It Takes a Village
Completing #17 on the list was one of the best experiences of my life. I wouldn't have expected to be heart-broken to leave a place that doesn't have a McDonald's, where I think it literally reached 1,000 degrees and was as humid as it was hot, where the power routinely goes out and where I sweat more than I think I have my entire life combined, but I was. I am in amazement at the heart in Chelsea and how generously and lovingly she serves her kids both academically and spiritually.
You are a true inspiration and I'm SO proud of you. It was blatently apparent the very second I arrived and saw her interactions with the kids how much they love, adore, need, and treasure her. These feelings are universal if you know the girl though, as I share the exact feelings. My heart was touched by how open the kids were with her, how much they relied on her for everything from a pencil for class to her advice and guidance that is shaping the people they are becoming. I learned alot about Ghanian culture thanks to a fun game of Social Studies Jeopardy with her classes.
I also learned alot about Oklahoman culture and history from sitting through 8 of Amy's lectures.
The kids are beautiful and precious and I absolutely and completely fell in love with them. They were intrigued (and very inquistive) by a Korean (or Chinese or Asia) who is also from America. They took to Amy and me very quickly. Walking around the school, we heard sweet little voices shouting 'Madam Amy, Madam Megan' continually. Numerous notes telling us how much they loved us how excited they were for us to be there and drawings of flowers were stuffed in our hands. We were welcomed with hugs and smiles and laughs at every turn.
They never got tired of sitting while we read to them during reading class and tutoring and even pretended to be impressed with our basketball skills during P.E. class.
I also enjoyed getting to know some of the house parents. The kids (and others) kept telling me how much I resembled Ma Millicent and after meeting her, I didn't really see it, sadly for me. We also got to know Ma Matilida while we were there, afterall she is our African mother. She helped Chelsea make us groundnut stew and fufu, it was delicious. Getting to know the house parents made me feel good that my Chelsea is being taken good care of there.
Amy and Chelsea, I will always treasure this trip and think of it often. Somehow, making private, fire off, feet swollen to 3x their regular size, taking care of business on the side of some random street while passerbys watch, kilometers and kilometers all will always make me smile.
Amy, another wonderful trip together, thank you for being the best travel friend.
Chelsea, it was so wonderful to be roommates again, I've missed you.
Village of Hope, you're doing a great work blessed by God that is changing the lives of residents and visitors alike. Thank you for the hospitality and love you showed us while we visited!