School and Friends

Tuesday, August 19, 2014Today was another good day for Hannah at school, and I have read most of my outstanding e-mail. This morning we got to the German Swiss International School early, and Hannah hit the playground as soon as the door in the wall was opened (almost all buildings have walls around them with rolls of barbed wire on top). She likes the long rope: She jumps off a short wall and swings wide. Today to rope top detached from its connection high up and Hannah fell. “My butt hurts, but not too much.” And that was the end of that.

Adwoa (8) and Mansa (6) Sakyi (pronounced say-chee) have become Hannah’s first African BFFs, having played with them every day for the last four days. Adwoa and Mansa are staying with their aunt and uncle nearby, and will be leaving about September 9 to go back home to school in Winneba, about 60 kilometers to the west of Accra on the coast of Ghana. Adwoa tells me her father was born in the Brong Ahafo Region in the city of Techiman, and her mother was born in the Western Region in the city of Wassa Nkran. The aunt and uncle live about a block from us and have a small store selling reusable bags, candy and a few other items. The store is staffed by family youth; they clearly have other income. The girls run and scream and practice giving birth to Hannah’s dolls among many other games. They are the very definition of strength and beauty running together in the grass and wild flowers with huge crows flying around them. The crows like their American kin are black but have a white middle from the neck to mid belly, all around them, quite formal looking. The crows run from the girls (they know their power). I knew yesterday that this was going well when Adwoa, after we’d dropped her and Mansa off at their house, ran back to us 50 yards to make sure Hannah could play again tomorrow.

Tonight Monica is being entertained by a colleague. She will pour her mind and love over and through her, and each will be changed forever. Hannah and I will play, eat, read books, and hit the sack. Then I read more. I am finally getting some of my books read: David Graeber, Leymah Gbowee, Staughton Lynd, Thomas Piketty, and John Steinbeck. I am loving Graeber’s praise and critique of Quakers (in The Democracy Project): Great horizontal decision making process; too bourgeois. The praise and critique are glibly stated and without nuance, but true enough to be useful. He also mentions one of my Quaker mentors in pedagogy, sociology, and activism, George Lakey. (He is worth many reads and protesting with.)

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