This is a phrase we Americans reserve mainly for the front of cards for birthday parties. Here in Ghana you are not invited to parties, you are invited to people's food. I have received many invitations to people's food. I will enter a home and someone will be eating dinner and they say "you are invited" and offer to let me join in the eating of their plate. People here eat from the same plate quite often, and usually without utensils. I so much as walk by the night guards while they are eating and they invite me to their plates.
Yesterday I had to stay in the classroom through part of my lunch break with several kids in trouble serving time on the wall. Every child in the classroom proceeded to invite me to their food that they were eating. They are so gracious! One little boy offered me some of his chips, I took only one, knowing they are a luxury here. He then came back and told me he wanted me to take the whole can, because he had another one. I hardly know this young boy, and yet he wanted to share his special treat with me!
The preacher at the VOH church, Noah, invited me to his home a few weeks back. He is an educated, intelligent, and friendly man. He asked me intuitive questions about my cultural transitions and the work I am doing here. He and his wife sell bread and eggs to staff at VOH (because there is no food source close by). He told me that anytime I want bread or eggs to come get it from them without paying, because of my sacrifice to come here. I am completely humbled by his gracious offer. I didn't go get any from them last week, feeling badly for taking income from them when they have so little. He reprimanded me on Sunday for not coming by during the week for bread or eggs and told me not to let it happen again. I am completely humbled by his hospitality and generosity.
I am learning so much from the kids and staff here. They are incredibly gracious hosts. Taking hospitality to the extreme. They make sure I have a chair to sit in, a song book to hold, a water to drink, wherever I go. I came to serve them, and often find myself as the recipient of the blessings and sacrifice.