DIVOG (Disaster Volunteers of Ghana) is an amazing organization of local Ghanians from Ho who partner with non-profits to improve the lives of people in the villages. One of their main projects is building schools, because of the belief that knowledge is power and the future of Ghana lies in the hands of the kids. In addition to using funds donated by groups like VIDA (Volunteers for International Development and Aid), they not only oversee the building of new schools, but involve the members of the community in order for the community itself to have buy-in into the project.
Bright was my DIVOG guide for my two weeks in Mafi Tsati. He wins the award for the best Red Red ever! Red Red is a local dish of black-eyed peas in red sauce with fried plantains. Yummy!!!
Thank you Bright, and all of DIVOG, for taking such great care of me in Ghana and for introducing me to the Village of Mafi Tsati, who’s people have a special place in my hear forever and whom I plan to return to visit very soon.
“The best journeys answer questions you didn’t even think to ask.”
These words from adventurer Jeff Johnson in the documentary 180 Degrees South resonated with me as I snuggled into my coach seat crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Ghana. Some people dream of one journey their entire lives and do whatever it takes to get there, putting most of their time and energy into it. This is something I deeply respect and was true for Jeff with his dream to summit Corcovado Mountain, Chile. My dreams and journeys have evolved over time, as is true with this one to Ghana. Some have asked, “Why Ghana?” and others have wondered why I would you spend three weeks of my summer to volunteer to help build schools and work on projects to improve infrastructure in Ho, Ghana. I know it doesn’t actually make economic sense for one person to fly half way across the world to help in a small village in Africa for three weeks. The total cost of this trip would probably pay for 5 water pumps in 5 different villages… Though I struggle with this knowledge, and how to make sense of the economic end, I trust that there is a much greater purpose for this trip than the physical change the dollars bring. I trust that the connections I will make and the learning I will gain and share, will grow beyond the economic value and be more than worth it. I know this journey will bring up questions I didn’t even think to ask, though the answers remain to be seen…