Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Anthony Okuchi - The chance to be a small part

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Its Sunday afternoon and the other coaches have gone off on an excursion to visit Cape Coast Castle. If you have never been, it’s a great experience seeing what our forefathers did during the height of the slave trade in the name of profit.


There is a plaque at this castle which I’ve copied for you, “Of the anguish of our ancestors, may those who died rest in peace. May those who return find their roots. May humanity never perpetrate such crimes against humanity. We the living. Vow to uphold this”.


But, I’m sitting at the restaurant next door since I saw the slave castle earlier this week and wait for the other coaches to finish their tour. It’s a wooden framed restaurant with no windows, two stories up on beams with corrugated aluminum panels forming the roof that overlooks the ocean. It’s a color restaurant painted in greens, red and white. Its filled with patrons and a bustle of activity, shuffling feet, creaking floors, laughing, and people having wonderful conversations. I’ve somehow managed to secure a window seat overlooking the ocean which I’ll hold onto like a stubborn barnacle that clings to a rock until they kick me out, or at least until the other coaches return. You can smell the humid sea air from my perch and watch the people frolicking on the beach. I feel like a bit like a lone seagull high overhead as I watch the families coming down to the beach and take various pictures. They look like middle-income families who have enough resources to afford taking trips. Significantly different from others that I have met in Ghana.

Its telling to watch. Ghana is changing. Clean water is becoming more common. I can actually eat salad in some restaurants without getting sick. I see digital cameras, tablets, and I even saw a high end motorcycle in the countryside. Many years from now, Ghanaians won’t have to worry about their children dying from sickness. More people will be educated. More will even have luxuries that their forefathers would have never dreamed of. And even better. No one would ever dream of trading people for goods.


It’s nice to feel like I am a small part of this. I’m so thankful for Vancity for helping to sponsor me. To be with a co-operative which sees the value of this global work. I’m so thankful to CCA for doing this wonderful work and working harder and harder each year and always looking at ways to enhance the program. They have changed so much since my first experience in 2004.


I reflect on this experience as I tap away at this keyboard overlooking the ocean and watching the lives of Ghanaians pass me by and realize that life does not get any better than this. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy this authentic experience. Ghana will change. One step at a time, but mostly because the people here want to and are doing everything they can for their country. CCA, Vancity, and the number of coaches before me like Erin, Miriam, Tracey and I just get to be a very small part of it. Its Sunday afternoon and the other coaches have gone off on an excursion to visit Cape Coast Castle. If you have never been, it’s a great experience seeing what our forefathers did during the height of the slave trade in the name of profit.


Anthony

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