6 Commentsby   |  07.22.11  |  Accra, Ghana

Well, tonight is the night that I will sit in my room, look at all my pictures from the summer and make sure I have everything packed up. I cant believe it is Friday the 22nd. It really does feel like yesterday that we finally made it to the Ghana airport and saw the big AKWABA (welcome) sign above the door. This summer was a blast and I am so thankful I got to spend it here with these kids again in this beautiful country. This time around I got to see alot more than last year. I was able to visit lake volta and actually feel the water with my hand as we were rowed across. How many hands i’ve held that has grown up in that water made it so weird yet gratifying to be there. In my mind I’ve always had such a negative conotation with the words ‘lake volta’. After being there, though it is a beautiful lake surrounded by lush moutains, the conotation was still there. Every child I saw on the shore line when we made it to the other side, which were many, just made me hope for them, that they weren’t being treated as badly as some of the stories I have heard from the kids here.

Also another highlight from this summer was going back to Nkwatia. Yes I honestly was dreading going up there again but when we got there and the teachers remembered me by name as well as some of the kids really made it worth it. Many of the kids ran up to me and stared for a second and said, ‘Ah! I remember your face, very familiar! Then they brought me into the computer room and pointed to a picture on the wall. A picture of Brittany, Laci, and myself as well as all the teachers. I don’t want to say I made an impact on any one there or here for that matter, but just hearing them remember who I was even though I was there for only 2 weeks last year made it really special. I feel like all in all, this summer was a little bit better than last. The homecoming I recieved when I got here I will never forget. Kids stopping their football game to run and give me a hug will forever be one of my closest memories. True Happiness. You know I let the kids just use whatever I bring, i.e my iphone, camera, video camera, etc. The other night I was looking through all my videos and ended up watching one from the first week. A boy whom I got close with last year, had my video camera and was just filming random things. I didn’t hear it the first time I watched it because the volume is not really loud on my camera, but when I put it on my computer I heard what Edmond was saying while filming. He was giving a ‘tour’ of a certain part of the village when he starts to tell his story. He said I thank the Lord for the Village of Hope, my mother died when I was 2…then towards the end he said I want to thank Shelby’s mother and Shelby’s father for letting her come here. God bless Shelby’s family. So to my family, even though you are not here, you are making an impact on these kids. Hopefully someday soon you will finally be able to meet the kids I talk about all the time!

*Very little is needed to make a happy life. It is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.*
-Marcus Aurelius
That quote stuck out to me very much yesterday when we went to the Liberian Refugee Camp. It was like a whole other world from the Village of Hope. There are guards at the front that only let you in if they know you or you are with someone they know. You walk in and it’s just like any other small town. Very runned down, houses made from scrap metal, kids running all over the place. We went and looked at the school those guys we met are helping start. In the front of the school there were alot of kids just hanging out doing nothing. Then they started a football game, and they used an empty bottle as the ball. They were still playing hard and having the time of their life from the expressions on their faces. They made something out of nothing…Little things bring them joy, if only more people thought that way. As we were walking through we found out that this place used to be the definition of a refugee camp. Everyone had tents as houses and now it looks like any other town. They made something out of nothing.

Last night I was in Joy Barnett House, suprise suprise, and I was watcing ma Victoria cook jolloff rice. I was talking to Vida about how its getting closer for me to go and I hope I don’t cry like last year. She said I wouldn’t, Lebene said I probably would haha. Anyways she said one is greater than zero. Lebene just looked real confused and told her to stop talking because she isnt making sense, and Vida snapped back with a ‘yes it does you just don’t understand!’ She continued telling me that one is better than zero…and I said im not following you. She said what if you had never came here last year. You would have never met any of us…one is better than zero. You coming one time is better than never coming at all. I’ve always wondered how the kids respond to people only coming once and for just 2 weeks, that kind of answered my question. Everyday I am thankful for these kids and they are a living testimony to what God can do. They have gone through SLAVERY, through beatings, some have seen people not come up after diving down into the water, and yet they are here making an impact on me. Yesterday when we were driving to the refugee camp, someone asked Chelsea about her tattoo on her foot and what it ment. It was some tree, im not sure what kind but it is mentioned in the Bible in, I think, Isaiah. Anyways God had it as a symbol that he is there to help those in need. And she said she got it as a reminder to her to be a symbol of Gods love to the needy, the poor, and the depressed. I thought that was amazing. Tonight we are having her going away party. She knows there is something going on for her but doesnt know any details. It is going to be alot of fun, and really sad because she has been here for 2 years. She said this time saying goodbye is going to be the most difficult.

OH! the president deal…almost forgot to tell yall about it. Well he didnt come…so after the kids and pretty much everyone here at the village got EVERYTHING ready, signs got painted, flags got hung, he couldn’t come and had all these other important people come in his place. LAME. I did get to see some cool tribal dances and what not but yeah. After the program I was hanging out with Raul and funniest thing ever. All the kids had to dress nice so he was wearing dress pants and a white shirt and the big ole dock martin type boots. I was chasing him around and the way he ran made it obvious those shoes were heavy. It was SO funny I wish I had gotten it on film. I finally caught him and he laughted and screamed so loud people turned around. haha I had to make him be quiet but at the same time I couldn’t help but laugh. Oh im going to miss that kid.

But I think this is going to be my last post in Ghana! I hope for who ever has been reading this you have enjoyed it. Today’s was pretty long but I just had so much to say :] haha. Anyways I am really excited to be home and see everyone. see you all in 2 days!

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another; for he who loves his fellow man has fullfilled the law… and whatever other comandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ”Love your neighbor as yourself” Love does no harm to it’s neighbor. Therefore love is the fullfillment of the law.
-Romans 13:9-10

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