Today I am packing for my trip to Ghana next week on Thursday evening. I was going to pack tomorrow, decided to do this today, incase anything comes up that I need, perhaps one more suitcase. Goal is to get all the items into three suitcases, like last time. And plead at the Delta counter for them to waive the $150 baggage charge for an extra bag on international flights. Once I get to Ghana one of Kwame’s friends that lives in Kissemah, will escort me through customs, I should not have any issues with the bags when I get there.
A sampling of what I am taking: sixty pairs of new sneakers for the children, at least 3 pairs of new socks for each of the shoes, under garments for the boys and girls, 3 electric pencil sharpeners, grease board markers, uniforms for the children, kitchen items for Ceci, a magnet sign with the Mawuvio’s logo for the car that Kwame and Renee drive and a new drill. Yes you read this correctly; I am packing a new drill. It weighs 6 lbs. and is quite small. They need a drill as part of the construction and maintenance tools for the new school location and most items like these you can only get in Ghana in a “used” condition.
This type of packing reminds me of years gone by when I visited Panama; my Dad would always have me bring unusual items that back then he could not get in Panama; parts to his Cadillac, replacement parts for his coffee machine, special socks he wore for circulation, vitamins that again years gone by you could not get in Panama. I can’t remember all the items I carried to Panama with me, certainly a drill is the most unusual item I’ve packed. Patrick thanks for your support in donating the drill to Mawuvio’s Outreach Programme. You can rest assured that all the drilling at the new school site from next week forward will be much bit easier because of your support.
It is hard to adequately say THANKS ! ! ! I tell people over and over that my heart is FLOODED WITH JOY. It is an overwhelming ocean of emotions, sometimes I sit quietly and get tears in my eyes.
I find myself thinking back to the first time I visited the Mawuvio’s URL and saw the children’s faces via the Meet Our Children link, when I heard their tiny voices filled with energy and hunger and hope and opportunity, when I first talked to Renee and realized her age, 22 years old, and that she is from rural Iowa, like my Mother and working in Kissemah, outside of Accra, Ghana. All these elements combined, a GIANT MAGNET that called me, that connected me to want to know more and to want to help and support the “potential” that can be achieved with education. I thank God daily for connecting my life with Renee and Kwame, I have learned so much from them and continue to learn along the way. I thank God for my family, for the support I have from Cindy and a wide circle of friends, and colleagues at work. My senior classmates, John F. Kennedy Spartans of 1977, many reminded me this week of the power of kindness, care and consideration. A small gesture can indeed change the course of someone’s life.
I will post as many pictures as I can to the blog while I am in Kissemah, and will certainly post a YOUTUBE video when I am back. The shoes, their first “official school field” trip, the progress at the Ayikumah construction site. I am looking forward to an amazing week and I take you all with me – and every child will be told of the incredible support I bring from all over America ! ! !
From my heart, MIL GRACIAS. As as Ceci taught me to say, MAH- EE- MAVA…. which translates to …. I go and will come back.