So I just had typed this whole post out and the page reloaded and deleted it all… I guess I should say welcome to Ghana (wifi).
Given that unfortunate event, I'm going to give a brief snapshot of the past few days of travel and work the team has been doing.
We arrived in Ghana the night of the 28th after having left Waco, TX the morning of the 27th. Our layover was in Amsterdam so being the city of freedom and all, we decided to take a little adventure of our own into the city and bought train tickets to see the Anne Frank Huis. Unfortunately when we arrived, the line was a three hour wait, a wait too long for us to make our flight to Accra. It wa a still great to get out and see the city while we were there, and brought back memories for me when I was in Amsterdm 8 years ago.
After over 15 hours in the air, we arrived in Accra, and piled into a coach bus which would take us to a lodge in Accra for the night before leaving for Obuasi and Kumasi the next day. We knocked out that night, exhausted form the 48 hour day of travel and no sleep.
We left for Kumasi at 9 after having breakfast and a devotion. The trip would be all day, as we made a stop in Kumasi to see a basketball court Vincent built and to throw and workout. We continued to Obuasi and stopped in a village to drop off camp supplies, and wet greeted by children pouring out from houses and we were surrounded by 30 or so beaming faces, giddy from giving high fives and taking pictures. We even got a game of pepper going with a soccer ball. It was incredible to see such a stricken area so alive with pure emotion and happiness.
We also stopped at a mans house for snacks that both our coach and Vincent know, which was extremely interesting to see how these people live inside their homes.
The drive was extremely eye opening and fascinating. I saw a man pumping water for a woman crouched down by a tub, several other people waiting for water. Lean to shacks lines the street with people set up beneath them selling every possible kind of good imaginable. Dirt roads connected to the one paved road we traveled down leading to villages that you could sometimes see between the trees. Women were sitting around fires cooking and children were running or standing in circles occupying themselves with simple fun, looking like there wasn't a happier place to be. People carried baskets on the heads effortlessly even though they were at least ten pounds in weight. Concrete houses on dirt ridden land were filled with people who if you waved At them, would light up and smile the most genuine,most beautiful smiles I've ever seen.
Finally we arrived in Obuasi just before nightfall, passing by the school with the field we would use for camp. We got a wonderful dinner after checking into our lodge and we're glad for showers and a bed after another long day of travel.
Today was incredible. It was the first day of camp, so we had breakfast at 6:45 and arrived at the field at 7:45. We waited for camp to begin by playing throwing games with softballs and eventually a game of soccer, while trying to lead names and get across language barriers. Most of the kids speak English but the accents are hard to decipher both ways, and many of the smaller children have limited ability to speak and understand English.
We introduced the camp leaders and soon broke off into 9 groups, my station being a throwing game called four corners. Maybe a game I thought might be boring after awhile but the kids were so excited and absolutely loved it. Their joy for such simple things is something I wish was present everywhere in the world; it is something that is priceless and so empowering to see.
We met at the end of the morning session in small groups to discuss the main point of the day from our camp motto MORE stemming from Ephesians 3:20: I was MADE by God for a purpose. We shared this with them using examples, and prayed before dismissing them for snack, and heading back to the lodge for lunch and a break til 2:30 when the second camp began.
At first, only 20-30 kids showed up, so we scratched our plans and got our jump ropes and played games instead. Eventually two girls and I decided to teach a game of softball to the kids, the first even official game of softball taught and played in Ghana. It was incredible how quick the kids were able to catch on, even with the language barrier.
Vincent showed up with a 25 passenger van full of 50+ kids and suddenly there was four games of softball being played on the first day it had ever been played in the country.
We met in small groups again and a little boy in my group said the Lord's Prayer which was adorable to hear. We hung around for a bit after and I learned some Twi phrases from a few kids I was hanging out with before heading back to the lodge for dinner.
The food we were given was amazing again, and we had a good discussion about the day before leaving to buy goods from Vincent's wife's ship, which she brought to the lodge. I got some beautiful African art and sculptures and jewelry to take home to friends and family, and it was also great to be able to help her by purchasing some of her shop's products.
Being New Years tonight, I could hear some fireworks in the distance and music, but we're all too tired to stay up and celebrate at all. There's no place I would rather be to start off a new year than in Ghana spreading God's love to His children.
Much love and Happy New Years!!! Stay tuned for more posts on my Ghana adventures!!