Nov 23, 2013

Today I Cried

After school today I came to my room, laid down under the fan on speed 2 and had a good cry. Today my emotions were too big to contain, sometimes the enormity of what Mawuvio's is about, what we are doing by the grace of God and the hard work of many, simply overwhelms my heart and mind.

I know children all over the world suffer, I know children in Atlanta are mistreated and have tough lives, but the stories I know are the first hand accounts the children share mostly with Teacher Lawrenda, the stories I know are the little bodies I see coming to school with shoes that are too tight, the stories I know are the tummies that come to school so hungry that the children ask each other to share meals, the ones that are really hungry have a daily strategy on who and how to ask. The deep sad eyes of Forgive Gborwosu, the whispers of Matilda Doe when she asked today for money because at her house they are not cooking, the whispers when she asked for a haircut, the whispers when Matilda told us she was beaten because she is not caring for her bed ridden Grandfather the way his grown children think she should. The cuts, the bruises, the menstrual cycles that family members or care takers simply ignore, the children abandoned, shuffled between families and aunties as if they're second hand furniture. I don't know all the stories, I know some and today they came together in my heart like a tsunami.

The flip side of those emotions is knowing for example that Abil Akanbegawom in Primary One class came to Mawuvio's in the last term of the 2012 school year; she came from Primary Class 2 at Anumle, the government school on the other side of the junction road. Teacher Lawrenda said all Abil knew in April and May were her ABCs. We started her in KG2 for one term, she progressed so fast she was moved to Primary 1 this year and is thriving in the class. Her overall score for her midterm exams 86%. She is extremely smart and a wonderful little girl. Another example, today I reviewed all the mid term scores for Class 3 so I could share with their sponsors, every child in that class (8 girls and 4 boys) scored in the 90's - every single child is doing well and will progress to Primary 4. I was so excited to see all their results, Steady Kudalor the Primary Class 3 Teacher is excellent and his students enjoy their class very much, you can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices. Thursday I had a major breakthrough with Prince Dogbey, in my class. He finally gets addition when you have to carry a number. I was so excited to know that he got six addition problems correct, I gave him six more to ensure he really got it. I was so happy, I did a tiny dance on the porch. I gave him tons of praise, recognition and encouragement. And all his colleagues in the class clapped for him. It was such a wonderful tiny moment that was indeed triumphant.

The highs and the lows this week - maybe they are a culmination of being here since October 15th. Thursday I had a great surprise, I SKYPED with my brother, Toby, and a dear dear friend of mine, Mona Roderfeld, works at the same office he does, and I was able to see and talk to Mona. We both got tears in our eyes as the call was ending. I love Moni Roni so much. My last example, in the late afternoon today I hugged Ben, one of our senior students, (he is Forgive's older brother) he helps out with so much. I told him that God will make a wonderful way for him in life, that God will take care of him and that he should never be discouraged. He hugged me back, he looked up to the sky, reaching with the palm of his hand, he then brought his hand to his mouth and kissed his fingers and said, "Thanks Madam, I accept His Glory - right here and now." It was a moment I will never forget.

All of these moments, all of these realizations, good, bad, happy, realizations of pains and hurts that I never ever imagined as a child, the moments added to more moments, the smiles, the calls of "Madam, Madam, me me," when they raise their hands excited because they want to answer a question or come to the board, all of those collective experiences brought a flood of love and compassion and care to my heart that is hard to describe.

Sometimes the best thing I can do is sit down and have a good cry and recognize and celebrate the incredible power of the human spirit and the even more incredible and awesome power of FAITH.

Tomorrow we have a PTA meeting, I will provide update, we are expecting most of the parents or guardians. Also a distant relative of Kwame's family died this week. We are going to the family house in Kissemah to pay our respects. The funerals are a 3 day event in Ghana.

Not sure what else tomorrow will bring. As I finish this post, it is Friday around 8:20pm. I am shutting the iPad down, turning the lights out and enjoying speed 2 on the fan.

Godsway, my 18 month old friend in the compound just finished his evening cry as he goes to sleep. The children I am sure are tired after a long week, it is getting very quiet outside. Tomorrow all the MOM's will be up washing by 6:30am. I think there is a slight motivation on their part to see who gets the best positioned laundry lines, maybe I am imagining this.

I will post this in the office tomorrow before the PTA meeting.

Ma Y Mava !