Friday, March 20, 2009

Nana Yaw's First Practice

Last night was Nana Yaw's first practice. Jake had him practice with his 8th grade boys team so that he could get a feel for what the drills would be like. Jake had one of his other 17U players named Dow come and practice along with Nana Yaw so that Dow could help to explain the drills and help Nana Yaw to keep a good pace throughout practice. Coach Julian introduced them and they were friends right away.
As I mentioned above, Dow plays on Jake's 17U team, so he will be Nana Yaw's teammate. Dow and his younger brother 'Big Pete' came to Iowa 5 years ago from Sudan. When they came they spoke no English, but learned the language in school and from peers. Now both Dow & Big Pete speak perfect English. Big Pete plays on Jake's 8th boys team. Dow & Big Pete go to DM Roosevelt. Last night Dow & Big Pete stayed at our house to hang out with Nana Yaw. This morning it was so much fun to listen to Esi & Dow talk about their home countries and the differences and similarities. Esi had a lot of questions for Dow about school & education here in the U.S.
Nana Yaw & Dow took some warm-up shots before practice and rebounded for one another.
Here is Nana Yaw dunking.....of course I missed the actual dunk, but got a picture of him on the way back down. I am going to have to get better at taking these action shots.

Esi has done such a wonderful job of letting JJ and Jayla warm up to her. JJ and Jayla are both quite reserved/shy and they take awhile to warm up to people they don't know. Every morning Esi says hi to JJ and gives him a 'high 5'. He always smiles really big! Last night I went and got Esi a chair so she wouldn't have to sit on the bleachers....and then right after I set her chair down, JJ wanted me to go and get him a chair so that he could sit by her. :)

Here we are watching practice.

Yesterday was the first day that Esi held Jayla. Esi has been talking to her for a couple days and sitting next to her when she plays, so Jayla has really warmed up to her, and she let Esi hold her for a long time last night at practice.

Esi loves Jayla's outfits, especially her dresses. Jayla has started scooting BACKWARDS on the floor when she is on her tummy (still not crawling). Esi said that in Ghana there is a saying that when a baby crawls or scoots backwards instead of forwards it means that they are going to be walking really soon! :)
I learned a neat thing about Ghanaian names yesterday. Esi said if she hears an African name, she can immediately tell whether or not the person is from Ghana or not. This is because in Ghana, children are either given a Christian name (like a biblical name, or some form of a name with God in it...such as Godwin) or they are named regarding the day they were born. Nana Yaw was born on a Sunday I believe she said, and Yaw is the word for Sunday. They also have a 'girl version' of the word if you are a girl born on Sunday then you are named the feminine Sunday word (which I can't remember what it was). So, they have girl and boy versions for each day of the week. Then, the children are also given a sur name. Nana's Dad also has the sur name Nana and he is the chief of his home village in Ghana. The sur name Nana was passed down to Nana Yaw and to Nana Yaw's younger brother.

Today is our big NCAA party at the house! I am so excited! Time to go cook food!

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