Tuesday, February 10, 2009


(From Saturday, February 7th, sometimes I don't have internet)

Father Joseph took us to one of his villages. Its name is Donkoto. The name means "All is Love" in Twi, the Ashanti language in the area. We traveled about 2 hours west of Kumasi along an amazingly good road, turning off onto red dirt roads for about 20 minutes before we arrived. This is where the road ended. The village is small, having no electricity. The women take turns pumping water from a well in the middle of town. The village is a poor farming village, growing oranges, plantains, and cocoa. There is an old broken down church in the middle of town which was the first Anglican church in these parts, having been built in 1927. The foundation shifted and one wall fell in. The Anglican church runs a school in the town, but not all children attend school. Some cannot afford even the free school. Some people just don't send their children. The Anglican church puts schools in many many places where there would otherwise be none and most Anglican priests are school administrators as well as pastors and worship leaders.

We went to see the Chief of the village led there by Joseph and accompanied by all the men and women who greeted us and about 30 very excited children. I had our new camera around my neck and was taking lots of pictures, which they really liked. We sat with the chief. The first thing Ghanaians want to know is "Why have you come?" This is very basic. Fr. Joseph explained that we were trying to learn about Ghana and West Africa. I don't know what else he said because the group that had gathered was speaking Twi, but the gist was that the village needed help, especially a laptop computer. This town will not have electricity for several years, so I don't know how they were planning to charge it, but since this is Ghana, I'm sure they will find a way. Ghanaians don't worry about potential problems, they just solve them as they go along. We gave the chief a bookmark from the national cathedral and an Obama button. It wasn't what he wanted, but Joseph talked to him and encouraged him. All the need made us feel the inequalities between us and the people of the village.

Joseph gave the villiage money for cement and sand to help rebuild their church. He had given them some Cedis to buy a load of sand, and part of our purpose in coming today was to make sure the sand had been delivered. Today Joseph gave them money for 9 bags of cement, saying "They just need a little encouragement." With the sand and cement they can begin to make blocks for the church. I asked him how much it would cost to make the whole building. He said, "about 10,000 Cedis (about 7,500 dollars.) I realized that 10 of my cameras could have paid for a whole church. I try not to get overwhelmed.  Maybe the photos from the camera can help do just that.  

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