Category Archives: Uncategorized

August Letters from Abby

Abby tries to keep lessons at the orphanage fun, while dealing with challenges presented by a sometimes apathetic orphanage staff. As she learns more about the kids at the orphanage, she is continually impressed by how inventive and resourceful they are. She also takes a trip to Cape Coast, a city home to a national park and two historic slave forts.

Reading practice at the orphanange

A section of the canopy walk at Kakum National Park

The slave fort in Elmina

A Ghanaian guide leads a group through the slave fort.

Abby continues teaching lessons at the orphanage while also getting to know the kids better – she is quickly adjusting to the realization that kids half her age are much better than her at soccer. She also discusses the importance of price negotiation when purchasing everything from wooden crafts to taxi rides, as well as her trip to an amazing waterfall in the Volta Region.

Flag drawings from a lesson at the orphanage (some of the kids may have taken some liberty with the colors...)

View from the tro on the way to Wli Waterfalls

Making the climb to the upper Wli Falls

Wli Falls

Abby and a few other volunteers take the kids at the orphanage on a day trip to the Boti Waterfalls, as she continues to confront the challenges of teaching geography and other subjects to the seventeen kids of Mt. Zion Orphanage. She also discusses her weekend trip to Accra, the capital of and largest city in Ghana.

The kids head to Boti Falls.

Boti Falls

Abby in front of Independence Arch in Accra

Abby talks about the challenges of organizing lessons for the seventeen children of the Mt. Zion Orphanage while they are on holiday from school, as well as her trip to Kokrobite Beach.

Teaching geography in the orphanage dining hall

Kokrobite Beach

Beads for sale in Kokrobite

A Slide By Any Other Name Is Still a Slide

Our boys and girls club is in Bario Haiti. Not in Haiti, that just the name of our neighborhood. Right across the street is a playground. It’s not the worst playground in the world, but it’s not the best. Still, these kids have so much fun! It’s a thousand degrees and they love running and sliding and climbing on everything. One day, I was in the club working on some media stuff and I looked out the door to see at least 15 of our kids piled on the slide! They were seeing how many could fit on the slide at once it was so funny! There are so many basic needs here that should be met, but aren’t and still the kids are kids and just want to slide with their friends!

Fun Facts!

1. Batida de Coca is the most delicious treat you will ever have. It is a Coconut milk shake. I know what you’re thinking “I don’t like things that are super coconuty,” well I don’t either. It is coconut and rice milk blended and is just sweet and tastes more like vanilla with a hint of coconut. You can get one fresh from the corner store near our club for 30 pesos, thats like $.90!
2. I wish with all my heart that everyone could see me riding the moto! I feel like such a world traveler when I take it, twice today in fact. So I have decided to film my next ride..stay tuned.
C. Many Dominicans love Celine Dion and Michael Bolton. When I went to Jamaica last year everyone loved Celine! All I have to say is props, I never knew.

In other news I had a very exciting meeting yesterday about starting the music program up again here. If you are a musical friend of mine prepare to help! Today is a boys day at the club and tomorrow everyone is off. I have started taking pictures finally so all of those will arrive very shortly. I still can’t believe im here, on this island in the shadow of a huge mountain with these fantastic people! More to come everyone!



P.S. everyone loves this here, I don’t know how I missed it!

I’m Here

Hola Amigos! Estoy aqui en El Republico Dominicana! It has been two days, but it already feels like a week! After nearly 20hours of travel it felt so good to get here on Monday! The first thing I did was take a shower, then Liz, the organization founder and my surrogate mom, took me to the beach. Montellanos, the local beach area, is only 5 minutes away and she wanted to show me how beautiful it was and to just talk and get me feeling good about being there. The next day I got to hang out at the club. The club is where the local kids have class and learn job skills; boys on Tuesdays, girls on Thursday, English class on Friday and Monday and everyone on Saturday. I feel as if I am just breaking the surface of all I will do and see and experience here, of course it’s only day two! Hasta luego!

Abby in Africa

Abby Selden, a May 2010 graduate of Belmont University’s Journalism program, is the first recipient of the Lumos Student Travel Award.   Working through an organization called Projects Abroad, Abby is volunteering in Ghana for three months at the Mount Zion Foster Home, located in the Akuapem Hills. While volunteering at the foster home, she is assisting in whatever capacity she is needed, with the ultimate goal of helping the children achieve a good education and live in a positive environment.

While in Ghana, together with other volunteers from around the world, she is living with a Reverend and his family in Kwamoso, which is near Akropong, about a thirty minute Tro Tro ride from the orphanage itself.  In a recent cell phone conversation, about the only form of contact she has with folks back home, and even that is only possible very occasionally, Abby said she was having a wonderful experience, with her host family, with the children, and seeing parts of Ghana most casual travelers never get to see.  As soon as she can get to a post office, another task whose ease we often take for granted, she will be sending letters that will be posted to this site.  In the meantime, a recent posting on the Projects Abroad website gives a taste of how (and what) she is doing.