08 June 2009 I have a small girl

I have a small girl. Her name is Kantuace. Her brother worked for me for a month and now he works for Perpetua. Since Madua left she needed help. Samuel said his sister, Kantuace would work for me.

She is 12 years old and is in our equivalent of 5th grade. Like most children here she looks years younger than her actually age. I would have guessed 9 maybe 10. She is very slim. Her skin is fair. That is to say her skin is not deep black.

I pay her 1 GH Cedi 20 pesewa a week. In fact before last week it was only 1 GH Cedi but she works so hard I gave her a raise. This is some of what she does for that pay. She arrives around 6:00 am. She will sweep outside and then come in and sweep the kitchen and room with the refrigerator. She washes all the bowls from our meals. She fetches water. She will cook sometime. She also goes to Perpetua’s store when we need something. I usually do not have to tell her to do anything. She will clean up after the rain comes in. She washes the floors. I rarely have to ask her to do anything she just does it.

Besides paying her I give her breakfast and her supper. She will go to the school dinning hall to get the lunch due to me as a master. She brings it back here and eats it. Sometimes if she needs some thing for school I will buy it for her.

I have some problems with doing this. The pay is so small and she works so hard. I talked to Kerry Browne about it when we were on vacation. I said I felt like I was taking advantage of a very unfair system. He told me I could help her with money to stay in school and even continue to finance her education if I wanted to. I thought that was a good plan.

My second problem is having her live here. I don’t think children should be away from their parents and other family members no matter the benefits. So she does not live here. She and her brother come in the morning. She here and he to Perpetua’s. Then go to school the return after school. They go home after 7:00 pm. The other reason I don’t have her live here is that I do want some time to myself. I enjoy my quiet evenings.

Although she doesn’t live here she has slowly made a place for herself in the room that has my refrigerator. She has two school uniforms there, as well as an extra change of clothes. Some of her school books and her hoe for school is there. She also takes her baths here so she has her sponge and soap in my bathing room.

Another thing that bothered me is that the girls who serve someone usually are late for school. I saw it with Tenni the small girl here at the assistant head master’s. Her brother Thomas will go to school on time but Tenni usually leaves about 1 hour after school has started. I continued to tell Kantuace that I didn’t want to her be late to school but she kept on being late. We sometimes have a communication problem. Her English is only slightly better than my Builsa. So last week I told her brother, Samuel, to explain to her if she wanted to keep working for me she must go to school on time. I said she could do most of her work after school so she was not to stay here working instead of going to school. He got the message across.

Although she doesn’t live here, I find myself telling her to go get us some bread or saying let’s make abe jenta for our supper. When I am away I find something small to bring home to her. I am so grateful to have someone do the silly dishes. Someone to share the work pounding the palm nuts for the soup. And especially someone who understands why it’s important to sweep the dirt in front of my house and to do it!


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