Last week I posted some photos from our recent trip to Ghana, West Africa. You can see that post here. This is my second trip to Ghana. Our second born daughter and her family have been many times, once living there for several months. My husband has gone multiple times as well. They try to take a team from our church at least once a year. Some of the team members that went with us have been there more than once. The photo above is on the bay of Guinea, the fishing town of Winneba, where we began our stay on this trip. Below is a photo of the children's Sunday school class at at the church where we spoke.
I've seen little children and elderly women carrying burdens bigger than they are on their heads! It's an amazing skill, and the amount of weight as well as the size of some of the loads I've seen carried this way is mind boggling. One time my daughter was trying to carry a large bucket of water with her arms and hands. All the way down the street the Ghanians were giggling and pointing at her and some tried to encourage her to use her head. Easier said than done!
As we left Winneba and drove inland toward Kumasi...
This was our youngest grandson's second trip to Ghana. His first time he was there, when he was one, they were there for over a month. The sweet gal in this photo is his nanny, helping his mama at home a day or two a week as well as on their trips overseas. We wondered how he would do being completely surrounded by Ghanaians, as the little Ghanaian children are often frightened when they first see us "Obroni", their word for foreigner or white person. On his first visit when he was one, and again this time at age 2 1/2, he didn't seem to even notice. All of the children were "my friends" and our dear Bishop A. is his Ghanaian papa and his wife is his Grandma C. Perhaps immersion in another culture and race at an early age is the answer to racism?
Lack of water is a common problem, and the shallow, hand dug well at the retreat center where we stay in Kumasi had dried up. A new deeper well has now been dug. Much of the work that we commonly see done by machinery is still done by hand in Ghana. I've seen road construction being done by men using pick axes in the relentless Ghanaian heat.
From Kumasi we traveled to some of the surrounding areas and villages to minister in some of the churches that Bishop A. has started. The church in Ankam was a 90 minute drive from the retreat center in Kumasi. It was late in the evening, the roads were treacherous, and at times we went through stretches of forest that caused me to wonder what a person would do if the car broke down in one of those spots! However, when we reached the little church in Ankam I was overwhelmed with the joy in the people and their excitement that we had come to encourage them.
On the last day we were in Ghana, there was a wedding at a church near the retreat center so some of the wedding party and guests had rented rooms. You can see here the contrast between the more westernized dress of the wedding party and the more traditional dress of some of the guests. This is typical as you see more of the young people wanting to dress like what they see from the U.S. and Europe.
I hope you've enjoyed "coming along" with me to Ghana via these photos.
"You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place."