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READ ME: I taught Chemistry at both the Ordinary ("O") and Advanced ("A") Levels according to the West African Examinations Council, (WAEC) syllabus, which I understand to be based on a similar British syllabus. The A level of chemisry is more advanced that typical high school chemistry classes in the United States, it is more at the level of "college-preparatory."
Bishop Herman Secondary School, also known as Bishop Herman College (BiHeCo), is an all boys catholic school located on a hill overlooking both the town of Kpando (also spelled Kpandu) and one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, Lake Volta. During my 2 year tenure at BiHeCo, I also served as a Form Master, which is equivalent to a "home room teacher" and was asked to provide briefings on various subjects such as ediquette to the students. Also, as Form Master, I took my turn during the 7-9PM study times to monitor student studying rooms. I also participated in lengthy teacher staff meetings.
While I was at BiHeCo, we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the School and held a durbar. BiHeCo at that time was home to many volunteer and other expatriate service teachers including teachers from Britain, India, Japan, Canada, Netherlands, and France.
Sometime into the first year, I began a daily ritual of eating fufu for lunch at the "Always Always Chop Bar," near the lorry park in Kpando. Wanda, the owner of Always, Always, presided over a large bowl of soup. The price included the fufu and soup and additional charges were made for the meat. The meat was usually grasscutter, a large rodent similar to a nutria. A typical hunk of meat was a large cube tied with plant fiber and it often included the skin with some fat. Eating meat was a real treat.
The Ghanian economy was not doing so well at the time, and I remember that it was so difficult that about 50% of the volunteers quit in the first year. Our volunteer stipend when converted back to its real value was approximately $50. A houseboy, a vital need for shopping, cooking, and cleaning costs about $5-10. The remainder was barely enough to feed anyone with a healthy appetite.
While I was there, three other Peace Corps Volunteers came to teach for a short time and lived with me in the 3 bedroom home provided by the school on the campus. These homes and attached cooking a houseboy quarters were very nice living conditions for Ghana. The Head Master, Father J. B. Eleeza, was very supportive and helpful to expatriates working and living at the school.