Celebrating Mothers

The day started, like any other Sunday. A light breakfast of bagel cream cheese and a few olives, washed down with a steaming cup of hot chocolate. The powdered chocolate from cocoa grown in the rain forests of Ghana. Pure, refined and slightly bitter. It was creamy and had a sweet aroma. I glanced at my phone and noticed I had many messages from all my cherished children and dear friends wishing me a, ‘Happy Mother’s Day’. I felt special. I had to share the feeling with my mothers, so I sent my mother-in-law and a few mentors messages of love and encouragement for this journey of parenting.

I then got ready for church, and remembered there was an event after lunch. I took my two choices of clothing with matching shoes and accessories, just in case one was not right.

After church, I stopped at my sister’s, joined the family for lunch and prepared for the Mother’s Day Garden-Tea Party. Many events in my life create images that stick and this was one of them. A colorful group of ladies, some familiar others not so familiar. We chatted and got acquainted with each other before settling down to a menu of delights. The youthful band surprised us with familiar music that sounded so perfect and mellow. It is only when you actually turned to see the band that you realized the music was live.

Meanwhile the setting was just extraordinary. Tables of two, four six and more had been set. With waiters at our beck and call. Mother’s being pampered. The garden was plush, I have grown to appreciate plants and ‘greenery’ so much. The garden had been cleverly nurtured, with a hut-like thatched roof of green palm branches. There was a mix of realistic looking artificial flowers for the décor, however there were beautifully colored roses as the center pieces on the plushly laid tables.

When we found our table, ‘Peach Tea’, none of the guests were seated. Soon after that, a few ladies joined us. The conversation started. The waiters served the most exotic tasting cold tea and kept refilling our glasses. They delivered the three courses on tiered servers. It seems scanty but definitely a delight to see and taste. It was filling, many choices, sweet and savory.

A remarkable experience. The sheer exuberance of the exquisitely dressed mothers or mothers to be. An escapade I am sure I will look forward to next year. Thanks to the organizers, like my children, this will live with me for a very long time.

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A Reminder

“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than is expected.” #teacherlife

I chanced upon this quote on Instagram today. It spoke to me. It reminded me of how I should consciously seek out all students, regularly looking for gems in their sharing or work. I made sure I recognized and encouraged students today and this worked like magic.

The students I spoke to, commended and encouraged suddenly sparked and crawled out of their shells, joining the class in discussions, calling me for feedback, asking questions and being active members of the teaching and learning.

Sometimes we need these reminders, even though we may already be using different strategies to involve all students. This quote is essential especially when you have many lively class members who are always energized during lessons.

In the Morn

When all is solemn and quiet

The sky darkens in the morn

They fly and sing as a duet

When all is solemn and quiet

They rise to seek their diet

Where nature is born

When all is solemn and quiet

The sky darkens in the morn

My first triolet. I found an example in the book, A Kick in the Head, an eight-line poem with a rhyme scheme abaaabab, and some repeating lines. In the rainy season, some mornings meet us with dark skies, but still the morning birds sing to lighten the atmosphere. These scenes draw us close to nature.

An Unplanned Visit

The unplanned visits are the best, I thought, as our guests were leaving.

I was thinking about the anxiety in preparing for guests. The long list of dishes. Checking that the place is “spick and span”. Getting out the best crockery, cutlery and glasses. The dishes planned, ingredients purchased, time set for preparing and cooking, then the wait.

‘Are they coming on time? When will they get here?’

‘Is the room temperature okay: open windows or air conditioner?’

‘Will there be enough seats: should we bring in some more?’

I guess these days all’s changed and most planned visits have a wait.

Last night our friends from Arizona popped in to say, ‘hello and goodbye’ They had travelled to Ghana for a different purpose and would not leave without seeing us. Masked up, they arrived around dinner time . I quickly put together a “Tapas-like” meal for us.

Our last supper perhaps, as they leave this evening. It was a short visit, our friends, their friends from down our road joined us at the tail end of the visit. There were many clicks, appreciating the brief visit and excited as we had not seen each other for many years. The clicks stored the memories, there was no stress, everyone was delighted.

From a Grateful Writer

Every year I get braver and more courageous with my words and stance as a writer. I’ve learned a lot from my many mentors here. I also have a long list of different moves as my ‘go to’ on a ‘dry’ day.

Where did this month go? It flew by without us noticing.

Is it because we are busy with the ‘on-campus’, ‘online’, ‘hybrid’ or ‘concurrent’ teaching?

Next March, all these words or some of them may be a thing of the past.

I’m grateful to the Two Writing Teachers, and the friends who always gave me such impactful feedback.

I’ll end with ‘Me da mo ase paa,’ ‘thank you very much’ in Twi a language spoken in Ghana, West Africa.

Until next March, my goal is to keep writing.

#SOL21 #SOLSC

The Rainy Season is Here

During the rainy season all the plants bloom, become lush as one’s garden tends to look like a tropical forest.

My visit to R’s garden yesterday was another delight. Every visit unearth’s gifts. Plants that I have not particularly noticed before. I have the pleasure of enjoying the plants and leaving them there. It reminds me of how we sometimes enjoy other people’s babies.

Calathea
Calathea Roseoptica
Aglaonema
Caladium

Yesterday I was drawn to plants with coloured or patterned leaves. As I looked through my photographs I noticed I had been attracted to plants with decorated leaves.

The rains during the rainy season are strong and fall in drapes. The rains are always refreshing as they soak up the heat. We wake with a cool breeze and fresh earthy smells. We’d rather that, than the hazy morning sunshine that is sometimes so scorching you forget the time of day it is.

So during this season as the plants are gratified so are we.

#SOL21 #SOLSC

Loudly

Loudly

the putter of rain

changed the atmosphere

both inside and out

Loudly

the din of rain

made me move

rushing outside to the lines

Loudly

he shouted to remind me

of the laundry hanging outside

soaking the large drops of tropical rain

Loudly

I yelled back to confirm

I was on my way

to the backyard, basket in hand

Quietly

I sang to myself whilst

plucking the pegs hurriedly

off the bedsheets and pillow cases.

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#SOL21 #SOLSC

Students: Problem Solvers

During a lesson this week, we encouraged students to help us with a new technology tool we knew would help us publish and celebrate the end of our unit. What transpired motivated students and gave them so much ownership.

At the end of the day, when we asked what the best part of their day was, the students enthusiastically shared that lesson, when they were the problem solvers.

These experiences, are teaching us many things and I have a long list of the learning that I believe happened:

That nobody knows it all.

We are finding solutions together and can rely on each other’s expertise.

We should not be complacent and use only the tools we are familiar with.

There is strength is collaborating, using the know how that individuals in the room have.

That we are working as a team.

Listening to each other’s ideas.

Trying things out in different ways: when we did that we realised the first and second methods did not work, we tried a different way.

About patience, reliance, humility and trust.

In the physically distanced room, it felt like a community, the quote “It takes a village to raise a child,” came to mind.

The students were being exposed to a life-long and authentic experience which should be transferable and motivating.

#SOL21 #SOLSC

Curly Locks

What does curly make me think about? Hair.

Well if I am to call my locks curly that would really be interesting, but I just do. My hair is tightly curled and ends up being thick and unmanageable. The thought of running a comb through it used to put me right off.

I sometimes tell my friends my hair is like a carpet: tightly woven, taut and dense. I so love my natural hair now, untouched and full of love.

When we were in our early twenties we straightened those curls which made the kinky turn silky. It was rather easy to comb and style. It harmed the natural beauty I know, as the hair line got brittle and sometimes shed like leaves.

As the years went by and the chemicals had done their damage we donned shorter hairstyles, that was the trend. We still styled, artificially curled and dabbed it with different creams.

I will not exchange my fifties natural curls now. Untouched, dotted with grey and softened by my daily pat of shea butter and natural oils!

#SOL21 #SOLSC

Notebook Celebration

This evening’s celebration is because of a considerable feat: the last leaf of my very first ‘official’ Notebook.

This has been an enjoyable ride till Day 79 of my ‘100 days of Note booking.’

Some days, I felt really empty and other days I was rather full. Full of words, ideas and innuendos.

I owe my commitment to my Teach Write colleagues and to M for the workshop and guidelines for the newbie I was.

Starting off thinking my notebook had to be perfectly manicured, I even dared to draw a few illustrations. Some of my drawings were renditions, others from my imagination, those interestingly turned out quite well.

Tomorrow, will be my day of cracking open my next (official) Notebook, hopefully it will be another enjoyable ride starting on Day 80.

#SOL21 #SOLSC