Today, Saturday, was spent by me making the “substrate boosters” for the flags. We are doing our best to choose a cross section of countries that best represent the student body at the school. As a nod to how I indirectly got to this place, we tucked a Ghana flag in there for good measure. You see, Jill, (my friend here in Mumbai who works at the school, and who got me the job in the first place) and I met 10 years ago when we were both serving in the Peace Corps in (you guessed it), Ghana. She is now married to a fellow from here and has been in India for nearly a decade. I am forever grateful to Jill for helping to set up this opportunity! Thank you.
Jill, myself and others in Peace Corps times…(she’s the third “obruni” from the right, I’m the third “obruni from the left in the back.) This was at a conference that a couple of us put together called “Art Aid”, a forum to encourage young artists to use their artistic talents to communicate about the realities of HIV/AIDS. Good times!
I consider Ghana to be my second home. No matter what I do in life or where I go, Ghana has a special spot in my heart. Since completing Peace Corps in 2004, I have been back seven times. Four of those times, we’ve brought groups of teens with us on what we call “service adventures”. These trips usually last about 4 weeks, and the kids stay with us in our mud and thatch home in the north of Ghana. They work, play and learn and the experience is always life-changing for them. Using the P.C. model, we teach our travelers to be culturally sensitive and to appreciate the things that they take for granted back at home.
Our awesome kids, posing in front of the mosaic project we did in Tema, Ghana, in 2008
We are planning another service adventure this summer, in August 2013. There are still some spots open. If you know a mature teenager, (or older “kid”) we’d love to send you more information about the trip. Send me a note if you are interested. Visit the website and blog from our last trip in 2011: http://gonnagotoghana.com/
in front of our house in Ghana
We are also planning a service adventure to India during the beginning of summer 2013. Likewise, send us a note if you are interested…
Countries included in our flag banner: Lebanon, USA, Japan, Australia, India, Canada, South Africa, Great Britain, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Russia, China, Korea, Pakistan, Italy, France, Israel, and others. I wish we could do ALL the countries but there isn’t room…
In other news, our mosaic is moving along slowly but surely. Mosaic is one thing you just can’t rush! It is done literally one piece at a time, and there are no shortcuts. This process is also interrupted and augmented by “festival season” here. Today was the last day of Ganpati, the holy festival for the elephant god Ganesh. If I wasn’t working, today would have found me at the ocean witnessing what I am told is a grand fete: the submerging of holy statues (icons) of Ganesh into water, as he is sent back home after “visiting” each and every Hindu family that participated in the ceremony. I wish I had been able to go and see, but my priority while here is the mosaic, so c’est la vie!