Our volunteer blog post

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Oct2012 17

Paulina playing pick-up basketball with one of the HCI kids

Below is a blog post from our volunteer on how she is settling in. Each month we bring you her posts on sports, health, and educational activities she will be involve in.

One month has already passed since my arrival in Ghana and after the first few days of acclimatization and familiarization the days began to pass faster and faster. But these first days were hard for me. Ghana is different from Europe in nearly every area of life. When they showed me the „shower“ in my hoststay, i was asked whether i know how to take a bath with a bucket. I said I would try it and to be honest, the first time I couldn’t even wash my hair. But thanks to my creativity I am able to wash it now – with a half plastic bottle as a scoop. Another new thing was the „light-off“. The kids used to ask if we have light-offs in Germany and didn’t believe me when I told them that we have always electricity. What I really enjoy is going to the market. Sure, buying all your food and stuff in a supermarket like at home is more comfortable, but I like the buzz of activity and the sereneness at the same time. Some food like Yam i have never seen before. So what could I have answered when I was asked whether I like it?! I think they didn’t even thought of that we might have no Yam in Germany. It tastes like a mix of potatoes and pumpkins to me. My favourite dish is rice with stew. My Mommy here can cook very well and I love her fried rice. The only thing I don’t like is fish – and I already noticed that this is quite a problem here in Cape Coast when my friend tried to get something to eat for me.

My work as a pe-teacher at a primary- and pre-school turned out to be more difficult than I expected. I thought I might play some games which I played in my own childhood in the kindergarten. But most of the games failed because the kids don’t know how to play tag. They don’t understand that you have to run away. So I try to get them moving as much as possible, which isn’t easy with 30 kids, 2 balls and 2 rings. The most difficulties I have with the nurseries. It seems like the teachers expect me to do some funny games with them, but they also seem to forget that English is not my mothertongue and I dont know any english games. All I can do is to show them some types of movement, like running, jumping, creeping, walking on their toes, walking bachwards, …

Since the PE doesn’t work so well I’m really looking forward to my basketball practice. At the moment I practice two times a week and these are the two days I love the most. Give me a ball and a basket and I’m happy. Too bad there’s only one rim at the HCI-Court. I’ve never been in the situation to have 15 or more people on a half-court with one ball. And I think a coach should always try to involve as many players as possible, so I think I have to think about some new exercises.

All in all I love Ghana every day a little more. I love especially the nice people here – even if the men are sometimes too nice. ;-) But there is so much more to see and I hope I’ll see all of Ghana’s beauty in the next months.


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Hoops Care International (HCI) is a non-governmental organization located in the community of Amanful in Cape Coast, Ghana. It officially began in 2008 as a program to empower youth in the community through sports. Since then, it has grown to include care and outreach surrounding health and education. HCI works closely with youth from twelve schools in Cape Coast, along with single mothers, teen mothers, and handicapped individuals. In addition to running regular activities and programs surrounding sports, health, and education, HCI also coordinates events to address important issues. HCI has made a significant impact with its programs already, and always looks for new ways to support and empower community members


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