This blog comes to us courtesy of Isaac Jones
This week we started with a holiday on Monday. To celebrate the holiday, and Nicole’s birthday, we went with Nicole’s aunt’s family to dinner. After an enjoyable meal where we discovered how delicious Shawarma is, we danced. Our van driver, Prince, really enjoyed the classic Ghanaian band that played live for us, and he spent most of the night dancing. We, of course, joined in a little later and showed off our own Azonto.
Tuesday was the start of a new work week, finishing the work at the Adullam Orphanage in Obuasi. The children there were a lot of fun, and with over 60 children in the home it was a big undertaking and we finished up on Thursday, having spent 2 weeks there. The children were great, some quiet, and shy, but mostly they just wanted to spend time with us. Whether it was playing cards or throwing the frisbee, the children loved their time with us. It really makes you realize that these children are reaching for adult interactions that they have been missing out on. The interviews that the social workers conduct support this – most of them are actual orphans with no living parents, just extended family that can’t support them. We also came across some of our first AIDS orphans and this really brought to my attention about how much these kids really need more support. The work we do is great and we will be able to bring attention to children that otherwise have no voice in this world. We take into account what the child wants but more importantly what they need. One child said that their mother comes to visit about once a week but because she doesn’t have the ability so send him to school or feed him he feels that he needs to stay in the orphanage. It is sad and shows me how aware these children have become of their circumstances. The goodbye we gave on Thursday was long and touching as all of these kids wanted to touch us and say goodbye. A few had tears in their eyes but we hugged those away, but again made us realize that the children of Ghana need us.
Thursday night we headed to Accra so that we could send off our youngest intern, Zach. We spent Friday imputing the data we had collected, then went to the Accra Art Market to get souvenirs. Early Saturday we said farewell to Zach and spent the day at the Accra Mall. We spent the day feeling like Americans. Jurassic World and popcorn, ice cream and hamburgers – it is always nice to be able to feel a little bit of home while being so far away.
Today, Monday we spent at New Life Orphanage. This is a Catholic-run orphanage that hosts a wide array of mentally and physically handicapped children. They also have alot of babies, the youngest being a few months old to 3 or 4. Some of these children have handicaps as well, but not all. The work we did was being constantly interrupted by two boys that didn’t know how to talk, but had strong grips and a determination to catch our attention or steal our pencils. The work was quick because we didn’t really need to spend time interviewing these children because of their inability to answer any of our questions. The house mothers…. or Sisters in this case were very helpful. I was able to sit in and listen to a few of their interviews and you can tell that these Sisters really have devoted their life to service and charity.
We have had our own trials here in Ghana aside from the emotionally straining time at the orphanages. We experienced a little Ghanaian reality by taking Tro Tro to our bus station, and along the way unfortunately experience the skill of Ghana’s pickpockets. We were all carrying bags on Sunday while travelling back to Accra and lost some goods on the way.
Reality is very visceral here and it is easy to forget behind our lit screens and air conditioned homes. These people spend their whole lives struggling in a way that we would never have to experience. We get a taste of their lives while we are here, its not sweet, however it isn’t all bitter either. We should cling on to those sweet moments and smile because that is where we see God’s work at hand.