All Together

Red, Yellow, Green and Blue

All spread around

The park

 

Hands sway

Bodies sashay

Heads bob

Fingers snap

 

Barking music

Fills the air

Although outside

We declare

 

A day of fun

A dance to remember

 

This was our Elementary School Dance-Off, that happened some time ago. 

Today we have another House color event that has been organized by a grade level.

I am sharing this because it is going to be as unique as the dance-off.  Math games indoors, ( Really cool… as it is over 30 degrees celsius outside). 

This should also be special because the older students are teaching the younger ones.

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Friendship

In class, across the room sat a quiet, gentle looking lady with long. braided hair, donning a thin pastel cardigan.  She wore a welcoming smile. Everyday, she sat by herself and did not contribute much to the class conversations. I thought she was reserved and seemed rather alone. 

One morning, I managed to sit closely to her and shared some hellos. I was surprised by her warm response. I took advantage of the opportunity to ask her a few questions, about her school, what and where she taught. I discovered she had traveled to Europe with her partner while I had made this journey with my colleagues, for the course.

When we realised we had a lot in common, we found each other everyday, during that week. There was so much to share although she is years younger. We ended up in the same group to work on our end of session project. Working with her was a joy, she was organized, willingly shared her resources and knowledge of the subject area.

My colleagues and I invited the couple over for dinner at a restaurant, where we all talked for hours.

During the year we stayed in touch and shared photos of our travels. 

Back to Europe, for the end of the course, a year later, my friend and her partner had also arrived. They told us they would be returning for other courses. This time, they chose to invite us to their rented home. It was beautiful, a quaint chalet with its own garden and barbecue area. We overindulged with the nice meal prepared by them, a barbecue, drinks topped with cool music in the background. We laughed and enjoyed their company, dancing and sharing more stories after the meal. As they live on the other side of the world they had a variety of stories and information about their travels.

That was three years ago.

This year, the couple are planning a summer wedding, many miles from where we live and the excitement is beyond belief. We are all planning to attend from different parts of the world to support our long distance friends.

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Shattered Dream

Counting down

Looking forward

 

Memories driving

That need

Imagination helping

Complete it

 

Dim Lights

Rich aromas

Gloved hands

Like a surgery

 

Tiny portions

Colorful rendition

Different levels

Sit up, sit down

 

All halted

With a bang

Disappointment

Expectation quashed

 

Like a plate thrown

“Splat!”

The dream 

Shattered

A dear friend planned a dinner date with myself and others to a Japanese restaurant. She had to cancel because she had another engagement. I only had a piece of paper to scribble. This is what appeared to ease the disappointment.

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Life Stories

If my parents were around they would have been chief mourners.  Mama met Mrs. O in the early 1960s, when she was a young teacher in Takoradi, she lived with her father, then. 

Mr. O’s passing has been a blow to our family, too. We became neighbors and grew up with their children. Many fond memories of our childhood are shared anytime we meet. For some of us the stories are still fascinating.

When we went to share our condolences, Mrs. O told us many interesting stories about the past. Some of the stories we had heard once or twice before but were now being retold with more important and meaningful details. Is it because we are older that she felt the need to share them with us? Or was she just reminiscing because she had just lost her husband? She has a superb memory for her age and even remembers dates and names. We kept nodding and trying to relate what she was narrating to what we already knew.

She would start, “I guess you knew that…”

That got us thinking;

“Oh, that is why Daddy did this.”

“Now we understand why Mama said that.”

We had the opportunity to ask her many niggling questions. The answers filled the gaps of stories we knew but were still unclear, some of which we had packed away, as we had no clue if anyone knew about them.

Many stories get lost when our dear ones leave us. I hope we can salvage some more about our parents and our childhood from Mrs. O after all the celebrations are over.

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The Skipping Regime

I needed a skipping rope. I had talked about it so much E, my daughter, was also on a look out for one for me. The plan was to buy one over the weekend. 

On our ride home, this coincidence I believed was truly God sent, happened, especially when I had never seen a roadside hawker selling skipping ropes. It was too good to be true, when E shouted,

“Mum he is selling skipping ropes.”

I really could not believe my luck. 

I quickly beckoned him over and asked how much it cost.

“Fifteen Ghana cedis,” he said. 

I would normally have bargained, but this time I knew how much this was going to be part of my regime, so I happily paid for my find and stashed it in my bag. We drove off when the traffic light changed.

I was amazed and even remembered exactly what the hawker looked like. A frail elderly man perhaps shrunk by the heat of the  sun, bent over a bit, in his oversized, faded blue gingham shirt. He was also donning a black top hat similar to the magician’s. The skin on his face folded and dark like worn leather, possibly caused by thinking. He inspected the car to see who and why. He must have wondered who would be using the rope and why it was so needed. I guess he saw how elated the buyer was and felt satisfied he had gotten rid of one of his wares. I wonder if he ever thinks of the impact of his wares. 

The satisfied buyer could not wait to show off. I wanted E, to know that I meant business. 

The following morning, I started off gently, twenty skips, then another twenty. The target was one hundred a day. I managed that in tens until I got to the bitter end. I should have known as when I got to forty, I felt a pain in my knee, which I totally ignored. That is when I remembered the pain in my knee that surfaced over a year ago, with visits to the hospital and after some minor treatment had disappeared. 

I showed off that I had managed the one hundred skips and this was going to be my daily routine. A few hours later, I started to limp! The excitement of skipping may not be such a good idea. This left me feeling deflated, leaving me thinking about my other options.

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Mother Ghana

I have been thinking about a slice that would help me celebrate Ghana, as it is the anniversary of her Independence day today, 6th March. I have stated before how I have been looking closely at my environment since I started writing. On my walk about at school this drawing caught my eye. 

An exquisite chalk drawing of mother Ghana, drawn by our lower elementary Art teacher yesterday, to celebrate the day. I asked her assistant if I could take a photograph of it and sent a message to ask the teacher if I could share her picture. With her permission, I am sharing this:

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This drawing represents many facets of where I am. The culture: flag, colorful fabrics, beads, food and clothes. My interpretation of the woman is mother Ghana, representing its people. I am connecting this to melissaroosh‘s interpretation and comment about theatre in her slice. I have also started to look for ‘magic’ in the Arts.

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Temptation

Standing on the scale caused a gentle awakening.

Trying a low carbohydrate diet has not been easy. I take advantage of being busy and ignore the hunger pangs that will not leave my side. My friend invites me and insists on helping with a plan that works.

“You can do it,” she guides.

I have never been a regimental person and know this will be difficult. I think she knows that too, so I receive an email or two, followed by a whatsapp message as a reminder for me to check the recipes, she thoughtfully sent. 

A phone call to make sure I am walking or skipping as promised. 

“Maybe I’ll start next week ,” I persuade myself.

So far, I have been deliberately eating many juicy tropical fruits, in different forms. Smoothies, chunks, slices and whole. I enjoy the assortment. In my head I know I am getting different vitamins and minerals but the carbohydrates!

Breakfast works, a hot healthy meal at lunch, sometimes a salad and a light dinner with just vegetables and low fat protein. I am a late sleeper, by  nine pm temptation visits. It draws me and insists I visit the kitchen. I have resisted but I know one day I may give in. 

I know my friend will call soon, so I will keep my word and ignore the pangs. 

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Rainy, Sunny Day

The darkened sky on a sunny day.  This got us wondering what was happening. The sky had been clear earlier, during our morning assembly.

A few hours later, the dry season had turned into a wet one. I had not read or listened to the weather forecast. I rarely do, as the temperature during the dry season normally stays the same. 

It suddenly got very windy. When the weather changes in this way, many of us wish it was a weekend so we could laze at home. 

The students were getting excited and kept asking.

 “Ms.Juliette is it raining ?”

I decided to peek outside with two of them, to feed their curiosity. The wind was blowing and we could see and hear the branches on the trees swishing. There was a fresh smell of rain spreading around. We were convinced it would rain within the hour. When the rains come in March it spells the end of the dry season, so this is always welcome. The rainy season is much cooler and bearable.

It was almost lunch time, so the rains also meant, an indoor lunch and play, which is not really the best choice for my fourth graders. We complain about the heat, but the children would rather be outside playing. An opportunity to stay indoors is not an idea they look forward to.

When the rain turned up it was heavy and caused a mini-flood. Ch stood outside staring and talking about the moving water and I added it looked like a stream. 

At the end of the school day, the stream had dried up and it was just damp outside, the pavements were dry and the wind had ceased. We got our dry season back.

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New Stalls

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Desert rose, anthuriums, pothos and more, slowly appeared.

During my drive along the new road to work, this morning, I soaked in the environment, noticing many establishments that were not present last year.

A variety of flower pots had appeared, some earthenware and others made with cement. Tall, short, cylindrical and box-like. Some decorated or painted, others not.

Coupled with them were mini-gardens beautifully coiffed with an assortment of tropical flowers.

One of them stood out, the gardeners seemed to have a plan, planted or manicured to show different heights of color. So much skill but a ‘homeless’ skill. Of course the owners of these mini gardens were nowhere to be found at that time of the morning. Trusting that no one would dare pinch any of their wares. 

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Left behind, were small boards of untidily written phone numbers, just in case a potential customer turned up.

These stalls were not there last year. I remember very well as I wrote about the lone coconut seller.

In these parts businesses spring up when no one is looking. When they arrive they soon have company and trade together. It must be lucrative otherwise it would not be attractive. Similar plants and pots are sold in the open area, and use the space well. 

I guess the road will not be expanded anytime soon so they occupy the space till someone decides it is time for them to leave. I wonder what else will surface at the same time next year.

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The Sun

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This photograph was taken on my way to work.

Can you see the sun?

It is hiding behind the tree.

In the distance peering at us

Hoping to give us some light

Reminding us of what we have

An  extraordinary inheritance

An enchanting delivery

I was able to capture

This inheritance

That stands out

Let’s appreciate 

The present

And revere it.

Nature gives us so much beauty. I never ever saw it that way as a child, but now that I am older I appreciate what is around me. 

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