Last Day at Orphanage

July 4, 2009

Today was the last day with the Drifting Angels. EWB pumped the remaining rain water out of the latrine pits, and sealed them so the latrine could be opened. We all buried the old latrine with vengeance that we all enjoyed probably too much.

wilford and Sabion showing off their green hands

wilford and Sabion showing off their green hands

The teachers had the brilliant idea of putting the children’s hand prints as leaves on the tree they painted on the wall of the latrine. The littlest ones lined up with their hands out, ready to be painted. Courtney directed tiny hands onto the painted tree. The children were delighted, all of them except Francisca. Francisca was excited until they brushed the paint onto her hand. I don’t know if she thought her hand was permanently green or she just didn’t like the oily paint feel, but her expression quickly changed to a mix of disgust and panic. Soon the tree was peppered green, red, yellow and black hand prints. The crew could not resist, and we all made our mark on the well-deserved latrine.

The EWB talked with Mama Elize and Kafui, while the teachers and I helped DIVOG mix cement and form the seals for the latrine. EWB talked over the design for the orphanage to make sure Mama gets everything she needs. I talked to Mama and Kafui and they are very happy with what the engineers have come up with. I also talked to them about adoption. It is about a six-month period to adopt a Ghana child. The government is very cautious with adoptions because in the past other countries adopted as another form of slavery to make the children work. Another part of the process is to find the relatives of the children in order get permission, which Kafui says is not a problem. These little ones need a good loving home. The Orphanage takes good care of them, but the conditions are not great and there is nothing like the love of family. Ghana is hard enough to grow up in with a family let alone without. The schools are poor and opportunities are slim to none. Most people spend every day struggling for their next meal. In America, parents worry about germs. Here the children sleep in the dirt and eat off the floor. Bodies are not washed and moisturized. No one is here to read them a story and tuck them in at night. These kids are amazing. I just want them to have the childhood I was blessed with, affection, opportunity, resources and love.

Final Farewell

Final Farewell

Leaving the children today was heartbreaking. I’m going to miss being escorted by hand every where I go, little hands held high as they ask, “Picture, picture!”, tugs on my shirt with big eyes begging to be held, the kindergartner class with singing, dancing and giggling, and watching the older children help the younger. The only thing I won’t miss is digging trenches.

It is hard to put into words what the experience in this Ghana orphanage has taught me. I’ve learned how blessed we are in the states, and with as happy as Ghanaians are with so little, we never have reason to be depressed over trivial matters. From volunteers like EWB, DIVOG and the teachers, I felt the power of selflessness, compassion and a readiness for action. From Mama Elize and Kafui, I saw the endurance of devotion and faithfulness. And from the orphans, I experienced unconditional love and happiness. Am I walking away from the Ghana Experience a better person? – No doubt in my mind.


One Response to “Last Day at Orphanage”

  1. mona said

    dear friends,

    May I say, you are doing a great job here. Well done.
    I know you are having fun!
    I might have a few ideas…

    I just liked your website..your articles are so cool and really good…awsem…

    your welcome to this site do like it..

    the link is about actually it is an African portal
    dedicated to serve the african community that provides all sorts of services..
    my pleasure if you like it..

    May God Bless you and take care


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