Thursday, May 2, 2013
Wow, what an emotional day today was. The picture above was our welcome to Crossover. The truck met us in the town adjacent to Crossover and they paraded us thru town, singing, drums, etc. You cannot see it, but the sign at the front of the truck said "Welcome Jim & Chad to Crossover International Academy". The kids were in constant song, jumping up and down. It was really an unbelievable welcome. When we followed the truck into Crossover and got out of the car, Jim & I were immediately surrounded by about 50 kids, hugging us, jumping up and down, huge smiles on their faces. It was really an overwhelming, emotional experience.
The "classroom", is a thatched hut, about 40' long by 20' wide, dirt floor. It also doubles as the boys sleeping area. No walls. We hung out in the classroom for about an hour, where we gave out the booty. You've never seen 250 kids so happy about sharing 8 waterguns! What keeps striking me is how happy and smiling these kids always are. It just puts things into perspective.
These are the kids lining up for lunch. a bowl of rice with some stew, which consists of some canned tomatoes, peppers and a few other things.
The school, which I found out is also an orphanage (watch out Jenny!) generates their income from catching fish on Lake Volta. They average about 2 buckets of fish/day, which generates $160 Ghanian Cedi/day, about $80USD.
There are 253 kids at Crossover, 8 teachers and a night watchman. You can do the math, they are barely existing. And yet, they are all so happy at being given a second chance at life instead of being a slave on a fishing boat on Lake Volta. After being shown the "campus" (which is not much) while the kids ate, we blew up 2 basketballs that Jim brought, nailed a makeshift rim to a pole, and taught the kids basketball. Dribbling drills, layup drills, passing drills, etc. It was so fun and neat to watch the kids, 253 of them, share 2 balls and having so much fun.
Pictured here are 4 Crossover boys wearing tshirts donated by EI-LO, a tshirt company run by my friend, Eddy Chavez. Thank you Eddy, the kids LOVED the tshirts.
It's hard to get over the poverty here, not just at Crossover, but really the entire country. We are all so lucky to have been born in the U.S., and to live the way we live. So much we take for granted, so much to be thanful for.