Thursday, July 28, 2016

Global Mamas

Today was a pretty powerful day.  It started at 7am as Jenny, Jacob, Savannah & I got into our rental truck for the hour drive to Crossover from our hotel.  It's been 3 years since I've made this trek (and never driven it myself).  So, my overconfidence in my ability to remember the route turned an hour drive into a 2.5 hour drive as we navigated pot-filled "roads" in the Ghanian countryside.  I finally swallowed my pride and called Dave, the head of the school, to come rescue us.  You can't google maps everything, unfortunately, especially when the neighboring town doesn't exist on Google (the name of the town is Djemeni).
As we finally approached Crossover, the road was lined with 300 children singing, dancing and holding signs that said "Welcome Cooper Family" and "We are glad you are here".  As the procession finally widened enough to drive through, we entered the school and parked.  As Jenny, Jacob & Savannah got out of the truck, they were immediately engulfed in a sea of children, all wearing the new Crossover shirts donated by Eddy Chavez.  I'd experienced the same thing three years ago with Jim Conti (in fact, if you roll back on this blog I probably wrote about it), but to see your family experience it too is pretty awesome.  These kids just want to touch you and to be touched, I think it's one of the things they really miss living at a boarding school with no parents around.  Each of us had 5 kids attached to each of our hands, with a random hand or two attaching to our forearms.
After a quick tour of the new school, which looks AWESOME, we had to pile back into the car to caravan with 2 school buses for another 2 hour drive to the Global Mamas facility in Kpong (pronounced Pong).  Global Mamas is an African organization that teaches women a trade (like hand crafting jewelry, clothing, ornaments, etc) so that they can earn a decent wage and cycle themselves out of poverty.  Global Mama's has a few retail outlets and a website.  The 2 school buses transported 100 Crossover girls where we all got a tour of the facility and an introduction by Gladys, the supervisor of the Kpong facility.  I think the girls got a lot out of it, but I think they really liked the field trip part of it.  This was the first field trip anyone at Crossover had ever been on!  Every town we drove through saw 2 bus loads of girls singing and dancing loudly, followed by a pick up truck of 4 gringos.  Must have been amusing just to watch us pass!