Top 5 Things I’ve learned in My First Month
Today we hear from our new Program Manager, Camille and her experiences in Ghana so far!
Akwaabaa! My name is Camille and I am excited to be working as the new Program Manager for Exponential Education. I arrived less than a month ago and I have loved every second of it. Here is my list of the top 5 things I’ve learned so far:
1. Ghanaians are extremely helpful, especially when you are trying to find obscure items in the market.
A fellow associate and I were tasked with a sort of scavenger hunt through the one of the largest open-air markets in West Africa. Every person we asked for help was happy to point us in the correct direction through the winding alleys of the market. We even had a few helpful people lead us to the correct section!
2. Middle schoolers behave similarly everywhere.
I have worked with middle school-aged students in the United States, Senegal, Thailand, and now Ghana. Cross-culturally the age before senior high school is one of building strong friendships, learning about yourself, and attempting to come across as cool as possible to your peers. We have all been there.
3. You can eat the same thing every day and really (REALLY) enjoy it.
I have tried several different Ghanaian dishes in my first month, but I find myself actively seeking out a popular specialty of beans, rice, and plantains. The beans are mixed with cassava flour and various spices and stews. Combine the spicy beans with the natural sweetness of the fried plantains and it is carb-heaven in a little plastic bag. Mmmmmm.
4. There will always be music… and dancing.
Whether you are waiting in between classes, buying vegetables, or celebrating after a football game, it is always an appropriate time for a dance party. There is hit Ghanaian music playing from every mobile phone and every home’s speaker. If you are not sure how to dance, everyone will happily encourage you and even show you some moves.
5. Last but not least, Exponential Education has a long legacy in the schools we work in and I am honoured to be a part of it!
I have had a wonderful time meeting the teachers, headmasters, and students Expo has worked with throughout the years. Everyone I have met is incredibly dedicated and passionate about education in Ghana. The Senior High School tutors who participate in our Peer-2-Peer program care deeply about the Junior High School students they tutor, often acting as role models for the younger students. The teachers who teach the Level Up Village classes work for several hours after school closing hours preparing lessons and ensuring that the STEM-focused classes go just right. Moreover, the high-achieving students participating in our Girls Leadership Program and Boys for Positive Change Program are excited for their meetings every week. I am inspired and motivated; it is going to be a successful year!