I’m sitting in the Mission House catching a cool breeze (relatively speaking) through the open window and reflecting on the time we’ve spent in Ankaase. When I think back six days, it seems like weeks ago when we pulled into the village in a crowded minibus. We have attracted more than a few stares this week as well as the familiar chant by the children of “Obroni!” (white person) as we walked the streets. But at the school, we are now known by our names. As we walk from one classroom building to another, we hear the students call us: “Lisa!” “Shannon!” “Melissa!” “Colin!” All day they shout our names and wave at us, over and over. We love it. Now, we are no long just “Obroni.” We are friends.
We finished our week at the school today by spending time in the computer lab class watching the students enjoy the new desktops, and in the Girl Child Education Club, where the girls learned to sew a button on fabric. By the way, I love the slogan of the Club: Girl Empowerment through Education. ACEF staff Comfort Mensah spends time each week with the girls giving special attention to young women who could so easily fall through the cracks. She teaches the girls that they have much to offer, and encourages them to stay in school and keep learning.
And then, we picked up the Ankaase bags! Our seamstress Esther did an incredible job and finished 30 bags for us to take back to the U.S. She’s stitching another 20 after we leave, and Peter and Anna will bring those bags with them when they return in three weeks. I can’t wait to show you the bags. I only have a sneak preview of them in the tote bag, but I can tell you that the fabrics are beautiful, and we have a little surprise inside these bags. Stay tuned. We’re rolling them out in two weeks.
This has been an incredible team to travel with, and this week they have poured themselves out. Spending time with ACEF staff Isaac and Daniel has been invaluable. We’ve not only accomplished ACEF business, but we’ve continued to build our relationship with them. We will leave Ankaase tomorrow not empty, but completely filled with the joy of our time spent here. I look forward to sharing stories in more detail when I’m back in the U.S. and have some time to cool off and rest up. Yes, it was hot and we have worn ourselves out, but as they say, it’s a “good tired.”
So, on our last evening, goodnight from Ankaase, Ghana.