Aug 21, 2011


I am not sure how to write this update, my head and heart are filled with emotion, excitement and POSSIBILITY.  I am on a flight on the way back to Atlanta after spending  Saturday with Renee Farwell and her family; her parents, Steve and Barbara, her sister, Ellen and their high energy and fun loving Labrador, DJ.  One thing I know for sure after this weekend, God has enlisted me to help the children of the Mawuvio's Outreach Program in Kissemah Village, outside of Accra, the capital city of Ghana, in West Africa. I am committed to raise funds for the school and dormitory building and I am committed to continue to raise awareness and celebrate all the amazing work Renee Farwell and Eric Kwame Agoe are doing in Kissemah.

As many of you know, the path that lead me to Goose Lake, Iowa started with 'recycled glass bead bracelets', it started with not knowing that Accra was the capital of Ghana, it started because one of the bracelets I ordered from the Mawuvio ETSY site was out of stock. The path started by noticing long ago the bracelets of a Delta Airlines stewardess on a flight home from Panama, she told me her bracelets were from Ghana. Then my friend Charlotte Paul came over in March of this year for dinner and she had a wonderful set on from Ghana that she had acquired from someone she knew that had done missionary work there. All of these moments did not happen by chance; the thread of coincidence and circumstance in this case is not strong enough to support what has been prescribed  by God and Angels.  The angels that care for the children in Kissemah are the same platoon of angels that created the path in my life to go from a curious Google search to Goose Lake, Iowa, to eventually Ghana in West Africa.

This weekend I learned so much. Renee and her family were patient and willing to share as much information as possible. Questions and answers lead to more questions and stories and photos and wonderful recollections they all have about Ghana and the children and Kwame. I learned about how Mawuvio got started, the current state, all the support from Goose Lake and surrounding area residents and merchants. I learned about "garbage cars", waist beads, little plastic bags of water and eating goat and Fufu.  I heard the names of children repeated in countless stories told: Mary, Mavia, Garbriel, Goodwin, Forgive, Isaac, Kingswey and more.  I learned that Kissemah will be hot and humid in December when I visit and that taking showers will consist of scooping water from a large container. I know that children will come in taxis to the Ghana airport to welcome me,  the children will call me "Aunt Elena" and will want to hold my hand. I will stay in the volunteer room and eat food prepared by Ceci. I know they like movies, they don't know Michael Jackson. And yes  many of them are abandoned, orphaned and all are very poor.

This weekend I had an amazing experience meeting a wonderful family, wonderful people; the Farwell's made me feel right at home, I stayed with them at their beautiful home in Goose Lake. And yes we were surrounded by beautiful, majestic fields of corn.  It was green everywhere, the temperatures much cooler than Atlanta, and I loved, loved, loved how quiet it is there. We had a wonderful dinner at a place called the Machine Shed and I got to meet Dominique, a young lady that Renee met in a Big Sister's program.

The highlight of the weekend and something I will never forget, speaking to Kwame and even more exciting speaking to Isaac, the young boy  I sponsor via the Mawuvio's program. He spoke short, very polite sentences, with a beautiful and sincere  British~Ghanian accent.  He called me Mam and thanked me for helping him and we both said we were excited for December to get here when we will be able to meet.  His voice will forever be a song in my heart.

Renee and I discussed ideas, next steps. She is leaving for Ghana with a one way ticket on August 29th. Renee  is a remarkable citizen of the world.  I am honored to know her and to join in her passion and love and purpose for the well being, education, nourishment and opportunity she brings to the life of children in Kissemah.