. They are used to mop up soups and stews. The women use a giant log and bring the end down into a bowl to mash it up. It's really cool. Anyways, at first these kids were terrified of us. They think that white people are ghosts sometimes. However, one of the mothers gave Kayla her newborn baby to hold. She was darling with her curly black ringlet hair and her tiny little fingers. I tried to speak Twi with the kids. They loved it. Then, I motioned for them to come play handgames with me (I had learned some in the Presby school...the girls teach them to me pretty much every day). Soon, the children all wanted to play with me. They were singing and clapping. It was so much fun. I love connecting to the people here. The kids are so cute once they learn that we're actually good people.
Sad news...Margaret, our field facilitator, got malaria this week. That means that out of our group of seven, six have gotten malaria so far. We are predicting that Whitney will get it before we leave.
I will not be emailing again until July 18th or later because I will be doing research every day for the next two weeks. I will talk to you all then. I'm sure I'll have a lot to talk about, so be sure to check my blog after that date.
I love you all...have a happy holiday and watch some fireworks for me. Hot dogs and hamburgers and Momma's macaroni/tuna salad are not out of the question, either.