Posted to journeytosolidarity.org by Jay Breitlow. Photos courtesy of the Author.
This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting a small village north of Cape Coast. Heading westward out of the smog and traffic of Accra, one cannot help but marvel at the natural beauty of the African landscape. The dawn sun peeks though high thin clouds and begins to warm the crisp morning air. A cool sea breeze, fresh with the scent of salt, enters the windows, tugging and ripping playfully at my shirt and standard issue blue bandana. Rising above a clearing I’m afforded a view of a valley, The lush green forest is dotted orange with small mud-hut villages that teem with early morning fires burning dry palm fronds. A bit further along the road, between head bobbing naps, the mind is left with an unmistakable African impression as giant Kufu trees in the distance reach impressively for the sun, yearning to stake their claim to the bright sunrays, with which Southern Ghana is so blessed. Offsetting this is the screeching bus horn and the feel of plastic covered coach chairs. Years of human sweat and dirt has piled up on these “protective” covers, and I am left wondering what strain of E.Coli is attaching it self to my shirt?
After safely navigating the plastic covers, which would be better used for your son or daughter’s Petri dish experiment in Science class this week, Dr. Hunter and I arrive in Cape Coast. Our mission today is to deliver a sizeable donation to the future chief of a small village, so they can improve their “school”. The “school,” in all actuality, is a dusty clearing under a tree in which about 50 hard wooden chairs are placed in front of a rickety blackboard clamoring for retirement.
Many of the children there have never seen a spiral bound notebook, and none have seen colored paper or colored pencils. That all changed this week thanks to YOUR generosity and the determination of one very special individual. This person is Angie Gibson, and she is a pre-school friend who, like me, also grew up suffering cold Wisconsin winters and long sweaty summer nights.
Similar to so many of you, Angie is a philanthropist and a ‘lovemarker’ (as Ghanaians call loving/giving people). Angie took matters into her own hands to make a difference by initially making a financial contribution; however, Angie decided that she desperately wanted to do more. Several emails back and forth, we devised a plan to have materials brought to Ghana through a friend of Dr. Hunters, Chauncia, who lives in Tampa. Since Chauncia was coming via plane and going to be weight restricted with her luggage, I wasn’t sure exactly what was going to show up on arrival. I was blown away to find that from Wisconsin, to Ghana via Chauncia in Tampa, Angie has sent the following: 30+ notebooks, 150+ pencils, 200 pieces of construction paper, 160 erasers, 50 colored pencils and a dozen pencil sharpeners.
My job was easy. All I had to do was fill suitcases with the supplies, jump on a bus, and accept the Chief’s gratitude. Score! The chief and his family were overwhelmed with joy and promised that this donation would make a huge impact on the future of the children in the Ashanti Region.
The Chief promised to make the 6-hour drive further north within a fortnight. We would have loved to make the journey all the way to the village just to see the children playing excitedly with their new treasures. However, driving nearly 24 hours within a 56 hour weekend window was just not appealing, especially given that we both needed to get back to Accra to begin adjusting patients on Monday morning.
From the bottom of our hearts at J2S to you all: “Thank you” for enabling positive change in Ghana and throughout the world. I am sad that my time here is quickly drawing to an end; however, I know that there is much work to be done back in the States and in settling into a new location. As the situation in Madagascar continues to be best described as “unstable and dangerous,” we are looking at other areas of need around the world and at home. We are looking for contacts that may provide us with the opportunity to serve for extended periods of time. If you have thoughts or ideas please email any of the Board of Directors as all input is greatly appreciated.
Tags: africa, africa chiropractic, angie gibson, Chiropractic, chiropractic mission, chiropractic missions, christina hunter, donation, Ghana, Health, jay breitlow, Journey, journey to solidarity, Service, Solidarity, volunteer