7 weeks. Really? I can remember getting off the plane in Ghana and immediately wanting to kiss the ground because of my excitement. How could the goodbyes to my dear friends be so near? I’m not ready- not sure if I ever will be. I may say though, my kindergarten class never gives me a “relaxing” day- but a circus show is always a guarantee. They are such goofballs and I couldn’t imagine them another way. A French volunteer kindly lends his guitar so I can play during break time. Their laughs, smiles, and crazy dance moves are forever a memory in my head. I can only hope that all my- adorable, foolish, beautiful, energetic, emotional- children never forget the worth they hold and how much they are loved.
Even though it is coming to the end of my time in Ghana- I am very thankful for the chance to hangout with Bliss. Bliss is a beautiful 14 year old girl who was born with cerebral palsy. She just got back from 1 and 1/2 months in the hospital and unfortunately, there is not much help being offered to her. Her father is a farmer and her mother, Meloween, goes to the market every 5 days to sell goods. For 9 years, Meloween walked 5 miles to the farm with Bliss on her back. Eventually, Bliss got too big for her mother to carry- leaving Meloween no longer able to work on the farm. It has been a blessing to go over to Bliss’s house in the mornings to read to her, sing songs, wheel her through the village, and do some stretching exercising with her. Her inability to talk and walk doesn’t take away from her contagious smile. Hanging out with Bliss is definitely the best way to start my day. Please pray for Bliss and her family- that they find means to pay for the medical bills and to calm their hearts from this struggle. I have informed Meloween about the sustainable women’s group, CompassionateWomen, in hopes that this opportunity will give a steady income to Bliss’s family. Meloween and Bliss are a beautiful example of how a mother sacrifices her life for her daughter. My own mother (Mother Diane) is the most important person in my life. I see the overflowing love Meloween has for Bliss, and it only reminds me of the love my mother gives to me. It was no random act that they came into my life- they are a very special gift to me.
Not only has Bliss become a sweet friend in my life, so has Gladys. Gladys is a 17 year old girl with a big heart. Her father passed away before she was born and her mother died when she was 2 years old. Becoming an orphan, she was sent to Accra to stay with chosen guardians. It breaks my heart to say that these guardians were not good to Gladys. Abusive punishment and starvation were used often in that household. Once Gladys was 16 years, she gathered up enough courage to run away to her born village- Tafi Atome. I am so proud of her for making that brave decision and very blessed to call her my new friend. Gladys and I have gotten to know each other very well. We take walks together and eat juicy pineapples during our free time. She has finished secondary school and desperately wants to go onto a University. Unfortunately, her aunt in the village has no means to feed her whole family, let alone pay for Gladys to attend a university. Hearing that news, I immediately went to Gladys family’s house to inform them about the women’s group. The family welcomed me into their home as their “new daughter”. CompassionateWomen was developed for people who are exactly like Gladys. She is a beautiful young lady with so much to offer the world. Opportunities for women in Ghana are rare and this women’s sustainable group is a chance for them to break the cycle of poverty and helplessness- and to become an independent, radiant women.