Bainbridge teen has summer working in Ghana
October 17, 2012 · 12:09 PM
Grace Purdy, a 10th-grader at Bainbridge High School, spent a month of her summer vacation in Ghana, West Africa, with Visions Service Adventures, an international service learning program.
Purdy was one of 20 high school students who lived in a small town of Ghana’s Volta Region. The teen volunteers began construction of a children’s home — Ghanaian parlance for an orphanage/charter school — by digging trenches, mixing and pouring a concrete foundation, and positioning 18 columns as the first phase of construction.
The high schoolers also cleared and marked a trail to the peak of Agbenoxoe Mountain, overlooking Lake Volta and an historic shrine. And as part of a social service initiative, the group volunteered with children at a nearby orphanage.
The trip wasn’t all work for Purdy and the other students. They learned about Ghanaian culture firsthand through shared work projects and social visits with local hosts. The group visited places of historic and geographic interest, including the Cape Coast, the ancient capital of Kumasi and its sprawling artisans market, and Mole National Park, where they viewed African wildlife.
Students also learned Ghanaian trades, including traditional kente weaving, through internships with craftspeople.