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akwaaba | Nourish International

May 31, 2012 | Posted in 2012, Ghana, U Kansas, UNM | By

We’re here!

Within these last few days, we’ve already seen, heard, shared, done, and experienced so much. The ABAN staff has been warm and welcoming right from the start; it feels like we’ve known them much longer than just three days. The amount of love and patience that they’ve shared already is unbelievable. And the same goes for the girls of ABAN. They already tease and laugh with us as if we’re old friends, share stories, and help to teach us the Ghanaian language Twi, which, believe me, requires a tremendous amount of patience with us.

We’re staying with Uncle Dan, who is treating us like royalty. He has gone above and beyond in making us feel welcome. Dan is a Ghanaian artisan that lives with his family about ten minutes from ABAN. He is the supervisor for the bead center we are building at ABAN, meaning that he has planned the center and is leading us in the building process. He’s been a great help to ABAN for years already and it is great to be able to join with him to create this bead center. He often sits and shares his stories with us, and there is an infinite amount of wisdom to learn from Dan.

We’ve already made great progress for the center! Today and yesterday we’ve been clearing the land to begin building. It is hard work, but with the support that the staff and the girls have already shown, it will be no problem to finish the center with time to help with other projects.

We’ve experienced the market in Medina, tro-tro rides, the mall in Accra, and we even played a football (soccer) game against the ABAN team last night. (we won! The rematch will no doubt be intense)

I fail to capture in words how loving and peaceful everything has been. Ghanaian culture in general is much more patient than the American hustle that we have become accustomed to at school. It is not that they do less – I find that they are always working, always doing something to improve the lives of those they love, but they maintain a calm and understanding nature.

The work that goes into ABAN is unreal. They are constantly learning new ways to care and provide for the girls, to ensure that they are wholesome women when they graduate. The opportunity to spend time with the staff and witness all of the work that they is an invaluable learning experience. I feel as if I’ve learned a lifetime of lessons already, and it’s only Thursday. Soon we’ll post more about what each member of the staff does, and how big of an impact they create. (There’s no way we can capture the magnitude of ABAN in words, but we’ll try.)

I hope all is well with everyone, wherever you’re reading. All is great here.

Peace and love,

Maddie

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