Date: Early 2007
Context: Thekenyanexplorer went to Ghana with a team from uni on a 3 week trip to Ghana. Her team was focusing on some development work in energy and water. This is an email that was sent to her friends and family after the trip. The full story will be in a few separate consecutive blog entries.
OF DREAMS AND CHILDREN
The kids in New Longoro are so cute and sweet. I felt like I would leave Ghana with a few of them. One of my team-mates had a dream. She was pregnant, and gave birth to a black baby (note: she is white). It was quite funny. We asked her if the baby was mixed. She said the baby was black. I interpreted this to mean that she will probably adopt an African baby in the future. Strange that the kids in New Longoro don't scream when they see a camera flash. They calmly stand when pictures are taken. My new best friend is called Nico Nico and he is Pastor George's goat herder's son. He is 13, but could pass for 8. It is pretty sad that many of the children here are malnourished. Not due to lack of food, but due to lack of nurses to teach new mothers the importance of giving their children a balanced diet. There is quite a bit of marasmus and kwashiakor in the area. The most ironic thing is that the child with the most distended belly in the village is a fisherman's son. The kids here don't get enough protein even though peanuts are grown in the area (they are sold and not consumed by the families.) I keep on getting the strange feeling in Ghana that the government actually cares for the people. John Kufuor the current president seems to have a heart. There is a new school feeding program, and children in all primary schools get lunch. Enrolment in schools has gone up due to the feeding program, and I think it is a wonderful undertaking.
THE GIRL WITH A WOODEN DOLL
Today we taught the kids in the hall. They stood up to move to the other side of the room, and I saw a little wooden doll on the floor of the room. The little doll was dressed in the yellow school uniform that the rest of the girls had. I slowly walked to the doll, and picked it up. I wondered whose doll it was, and where it came from. Something about the doll made me feel really sad. All dolls are lifeless, but this one was dead. One of the boys walked up to me, and told me that the doll belongs to one of the young girls. He told me the doll looks just like her. I inquired why. He told me it was carved out for her after she lost her twin sister, and she went everywhere with her doll. Tears stung my eyes. I turned, and saw a limping girl come towards me. She looked just like the doll. I gave her her doll, and gave her a warm comforting touch on her wrist. I knew it was a cold comfort. I felt for her, but knew there was nothing I would be able to do to take away the sadness from her eyes. I was curious about her limp, her loss, her, but all I could do was sadly watch her limp away.