Jubilant Beginnings

Hues of pink and purple soften the sky with coastal breezes passing through. A celebration gets under way in front of our hotel. In Ghana, this means a tent is set up in the street, 4 ft speakers are blasting music that can be heard for blocks and there is dancing, dancing, dancing. As people pass by, carrying buckets of water or maize on their heads and in their hands, nearly all pause and dance- a virtual stage of life before us. Children roam freely in small groups, dancing about and doing cartwheels in the streets. Joy abounds here, and it is contagious- I am smiling from my insides out. I share with our friend and volunteer Kelvin Abba how I love to see Ghanaians break into dance. He comments, “We are just moving our bodies to the rhythm.” Dise, another CIH Ghana Team Member laughingly comments this week- “I am happy, and if there is a word that means more than that, then I am that!” How beautiful and jubilant the rhythm is that we begin to weave into this week.

As we walked into each classroom, greeting nearly 400 children in our first few days, there were always several children that beamed with their entire bodies- stomping their feet, raising their arms in the air, rising out of their seats, and squealing with excitement! They know we have brought the goodwill, peace and friendship messages and projects from the children in North America. In our opening circles, as in America, each child calls their name and shares how they are feeling. There was not one child or teacher this week that expressed anything outside of happy, good, cool, proud, honored, joyful and excited! Not one.

When we inquired as to who remembered the name of this program, the first response that was shared was love. Other responses included unity, peace, happiness, and we are one. While these are not our name, we know that is what is being shared and created. We see it, but more importantly, we feel it… in our bones.

We have begun the connections this week with the following schools:

U.S. Schools

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, Atlanta, GA

St. Andrew’s School, Savannah, GA

Summit Charter School, Cashiers, NC

CT Walker Magnet School, Augusta, GA

Riverside Middle School, Augusta, GA

Ghana Schools:

Ho-Bankoe EP Primary

Ho-Bankoe RC Mixed

Ho-Bankoe- RC Girls

Prince of Peace School

We know many of you have been anticipating our blogs. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work on being able to upload more stories and photos. We are now on Ghana time, and it has been raining every day, so it may take a bit longer than we hoped for. As they say in Ghana, we are coming.