Saturday, April 10, 2010

Let Them Say

This morning I awoke to a pleasant rain and sea breeze. I decided it would be a perfect morning for a job since it was not too hot. As I was jogging I amassed the usual stares and shouts of "Obruni" with a few mixed "madam chelsea" along the way. Sometimes I let the stares deter me from venturing out for a jog. Somehow the children never tire of shouting "obruni" at me, even though they see me weekly. I have decided to go with the popular Ghanaian motto "let them say." Which simply means, let people talk and say what they will, just go about your business and dont mind them. I went exploring down on the coastline between the hotel beach areas and discovered a serene and secluded section just for me. I reveled in the drops of rain and wind whipping the waves and my hair. I think it reached into my very core to bring fresh air. I lost all sense of country and culture and just absorbed the ocean in all its glory. What a big God we serve. It was one of those moments that I felt so insignficant, and God felt so infinite. I am thankful for the moments when I am reminded of such.

I walked back through town, just soaking it all in. Somedays I am still somehow struck by my present reality. It hits me that things have become normal that used to be so foreign. I was the lone white person wandering down the streets of a small rural fishing village in Ghana, West Africa. Women sweeping with straw brooms, goats and chickens running free, children playing simple hand games, men sitting on benches under trees talking, the smell of fish being smoked, rickity wooden tabels ladden with half-spoiled produce... The sights and smells of village life. I continue to feel like an invader in this scene. "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong..." Their is a genuine quality about life here that is fascinating. The sense of community is inticing. I am quite aware that I will never blend in, my skin just doesn't have the capability-but perhaps in time they will stop being surprised to see me.

There were three small children peeking through the wooden bars of the gates to the White Sands resort. It is an extravagant resort located in the midst of this impoverished fishing village. It is overpriced and patronized by only wealthy foreign businessmen. It hit me that this depicts a striking picture of the reality of their lives. Catching a glimpse of a life that is just out of their reach. The high rock walls provide quite a barrier between the two realities. Most developing nations suffer from these extreme ends of the economic spectrum. I would like to think that what we are doing here at the VOH is bridging that gap. These children will have the chance to do more than just peek inside the gates.

1 comment:

  1. So proud of all you're doing for the children at VOH. I miss you here in Portland. BUt i am encouraged to read your posts! I hope to see you again soon my friend.