Very cold in Bolgatanga?!


We write this from the SHCJ convent in Bolgatanga. We have been here now for just over 24 hours and have been warmly welcomed by Sister Eunice SHCJ and Sister Angela SHCJ.

Christine, Amy, Sister Angela and Emma

We travelled from Accra to Tamale by plane, then from Tamale to Bolgatanga by road with Mark, our designated driver.

Whilst talking to Mark on the 3 hour journey, we discovered that his “claim to fame” is that he played opposite Michael Essien (from Chelsea FC) in an interschool football match when they were teenagers!

Christine, Mark our driver, Amy

This morning, we have been up bright and early to attend 6.15am Mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, a couple of minutes walk from the convent. After breakfast, Emma and Christine went to visit St John’s Junior High School with Sister Eunice, while Amy and Patrick visited a different school with Sister Angela.

St. Clement’s Junior High school is where Sister Angela works. We were welcomed with open arms to the school and were told that the gates were always open for us to come and visit.

The school pupils were so intuitive with their questions – they could not find out enough about England! They found it very funny that we thought it was hot in Bolgatanga when in fact they find it very cold at the moment!

Students at St Clement's Junior High School

It was so interesting to find out about Ghanaian schooling. The pupils were telling us that they begin their school day at 6am. At this time, they come into school and clean their classrooms before the day officially begins at 8am. They then have lessons until 2.30pm.

The teachers at St. Clement’s found it fascinating that pupils in the UK do not come to school before 9am to help clean the classrooms. The pupils love being at school. They seem to really value their education.

Patrick & Amy chat with children from St Clement's Primary School

At St. Clement’s, there is a combination of Primary and Junior High students, which goes up to the age of 14 before they go onto Senior High. They have no computers at St. Clement’s, even though they have an I.C.T. teacher, Madame Agnes, teaching them I.C.T. without a computer.

St. Clement Staff (left to right) Agnes (I.C.T.), Ajara (English), Patience (Science), David (English), Daniel (Maths), Sister Angela (R.E. and Moral Studies), Amy

We will be working with Sister Eunice and Sister Angela for the next 8 days in Bolgatanga before heading back down south to Accra, Cape Coast and Takaradi.

We are being well looked after, and are looking forward to being enriched by Ghanaian culture in St. Clement’s and St. John’s school.

Until next time,

Amy and the Gappers x

12 thoughts on “Very cold in Bolgatanga?!

  1. Wow, looks like your having an awesome time. Michael Essien!! Very jealous, one of the world’s best players. So humbling to hear how children really value their education, and cleaning their classrooms so early in the morning – amazing! I love the subjects being taught – Moral Studies, I bet that’s really interesting for discussions. Keep up the good work guys!

  2. Lovely to see you all, and the children. You all look well. Lots of love and God Bless you all xxx

    Patrick’s mum xxxxxxxx

  3. Great to be able to keep up with your adventures. Wet and windy in Preston today so we are jealous of you being warm! Great blog and we are following closely and keeping you in prayer. Big hug to Patrick..with love from Rose and Greg..(along the corridor at Profit With Principle in St. Walburge’s)

  4. Hi guys. Greetings from sunny (indoors) Blackpool. Good to keep up with your trip. I’m looking forward to the day my lovely pupils at Leyland St. Mary’s arrive earlier than me and tidy room 6! Will tell them that when I show them this blog on Monday. God Bless Africa. Guide her rulers. Guard her children. Jx

  5. Patrick – you made the long plane journey. Yay!
    Sounds like you’re having an amazing time. Anything really surprised you yet – or been completely unexpected?

    I think I recognise some of the SHCJ sisters from Nigeria a couple of years ago, please say hello to them all.
    Lou (gapper 2009)

  6. HI everyone,, thanks for all your well wishes, it means so much to have your support back at home. We’re all having a great time – yes I made the long plane journey Lou :-), The SHCJ sisters are superb hosts. We were initially with Sr Ngozi and the Accra community, and we’re currently with Srs Eunice and Angela at Bolgatanga. We were welcomed formally at Mass in the Cathedral this morning at 6.30am, and invited to introduce ourselves to the congregation of 1000 people – a truly amazing experience.
    Love to all
    Patrick & the gappers x

    • Mass at 6.30am??????????
      I’m not smiling at the thought, honest….
      Sounds like you’ve had a thoroughly fantastic African welcome.
      I’m so envious.
      Enjoy the sunshine and send Ghana our love : ) x

  7. Hello Patrick, Amy,and Christine and sisters Eunice and Angela—hope I have got that right. Just wanted to send you all greetings from Cumbria–Windermere- where like the school children it is cold but in fact not so cold for January in England. Still only have snow on the mountain tops. How are you managing to get messages to and from when the school does not have a computer?
    Last week, at the Gospel Choir in Bowness South Lakes, I thought of the talk about Kenya and the gap year there. Some of our Choir members had gone out to an orphanage there supported by Open Arms International. We had bought a cow sometime ago for the local village. The cow is called Robin after our Choir director. The cow is now having a calf!! Such joy. The choir learned some Kenyan songs and the Kenyan children some of our gospel choir songs. I hope you too are singing together.
    I am just beginning to learn the guitar with my granddaughter Aliyah. My daughter plays with my other granddaughter Grace! So a bit of news for you from home and to share with everyone at the school. I do not play football!! Sorry.I would love to be with you right now!! Let me know if the sisters want any help after your departure.

    Lots of love from Moira in Windermere Cumbria x

  8. Hello there Patrick,Christine and Amy, Thinking of you all and keeping you in our prayers. What a wonderful experience and opportunity for us to following your inspiring journey…looks amazing. What a privilege …definite food for thought for our young people 🙂 Take care…looking forward to your next update.
    Love from Barbara Lynch and the CAFOD Team, Cardinal Allen, Fleetwood

  9. All the best to you all. Enjoy your time out there. It looks a fantastic experience/adventure. Thanks for the blogs and great photographs in them too. God Bless, love and prayers,

    Mick & Jan & family

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