The essentials: Humility and love
The trip thus far has been amazing. I am truly humbled by the joy of all the orphans despite their condition. Each one of them radiates happiness and love, spreading contagious smiles that seem to never fade. Their culture revolves around family and unity, not the individual. It has been amazing to see how the 100+ orphans in the Rafiki village all consider each other brothers and sisters, always looking out for each other.
It is currently the rainy season here in Ghana, so humidity is very high. However, overall, the temperature is very similar to VA. There have been several spotted green mambas, pythons and cobras in the village, so I always make sure to watch where I step. The village is located just about 30 minutes outside of Accra, the capital of Ghana, which is fairly close to the coast. Therefore, fish is a primary food, and is incorporated in meals every day.
Though I have taught them sports such as American football and basketball, I learn just as much from them in other areas as they do from me in sports. Many of the orphans speak up to three languages, including English, teaching me various words from their local dialect (called Twi) and encouraging me to practice the words I learned with them. Although I teach them the proper form in various sports, many of them are faster and more athletic than me, easily picking up on my lessons and sports advice. Although the internet access is not good, I have found this a blessing, as it has given me more time to both spend with the kids and enjoy the warm, loving Ghana culture. The first week has been great.
I'll leave with these two verses from Matthew 28:19-20. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
All the best,
- Spencer Godine, University of Virginia
To God Be The Glory!
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