Just like children in America, Ghanaian children enjoy nothing more than skipping past homework and chores to go outside and play with their friends. Whenever we got off the bus, if children were not trying to sell us anything, they were always excited to see us and hamming it up for the camera. If you took a picture of a group of kids and showed it to them, you were a superhero in their eyes.
It was impossible not to notice the dirt soccer fields the boys would play on that girls typically had no interest in. In the small village of Doyumu, a group of boys tried to challenge us to a soccer match and bragged that they would beat us 5-0. Luckily for us, the bus was about to leave so we were able to save our dignity and not be embarrassed by kids half our age. Girls tended to enjoy more solitary or smaller group activities like hop-scotch or jumping rope, and I’m sure they share the sentiment of so many young American girls that “boys have cooties.”
Wilma, a small girl who approached a classmate and me at a cultural performance, had to convince her mother that she had finished all of her homework before she was allowed to sit with us and take pictures. It is funny how mothers all around the world yell at their children to finish their homework right when they just want to have fun (thanks, Mom).