26 December 08 Game Day

One hundred toffees

Two hundred biscuits

Thirty five children

Forty prizes

Five exhausted planners


It’s not the twelve days of Christmas but a Boxing Day Game Party.   (Try typing on a laptop with an eight week old kitten who wants to play with the cursor but more about Naala in another post.) Last Sunday I had the great idea to have a party for the kids on campus. My idea was to have the local kids come over to my yard and play some games. I knew I would need some help so I asked Afisah and Abigail to help. Afisah and Abigail are two JHS girls. Like many Ghanaian children they a few years older than the typical American 8th grader. They came Sunday afternoon and we started to plan.


What games will we play?  I wanted to teach the children some American games since they have taught me some of their games. Two legged races, bike race, relay race. The girls suggested a game played with bottle caps and a dancing competition. I added musical chairs. So we had our agenda.  In my years of working with people I have learned to delegate so I told Abigail, Thomas and Afisah that if we were going to have music they would have to find something that played music!


What will we have for refereshments? Kool-Aid here is called Jolly Juice. We discussed how many packets to buy. And Afisah said we could get rubbers (remember thats plastic bags) to serve it in. Besides drinking water out of sachets there are also small rectangular rubbers that drinks are sold in. They are about 4 x 6 inches and hold approx. a cup of liquid. Afisah knew where to get the rubbers. She would get them on Monday. 35 pesowa will buy 100.  I would make no  bake cookies. Perpetua had the Jolly Juice. So we were set. 


We also wanted to have some toffee and biscuits. We planned to go to market on Wednesday and buy the toffee,  biscuits and other supplies.

Who will we invite? We decided all children any age.  Right there and then they started writing up invitations. I ripped up paper into small retangles and Afisah and Thomas wrote them out. By this time there were 5 kids in my hall (living room) all contributing their thoughts and ideas.  Delegating again I asked Afisah and Abigail to deliver the invitations. Tuesday we would get together to make the drinks and package them.  By 5:30 my hall was empty and I was beat. Good thing I had some gari for a quick dinner.


Monday I headed over to Madame Paulina’s because I decided to get some water sachets. I wanted to do a water sachet toss and have water on hand as well. Package of thirty water sachets 1 Ghana Cedi. I bought two and asked Pauline to put them in the fridge for me on Thursday so they would be cold on Friday. She agreed. Paulina also offered a table cloth for the party. Yeah!


The girls found me as I was walking back home. They had been talking to other children and everyone thought we should use the school’s Entertainment Hall for the Game Day. Abagail assured me the headmaster, her father, would allow. So off we went to find the head master. He did agree. So now we had a venue.


We decided that if we had the entertainment hall we could try to use the computer and speakers that they use for entertainment nights. So we went off to find Master Hemas. We found him where everybody meets, Perpetua’s!  He agreed to let us have the equipment.


The rest of my day was spent on things that were not related to the party. The last day this week that would happen.


Tuesday the girls came over about 10:00 am and started making and bagging drinks. I worked on the list of events and some award ribbons. About 1:30 the girls said they were hungry. I let them go in the kitchen and they made a nice tomato stew and some rice. They added sardines and an egg. When it was time to eat they had made a lovely plate for me and set it on the table in my hall. They headed to the back room to eat. I called them and said “I like to eat with my friends.” So they joined me with their bowl of rice between three of them. Monica had joined the other two for the drink making process. I looked at their rice no sardines or egg, then I looked at mine they had given me all the protein. I shared.


After lunch they cleaned up. Then finished the drinks.


I decided I wanted Fan Pops as well. I didn’t know the name and no one understood what I wanted however Simona’s mom sold them so I called her. We agreed to meet in town on Wednesday to find some.


The girls went home to cook dinner. I continued to work on the first and second place ribbons. I was only going to make first place because we had 9 events and two division, jr and sr. That meant 18 award ribbons hand made from cardboard and paper. Decorated with blue and red markers and stickers. But there was a loud outcry from the helpers that we needed second place as well. So I had been busy making 36 award ribbons while the girls packed drinks. 


Wednesday was shopping day. Not only did I need to shop big time for myself but there were plenty things go buy for the Game Day. Abagial, Afisah and I caught the 10:00 bus to town. We shopped for my ingredients first then started on the party fixings. I called Simona. She was on her way and would meet us in front of the bank.

The girls and I had gone into Good Family Grocery and I saw the Fan Pops and got the name. Simona met us after Good Family and we headed to the place she knew where we could buy wholesale. She talked to the man and he came out with juice boxes. Not what I wanted.

So I said “I know the name Fan Pops!”


“Oh” says “Simona I know a place near the bus station where we can get them wholesale.”

We headed back to Good Family for toffees and biscuits. Thank goodness there were 4 of us. I had a lot of stuff to carry. Then we headed to the station, it’s about a quarter of a mile. At the wholesaler the man said that he was out but Good Family had some. Oh boy now we had to walk all the way back with our kolima (things) to Good Family again! At last I had 30+ Fan Pops.  But now we had to walk to the bus station AGAIN. And this time we had 30+ frozen orange pops. The girls would not let me carry. I finally just took the box of biscuits.


Finally we arrived home after lugging our kolima another 1/2 mile from the junction to my house.  I sent the girls home. And I continued to work on the award ribbons.


Thursday Christmas morning was a break from party planning activities. I visited friends. I delivered gifts to Perpetua and family. She was in town making the bread dough.  Talked to family on the phone and had a nice chicken stew for Christmas lunch. The girls came in the afternoon to wish me Happy Christmas. I gave them small small gifts. They helped with the everlasting award ribbons. They left and I finished the award ribbons at last! All 36. For a treat I went back to Perpetua’s for Christmas night. We visited and I ate Tee Zed with her.

Christmas day is not a big deal here. People go to church and eat special food but not many presents. I didn’t see any decorations either. Market day, Saturday, is supposed to be a day the village celebrates Christmas. I’ll let you know what that is like.


Game day came at last. Thirty five children dressed in their best clothes. They were all eager to have some fun. It took about 1 1/2 hours for all the children to arrive so we just danced until a critical mass was there.


I started the running games. But soon realized that they were not a good idea after two falls and two very dirty nice dresses. Since flexibility is a key virtue of a PCV i decide to end the athletic activities. We went back into the entertainment hall and had some jolly juice. I took photos of many of the kids. They all wanted a picture with this friend and that.


They wanted to do the dance contest so we did. Boy these kids love to dance. Even the youngest of them have some very sophisticated dance moves.  The dancing was the hit of the party.


After dancing we handed out ice pops and biscuits (cookies for you Americans). Then the prizes.


It was a good day.



1 Comment

  1. Beth said,

    January 19, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Gosh, Sis!!! I am exhausted just READING this!!! What a grand event!!

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