Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Jim and I popped 2 ambien each when we got on the thing we know, we are one hour outside of Ghana!  I love flights like that.  Not much to say about the airport, the transfer, baggage claim and customs were all very smooth.  We were met by Dave, the founder of Crossover.  Dave is a great guy, very humble and happy.  If there is one thing I noticed in the short time I have been here is that everyone seems to be very happy.  Always big smiles everywhere you look.  We drove about 3 hours to a town called Akosombo.  This is where the Akosombo Dam is on Lake Volta.  You can see the Dam from our motel room.  As we unpacked our bags and showed Dave our "loot", he couldnt stop smiling.  We were a bit concerned about how we were going to split up the booty, not the easiest task given the 250 kids who are anxiously awaiting our arrival.  Dave's response "We are like a family, what you brought us is for everyone to use and share."  So cool!  
Dave left us at the hotel to go back to the school and promised to come get us at 8am tomorrow (Thurs) morning.  Right now, Jim & I are having a beer at the hotel, overlooking the Dam, catching up on emails and recording our journey.

thoughts en route...

On my way to Ghana right now and I'm trying to pinpoint how I feel.  Am I excited?  Nervous?  Anxious is probably the right word.  I want this to be such a positive experience, for me, the children at Crossover, the founder David Yayravi and Jim Conti.  Part of the anxiety is the fact that there is no set schedule or agenda.  Jim & I are just kind of showing up.  We are bringing a lot of stuff for the children, which is great, and I know the children will appreciate.  But what are we really going to be doing each day, each hour?  And more importantly, how are we going to figure out a way and a path to making a real difference in these kids lives.

The other thing that is a bit nerve-racking is the fact that Ghana is a third world country.  Will I be safe?  How much weight will I lose (I am pretty sure the food will be tough on me).  What will the sleeping conditions be like at Hotel Volta.  I hear its a very nice hotel, but I hear its "nice for Ghana standards".  I hope I don't get sick.  I hope I don't find myself on the floor at 3am dry heaving from  eating or drinking something I shouldnt have.  And I hope I don't get homesick.  I hope I am able to stay busy enough to not want to go home early.  While I love doing what I am doing, I also am going to miss terribly my beautiful wife and awesome children.

So what are my goals for this trip?  Note, some of the goals are Crossover related, but some are personal:
1.  To get a firm of understanding of Crossover the school, including existing assets, needed assets, budget, etc. 
2.  To find out what the different internet connectivity options there are and pricing
3.  To find builders/contractors who can build a dorm and what the costs would be.
4.  To get to know as many of the children as possible, and ask as many questions as possible.
5.  To share my life, my experiences with the children, in hopes of helping them define whatthey want to accomplish in life
6.  To learn about Ghana and its people
7.  Fishing:  I brought a rod & reel, and would love to catch a tiger fish, a cat fish, and  a few other interesting African species.
8.  Explore:  I'm not exactly sure how much free time I will have, but I'd like to be able to explore some parts of Ghana while I am there.