“Welcome to the Grid”

Rows and rows of lights greet me as I fly over New York City in the still-dark hours of the morning, excited to get back to my familiar routine, sad to leave my new found home. What’s striking from a few hundred feet is the order of a city this large, all arrayed in glowing amber lights, each street perfectly parallel and perpendicular to the next, forming a labyrinth of homes and businesses all shuttered up for the night. I somehow feel connected to them as I fly overhead on flight 67 from Accra to JFK, connected but distant at the same time. I was coming back to the good ole’ US of A, back to where electricity grows wild, food comes from the store and not from the farm, back to where I had a car and an apartment and a warm shower waiting for me. But it was a bitter sweet reunion as I was reintroduced to infrastructure, reintroduced to my cushy life complete with 100 brightly colored ties, 32 pairs of shoes, 5 suits, and 15 credit hours of classes and completely lacking what I had grown to love in Ghana, the people.

What do you miss when you’re away from home? What do you yearn for when the time to return to familiarity draws closer? I missed Reeses, driving, pizza, movies, a clean-pressed shirt, Saturday mornings and a host of other things. But now that I’ve been back home for over a week, I’m discovering what I miss most about Ghana. I miss the smiling kids, the devoted teachers, the grateful parents, the jungle drives, the drawn-out boat rides, Muftawu’s watchful eye, Davi’s ice-cold Cokes, and yes, even the occasional chicken and rice. I’ve said this before, and will continue to say until I die, Ghana changes you. It changes your values, your perception of the world, your motivation to improve yourself and what’s around you, and most importantly, the humanity you share with every person on earth no matter where they live. Forgive me for waxing philosophical and, dare I say, exposing my bleeding heart, but if you go your entire life without experiencing this kind of eye-opening encounter you really haven’t lived.

What I’ll remember most from Ghana is the happiness. Not the Truman Show staged happiness or the commission-based Nordstrom’s happiness, but a genuine glee for life. Every day was a blessing because of who I got to meet and work with along the way. But I’m not gone forever, in fact I’m already counting down to my return trip to the Gold Coast, and I’m hoping that while I’m back on the reservation I can do some good to make the lives of those I have grown to love that much better.

How you can help.

What you can look forward to.

-Bracelets are for sale at the Provo City Farmer’s Market and the BYU Bookstore for $10. Each one provides another child with an entire year of light! Wear your love, Buy a bracelet!

-Visit the EPI Facebook page and become our friends. It’s the best way to see what we are up to and the faces of the children you are helping.

-Put your money where your mouth/heart is and donate to the cause!

-Follow our Youtube channel and help us spread the word about Play for Power!

-Stay tuned for the “Stand-up for Ghana” event coming soon!