A Day in Ghana

People often ask me what life is like in Ghana. “What do you do all day?” I never know how to answer that question because each day is different and not always predictable. Some days are bad, others okay and some very good. Today was a good day.

The morning started off with an email from Bob McDonnell telling me that his friend Carol from California wants to sponsor a student. I woke Mohammed by yelling out the kitchen window “we have another sponsor.” He came into the house all happy after that news and put water on the stove for tea for all three of us, Mohammed, me and Seidu.

We were delighted with the news and talked at length about Bob and his wonderful family. Then Mohammed searched in the cupboard and found more almond flour than I thought we had. This means that I will have something to eat besides veggies and fruit for the next few weeks. Seidu left for school (he graduated from Ghana National and is now going to computer school which he loves) right after his breakfast. Everyone seems to fix what each wants for breakfast. I made almond flour pancakes and cut up a pawpaw for my breakfast. I even shared some of my pancakes with Mohammed. I usually keep them all for myself in the freezer as I’m unable to eat any grains, flour, rice, potatoes or heavy carbs anymore. No sugar either, but I can eat honey and I do.

Our agenda for today involved driving to Ghana National College to check on their visually impaired program for high school students. Maryanne Ward of “Ghana Together” had asked me to check up on a girl from Axim who is going to that school. We found a teacher from the visually impaired department who explained the program to us and he went to get Emmanuella for us so we were able to visit with her and report to Maryanne that she was there and in need of a computer. With her own computer she will be able to use software that will allow her to type on the computer and hear the words through earphones as she types. Amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Emmanuella and vowed on the way to our other errands to get together with our 16 students at Ghana National and introduce them to Emmanuella so she will have some more people looking out for her welfare there on campus.   I decided that if I were to be without my sight I would get a seeing-eye dog. Here in Ghana a dog would not only help you move around but would keep anyone wishing to harm you far away. Most Ghanaians are very afraid of dogs.

From Ghana National we went to University Practice Senior High School to look for Theophilus who was not present at our annual meeting because the girls from UPHS could not find him. We learned that he has not been in school for the past seven weeks. We then drove to his village, parked my car and walked the maze of trails between houses (huts?) that make up most Ghana villages. Surprisingly Mohammed remembered how to reach Theophilus’s house from doing the home visit for him almost three years ago. Once we found the house, we were greeted royally by his mother and his grandfather.  There was also a great granddaughter toddling around.  I thought perhaps something awful had happened to him, but no, when they learned why we were there, Theophilus was found.  He had come home sick and somehow didn’t make his way back because of no money or something.  Anyway, we have everything worked out and he will arrive at our house tomorrow and go back to school with Mohammed in the morning to make sure all is okay with the school.  He has a lot of work to make up but seemed delighted that we showed up to help.  It seems pride was involved in not asking for the needed help in a more timely way.  Theophilus had a big grin on his face when we left and his grandfather walked us all the way to the main road.  Mohammed took the attached picture in front of their house.

Once home, Mohammed went to pray and I’m sure fell asleep after. I sent emails and photos to Maryanne and to Christine Myers, Theophilus’s sponsor, to relate the business of our day.

Mohammed woke up and told me we had no pumpkin for the soup he wanted to make. I found some money and Mohammed went to Abura to buy pumpkin, paw paw and laughing cow cheese. Dinner was served around 7 p.m. and I collapsed after that. It was a good day. We got done what we wanted to do and solved some problems.

As I mentioned, not everyday goes as smoothly as this one with good results for our efforts, but when things do go well it is a joy to be here.

-Kathryn Roe




Kathryn with Theophilus and family

EmmanuellaKathrynKathryn with Emmanuella