Saying Goodbye

“Goodbying” was fun, difficult,etc. But, the person who had the hardest time with it was Clementina. She was weeping and trying to control that on top of having some malaria symptoms.
The school bought a volleyball net and ball and were playing when I arrived today. So, of course you know the first thing I did. Played with the girls and then luckily the boys came out. They were really good whereas the girls were “girly.” Excuse the expression but I think you know what I mean. I tried to help them but some were afraid of the ball and others just didn’t know how to move. I talked to the coach of the boys and asked him to coach the girls. He said he would try but they often don’t come out.
Saying goodbye
Then as I was driving away, many of the students came running out of the classrooms and in unison waved goodbye and mimicked my “happy dance” that I do in classes when someone does something really great. Very funny and bittersweet as always.
Ayamdooh and I talked about this being the best trip because I got everything done that I wanted. Nothing was left to do “tomorrow.” I didn’t get sick at all and the students really seemed to pick up on the teachings.

The teachers this time weren’t as enthusiastic as other times to come to classes. Apparently they expected me to provide food and pay their gas. So, I said forget it and taught the students which is always more fun anyway.
With Clementina teaching now, i am happy they will be getting more of the learning they need
My beautiful Yua children. I love them all.
walking in Yua

Yua woman in her new shirt from the U.S.

Yua woman in her new shirt from the U.S.


Yua woman wearing one of my many hats

Yua woman wearing one of my many hats

The women made shea butter again from bags of shea nuts I bought them. All of the containers but 4 are for the women and one for the medical clinic. They now use the butter regularly for skin irritations and for cooking of course.

There is enough shea butter for all the women who made it and the clinic.

There is enough shea butter for all the women who made it and the clinic.


So, that is it for this trip. So much has happened and I didn’t write about all of it. The adventures and the growth are never ending and I am most grateful to Akunz for first introducing me to these beautiful people and their village. It is with a heavy heart that I have left. On the other hand, I am glad to know I will be going back and seeing more progress with the animals and the students. students up close
Until next time…Hugs, Jan

School people

Joshua is a dedicated, sweet man who wants all of his students to succeed.  He is rare in that he cares about them so much.  I really love working with him.  Plus, he corrected my spelling and my grammar when I was teaching.

Joshua is a dedicated, sweet man who wants all of his students to succeed. He is rare in that he cares about them so much. I really love working with him. Plus, he corrected my spelling and my grammar when I was teaching.


Clementina is modeling her new skirt. She was a trooper. She hung out with me all morning while I played volleyball and said goodbye to the kids. She finally told me she was having malaria symptoms. We took her home.
Clementina modeling her new skirt from the U.S.

Clementina modeling her new skirt from the U.S.

Girls showing funeral pockets
Clementina shows the girls how to sew funeral pockets that she sewed in my class 5 years ago when I first taught them.
The girls tend to get pregnant at funerals so this pocket they put inside their dress, holds a condom. They loved making them.
Sewing funeral pockets to hold condoms
Pok teaching sex ed to the boys and handing out condoms.
Pok teaching sex ed
A volleyball in Yua? I was so excited, I had to play with the girls…and the boys.
Volleyball in YuaPlaying volleyball
The students were drinking out of that green container on the floor. One cup, not cleaned between people drinking from it and put back in the water. Ugh!!!
We talked about hygeine in sex ed and I found these buckets with a spout. I suggested each student bring their own cup or calabash. The students said they were really happy to have these. Old habits die hard though, so I will see next time if they use these. Fingers crossed.
New Water containers for school
Julius and me 2015

I told Ayamdooh and Pok that I really didn’t want to go home without seeing Julius. Finally, my last day, Julius drove up to the truck on his motorcycle. We hugged and I felt in that moment, my trip was complete.
He told me that he had been teaching awhile ago when a few women walked into his class. They were from a very large NGO, Afrikids. They asked where he learned to teach “like that.” He said from, “Madame Jan from the U.S.A.” They then asked him to come to a meeting where other teachers and other head masters would attend. He will be talking about these new teaching methods and how they have changed the way his students learn. I know he would take it with him. I feel really grateful that I met him and had the opportunity to work with him.
The Reading Group this year was much bigger than in previous years. We still accomplished the goals of learning to project, have eye contact and speak with expression. We had a great time.