Accra, Ghana. January 12
Today is our first full day in Ghana after arriving last evening. We started off at 7:15 am for a 3 hour drive north to the village of Nitawuyto to take part in a village celebration for the clean water well we funded for them in 2016. In January 2016, I brought another Seven Hills team to Ghana and visited Nitawuyto for the first time. We had helped our partner install a Bee Hive / Honey production initiative in the village as part of our efforts to stimulate sustainable economic development. However, before we left a girl of 10 or 11 stood up in front of her entire village and read me her appeal for a clean water well. She had to walk 3 miles, each way, twice a day to fetch water from the nearest stream and as such she was missing a great deal of school. Her strength of character was indescribable and not funding the well wasn’t an option. And so, when we arrived this morning the entire village of several hundred people were waiting for us and greeted us with the only “gift” they had to offer; their beautiful singing and dancing. The same young girl was there once more and I recognized her for the courage. The well is now a source of village pride and our hope is to raise the $2,800 needed to install a community pit toilet for the entire village in the next several months as there are no sanitation facilities. We had an incredible visit and were, once again, surrounded by the warmth and affection of desperately poor people. In the afternoon we traveled southwest toward the village of Okishiburi where we’ve worked the past 5 years in providing micro loans to farmers. We were once more treated to a beautiful reception of children dancing and playing traditional drums. We were even encouraged to join in the dancing to the utter delight of the entire village who no doubt must have enjoyed seeing 7 very uncoordinated people from the U.S. trying to dance in traditional ways. Tonight we ended our day with our customary sharing of our individual “pearls”; or one remarkable highlight of the day. For some of our team it was the dancing, for others it was a feeling they had that had moved them, but for me - it was seeing that little girl I had met a year before who had the courage to stand up and tell her story to a group of strangers from America. If she had not done that, the likelihood of her village having a well today would be remote. Siwen reminded us all tonight in her pearl that this trip to West Africa brought home to her with certain clarity that “we are all human and feel love and joy and pain and are sometimes frightened and that poor people are as valuable as any rich person”. That about sums up our entire work at Seven Hills Foundation and Seven Hills Global Outreach. No matter who we are - where we live - or our own peculiar life circumstances, life is precious and our collective purpose in life is to take care of each other as best we can. Tomorrow is our last day in West Africa and I’ll share my thoughts about this year’s trip to Sierra Leone and Ghana. Good night.
Dr. D. Jordan - (“Dr. J”)