Monday, November 04, 2013

11:30 - 3:00 3 November 2013

Another eclipse in Africa. This one again in Ghana, but it was only a partial solar eclipse. I would have needed to travel to Cameroon to see totality.

This time I was able to travel with 20 children to the Ghana Planetarium for the eclipse. This event was organized by the Kisseman Community Library, which is supported by the TransCAP Foundation.

We hired a trotro, which is a stripped-down minibus filled with only seats, and packed it fully.

Our librarian Sandra was with us for the excursion. Our driver Alpha had some difficulty finding the planetarium or any of the other landmarks we gave (street addresses are not fully implemented even in Accra, a city of nearly 3 million people). So we all got to enjoy a tour of the city of Accra, passing Nkrumah Circle, the National Theater, the Museum of Science & Technology, Independence Square, the Accra sports stadium, some high-rise hotels and other sites before we finally found the Ghana Planetarium.

Since the children rarely even leave their neighborhood, this was a fun drive for them and they enjoyed the sites. There was singing and clapping and impromptu songs of praise to the excursion
organizers, our driver and trotro, the planetarium, and the sun and moon for preparing to give us a show in the sky.

The kids were so well dressed and excited for the excursion. Some arrived hours before our scheduled departure. We had some safety lessons and an educational session before we went to the Ghana Planetarium. There were many well educated children there and our students were mostly intimidated. But there were a couple that asked or answered questions of our host, Sarah Abotsi-Masters, director of the planetarium. Confidence building is one of our most important functions.

We saw 80% of the sun blocked out and got to participate in learning activities and arts & crafts. We also met a couple volunteers that want to come to our library to assist.

We returned to Kisseman at 3:00, tired from a long day, but still full of excitement. Immediately upon exiting the trotro the children heard that they had been seen on television. A number of networks were at the Planetarium that day broadcasting.

Enjoy the pictures and we look forward to another outing with the Kisseman Community Library.


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