William Blake wrote: “we are put on earth for a little space that we might learn to bear the beams of love.”
Africans say “Ubuntu – a person becomes a person through other people.”
Tk says: “all human lives are equal in value and have immense potential.”
As we travel long hours on buses, visit slave castles and interact with child hawkers on a beach a thought occurs to us: people – loving people – caring for people – valuing people is very important. We step in a new context and step in to the lives of people with unique life experiences. We walk in footprints made in the sand by Isaac, a loyal plantain chips hawker on the shores of Cape Coast. After our football game last night we are close acquaintances. He shares with us his dreams to be a doctor; in his own way he has recognized his gift and ability for the sciences and works hard to fulfill these. No online career quiz required! We ponder, how may we bear the beams of love with the Isaacs of our world who are people just like us? He asks us for money to buy a soccer ball, but is that the best way to support his potential? We don’t have an immediate answer, but we do buy a load of plantain chips from Isaac to do what we can to help him in the moment.
After we leave Cape Coast, we take the opportunity to visit the nearby Kakum National Park and its walkways among the trees, from which we can look down on the Ghanaian rainforest. As we take in the undisturbed beauty of the countryside, we also grow closer as a team. We bond over our varied reactions to the experience, from awe at the view to fear at the height of the walkways. When we finally return to Accra after several hours sweltering in traffic, the power is out, but that doesn’t stop us from cooling off. As a storm sweeps over the city, we go outside and play in the rain. This is the first time we have been cold in Ghana! Afterwards, when we gather as a team to discuss the day, we all agree that we had a great time getting to know each other better, despite the amount of time spent in transit. Tomorrow we leave for Lolito, and the chance to get involved in a village beyond the sight and mind of many in Ghana, despite its very real needs. Because we won’t have internet access there, this will be the last of our posts for a while, but we will still write out our daily thoughts, to be posted when we get back to Accra next Tuesday.