“I’ll give you 4 tires for the Obruni.”

That’s right; exchange that white guy lying around your house for a set of brand new Chinese tires!

Hurry while supplies last!*

Today Ben, Isaac, and I were hunting for new tires for our Tata Sumo (Yes, I love saying Tata Sumo). I was innocently enjoying the free A/C in the waiting room while sitting next to 3 pretty Ghanaian girls. Isaac kept wandering over to speak to them about what I thought were innocuous things like the weather or last night’s football game not knowing he was auctioning me off like livestock. You will be happy to know, however, that the winning bidder will be making me rice and chicken tomorrow to seal the deal. Sounds like a match made in heaven, or at least a tire shop.

Other than being sold for car parts, things have been great this week. We made a trip on Monday to visit several of the islands in the Volta River who are receiving electricity-generating merry-go-rounds this fall. Besides being breathtakingly beautiful, the islands are always a fun time. One of the islands, Pediatorkope, has had an electricity-generating swing and merry-go-round for a few years and has grasped onto the concept very well. Once while staying on the island to take photos of the children using the lanterns at night I was reprimanded by a villager who saw me walking through the night with one of the lanterns, “Those are only for the kids!”

The other islands we visited on Monday were Aflive, Alorkplem, and Tuanikope. Aflive is actually on the backside of Pediatorkope but because the island is so large it has become its own village with its own primary school. Alorkplem is another very large island and has both a primary and JSS school, equivalent to K thru 9 in the US, and is largely supported by an NGO from the Netherlands. Greeting us after a short walk from the beach was this HUGE Boa-Boa tree that must have been a left over prop from Lion King or something. The island already has a swing and will soon have a merry-go-round to go with it. The school at Alorkplem was painted bright green and blue, unlike the usual state schools which are brown and yellow. The change in pallet was surprisingly mood altering and is now stuck in my head as the most pleasant place in Ghana, maybe I’ll have to start wearing the same colors and see who sticks!

 Tuanikope was a little different than many of the other schools I have visited. We are used to warm welcomes when we arrive, especially warm at the islands, but to say the children were excited would be a gross understatement. It was like a school of hungry tuna with hundreds of shiny teeth gleaming out from dark faces as far as the eye could see. Clapping, shaking hands, jumping, dancing, singing, and lots and lots of giggles; and when the camera came out it got more intense! One of the many lessons I have learned in Ghana is that children love to see their pictures, absolutely love it. It has a way of melting even the toughest kid into a pool of girly giggles and creating an instant crowd. I soon had kids there huddled around me as I took pictures with my camera and showed them to the crowd. Soon the video camera was out and it was like baking soda in vinegar!

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I love these kids!

I love my work!

I love Ghana!

 I’m pleased to say that in August these kids will get a merry-go-round and smart LED lanterns in partnership with the Forever Young Foundation and their wonderful donors. If you would like to bring the power of play to more children please donate at www.EmpowerPlaygrounds.org


Exciting, isn't it?


*Obruni trafficking is illegal and dangerous, do not try at home.