Matthew Adjei, born on 27th January,1962 lost three scholarship opportunities to enter high school because of the divorce between his parents. (See the poem: 'I saw my father's ghost before his death'. He ended up learning different traditional trades like beadmaking, adinkra cloth making and kente weaving. During his apprenticeshi ...



1. the Evaluation

The problem is not how to find your way among the maze of yellow network
to catch the right bus to Nordre Fasanvej, but the precision of time consciousness
where the invisible clock sits like a tyrant
grinning and always smacking at you to hurry up,
and making you look confused and bewildered.

The problem is not the pressure from outside of attending the course,
or the many meetings on the AFS calendar to Vestylland or to placements;
filled with so much exciting anticipations and mingled with equal anxieties and expectations,
but the tension that keeps building up in you to the point of hypertensive explosion
and the hyperactive moments killing your appetite.

The problem is not the street-walk to find them in pairs kissing, hugging and embracing,
but the lonely moments spent in solitude where the computer cannot compensate
the burning passion devouring your entrails; where the formula of escapism
cannot resolve the empty dreams of falling in trance
for the brief spell of romantic moments of the past.

The problem is not how to choose from the varieties of dishes on the table,
but how to know whether that concoction sitting on the table is the sauce or soup;
and how to balance the compromise of taste with satisfaction
without offending the suspicious eyes spying critically and hypocritically
at how you make your choices from the aromatic array that contradicts the African spicy taste.

The problem is not the issue of how to get a little more of that precious krona
so valuable for the comfort of keeping body and soul together,
but to think of how useful to make every little bit of krona
fulfil the need of the little ones at home
who have lost their little comfort of parental milk of love.

The problem is not the frosty winter climate with the threat of the impending fall of the snow
when you feel so nostalgic for the tropical sunshine,
but the loss of that sweet affection of your better half with the radiating warmth of love,
and dreaming of how to survive with half your heart
while the other half waits in vain for the homecoming.

The problem is not how to solve the issue of the level of Danish hospitality,
but also how to solve the equation of balancing the welcome
with how much belying generosity sits like the cream
on the churning skimming of milk, and to find out how much
expectation of appreciation can balance the scale of this hospitality.

The problem is not how to blend subject matter competency
with the ingredients of chosen methods to please acceptable levels
but the complex situation of how to convince host teachers and recipient students
that the African teacher has been sufficiently trained and equipped
with the appropriate content of standard education to suit European pedagogy.

The problem is not to calculate how much gain one derives from the experience
of being a guest-teacher for the period of ten months
but also to estimate the sacrifice that goes into the participation of the programme
without losing the self-esteem, the dignity and respect one enjoys back at home;
with other comforts of the marital status and pride of parenthood.

The problem is not the problem of trying to adapt to the ever-changing situation
of the cultural diversity of everyday life confronting a stranger finding himself in a strange life,
but the problem is a problem indeed of a multiplicity of factors
for being caught in a tangling web of embarrassing experiences
without limit to the cultural shocks of new ideas.

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