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Ghana Diary

Ghana, Africa


1 Leaving England 5/9/13
2 Settling in 6/9/13
3 Ashaley Botwe 10/9/13
4 Home from home 21/9/13
5 Just another Saturday 29/9/13
6 Schoolday for Phil 6/10/13
7 Visitors from UK 27/10/13
8 School with Heather 8/11/13
9 Ups and downs 23/11/13
10 Accra Mall 1/12/13
11 Christmas in UK Jan 14
12 Travelling. Part 1 Easter 14
13 Travelling. Part 2 1/12/13
14 End Times 21/07/14

Anomobo Beach Resort, Accra, Ghana. April 2013
Anomobo Beach Resort, Accra, Ghana. April 2013

About Phil, Heather and Tom
Our home is in Lowestoft and we are members of Lowestoft Community Church, through which the link to Ghana occurred. Phil has been teaching in secondary education for 10 years and is author of A12 To Heaven. Heather has taught most of her working life in primary education while Tom is looking forward to a year in an African school. We are not asking for any financial support for ourselves and are using our own savings.

Teachers Phil and Heather Stoddart and son Tom moved from the UK to live in Ghana for a year in September 2013. They worked at New Nation School in Accra and, thanks to folk mainly from Lowestoft UK, brought some much-needed educational resources with them.

Throughout July and August, individuals and businesses donated a variety of stationery, books and sports equipment, resulting in 11 two-feet square boxes being shipped out to the school. On this page posts appear to the left to keep you informed of progress.

About the school
Set up in 2004 by City of God Church, the school has a Christian ethos and attracts around 550 students who are taught from Nursery to IGCSE and A-Level using the British National Curriculum. It provides affordable and high-quality education and is well-regarded in the area as the quality of state education is poor and good private schooling is too expensive. The school also provides pupils with a daily healthy meal and offers employment for around 100 staff. However, most of the rooms are basic and lacking in materials.


If you feel you can be of any assistance to us please email

#1 Leaving England

Resources for New Nation School, Ghana July and August were busy months indeed. After the Lowestoft Journal published an article on our imminent trip to Ghana and request for resources for the school we will be working in, a number of local people and organisations responded to the call. A caring community In the end, …

#2 Settling in

Arrival Once we were in the car, chatting away to Johnnie the driver, finding what had changed since our visit last April, the hassle was forgotten. There seemed a few more street lights than last time near the airport and also one or two more roads might have been tarmacked. Surprisingly the temperature was quite …

#3 Ashaley Botwe

Mosque man Almost opposite the Kpipkis house stands a mini-mosque proudly boasting two loudspeakers screwed to the turret. Before every crack of dawn they slumber into action with a call to prayer. “Al-aaaaahhhh” they sing out and most days it’s not too loud or prolonged and even serve the noble purpose of an alarm clock. …

#4 Home from home?

Moving in We finally moved into our new house two weeks after arriving in the country. One late afternoon, Johnny the school bus manager helped us transfer 6 suitcases, plus 4 more from a previous visit, along with lots of drinking water, food, a palm tree and a couple of young dwarf coconut trees. A …

#5 Just another Saturday

Chocolate Heaven? Considering Ghana is a major producer of cocoa, one would have thought that chocolate would be rising up to meet you from the ground and raining down from the skies above. It was thus with great anticipation that we arrived but more than a month later, too little has reached our lips. Yesterday …

#6 Schoolday for Phil

school staff praying at the start of term Disturbed School mornings … yuk. I think the alarm goes off round 6.30 to herald a strategic game of Sleeping Lions at which the diligent, mega-responsible female regularly loses and makes a cup of tea as a fitting punishment for being so diligent and mega-responsible. The drink …

#7 Visitors from England

the view from our room Early Christmas Our first visitors from England arrived a couple of weeks ago; Heather’s brother Gordon and his wife Lorraine. It would have been nice to welcome them into a well-furnished home but the door-to-door service had still not delivered our goods and the carpenter remained busy on the dining …

#8 Wednesday with ‘Aunty’ Heather

Cosmopoli-TOM Preparing for Christmas At 6 o’clock the strident chimes of the alarm rings out. We have already had the call to prayer somewhat earlier and the neigh of the neighbour’s goats (they have three and are fattening them up for Christmas). I am usually the first one up and it is always nice at …

#9 Ups and downs

Oh for tarmac Never Clean Many days it feels like camping. The house is tiled throughout but the floor is never clean. One day I spent hours mopping and changing the water regularly and it was ok for a few days until the dust seeped back in through the doors and windows. The road that …

#10 Accra Mall

Saturday at Accra Mall and people are having themselves photographed with Santa and his reindeer, both standing proudly in a splodge of cotton wool snow. Elsewhere, free samples of Baileys licquor with ice are on offer while upstairs the latest movie is being screened. Many posh clothes are on show and even Tom is wearing …

#11 Christmas in England

Over Christmas we spent a few welcome weeks back in the UK where, I have to admit, my behaviour was nothing short of locust-like. Every goodie set before my eyes was demolished in seconds. From every type of chocolate and biscuit to cheese and bacon and English roasts, every consumable fell before an all-consuming appetite …

#12 Travelling. Part 1

One day in February we telephoned a hotel to book some rooms to stay at a beach over the Easter holiday. Daughter Amy and Farmer James (her long-suffering attachment) were visiting and we fancied a week on the coast. Communications with Ghanaians are often precarious. Only a few days ago, I attempted some small talk …

#13 Travelling. Part 2

After a long night in the back-packing haven of Alaska Beach Resort we were able to move into the hotel originally chosen. The manageress seemed determined to make up for the mistake by giving us two large rooms and nearly as large meals for the rest of the week. Each morning a choice of chunky …

Form 4 New Nation School 2013-14

#14 End Times

The end of our year in Ghana is now fast approaching with under three weeks to go. Having just peeled and sliced fresh pineapple and mango and demolished these amazing fruits, I am a rotund picture of contentment. No improvement possible The tasting has been heavenly – forget chocolate, cakes and cookies – forget crunchies, …

#15 Togo

In our last but one week we caught a bus from our house to Madina the local market town and met with our church and teaching friend Kokougan who is a Togolese national. We took a 3 hour bus to the Togo border for 17 cedi (£3.50) each and then came tedious form filling before …

1 comment

    • Hattie Willow on 8 February, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    That description of your stay in Aldi Towers was the funniest thing I have read for a long time. All True!!

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