This past week we traveled to Ada to help another organization, Ghana Outlook, construct a school. Similar in its model to GlobeMed, Ghana Outlook is partnered with the Cheshire Fire Cadets from Britain. This year the organization raised over $80,000- quite an amazing feat! Over the span of 18 months the high school (“secondary school”) aged Cadets did every fundraiser imaginable, from climbing the highest peaks in Wales, Britain and Scotland in a 24 hour period to sailing around a lake in a fairy costume.
Surely the physical construction of the school was comparatively simple. Ghana Outlook has built several other schools in Ghana and as a rule the community constructs the roof to establish ownership of each one. However, there was little doubt that the building was a collaborative effort, as women and children of the village showed us how to carry on our heads buckets of the red dirt men dug to be laid as the base of concrete floors. Nationality and organizational affiliation made little difference as we all painted the school yellow and brown and gathered around a bowl of banku and okra soup for lunch. The final product was the largest school Ghana Outlook has ever created.
On the way back home (you can’t spell home without Ho) we stopped at Adaklu, a village where the Cheshire Fire Cadets had built a school previously. Since it was a Sunday, we visited the local church where we were greeted with warm smiles and song. Afterwards we toured the school, which included a computer room and library, and the Cadets donated school supplies and soccer (“football”) equipment.
Our final adventure together was a trek up the massive Mount Adaklu. I’ve seen this mountain every day on my way back from the HOPE Center, but never did I imagine it would be so tricky to climb. What started as a gentle ascent grew progressively harder until it ended in a rope climb up what seemed an 80 degree slope! Truth be told, I was rescued on the treacherous descent by a group of local seven year olds that held my hand the entire way down. Although I have never been so dirty and utterly worn out, I couldn’t help to smile at the sense of accomplishment we all shared.