This past week was school health week, which consisted of updating immunizations and holding health talks at the three Junior Secondary Schools and the Senior High School in Eremon. I went along in an effort to meet the headmasters and health teachers and acclimate myself with the locations of the schools. It was quite successful! I formed health clubs at the three JSSs and played health hangman with the kids – and when I say kids this also includes the 22 year-old student at one of the schools. I truly admire him for his persistence, but I have to admit that I gave myself a little pat on the back for completing college at an age younger than that at which he will finish middle school.
For the High School, I was chosen to give a talk on teenage pregnancy. Personally, I prefer to hear about these things from someone who has actually gone through it. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I have never been a pregnant teenager, but I did the best I could. We discussed causal factors, consequences, and prevention strategies (use a condom, duh) and took questions from the audience. I had one student ask me if it is true that she will “become sick if she stays a virgin for too long.“ My guess is that another student despicably tried to persuade her into having sex with him by citing this false information. I clarified for her that this was not the case, but I doubt it will be the last lie she hears about the topic.
At the same school, I worked with another Volunteer and some students visiting from North Carolina on the World Map Project.
They don’t learn geography, so most of the students don’t even know where Africa is, let alone Ghana. I demonstrated how small Ghana is compared to the rest of the world and went on a tangent about how small we each are in the grand scheme of the universe. People who know me well know that I hate thinking about space and how the Earth is a minute object floating around in our solar system, which is only one of many in the galaxy, which is only a tiny pinpoint of the infinite universe. And how can there be nothing outside the universe? Does something really exist if there is nothing to compare in relation to it? By the time I finished my rant, I was a little panicked myself and had about five students staring at me with blank faces. I think I may have lost them at “solar system.”
Painting the world reminded me of a my favorite game from childhood…do you remember this one?