Thursday, October 19, 2006

Today is Thursday. Yesterday we shopped some in the morning for supplies--water, etc in Takoradi, briefly visited James' factory, and then drove to Axim. The countryside got lusher, more tropical. Lots of palm and rubber trees. Axim main street is narrow, crowded with people. We went directly to the room to the King of this area of this area, who is also on the WCHH Board. This was quite a formal ceremony. We were seated, and he and his retinue entered. Great respect was shown to all, and we were formally welcomed to Axim, not just as visitors, but as "one with us", which you can imagine we appreciated very very much. James introduced us and each of us spoke about our project, our hopes, our activities, etc. It lasted perhaps an hour. Each person in the room was introduced. Mr. Bentil was there, Miss Frances Polly, the woman who chose which children to enroll in school, Stephen our civil engineering partner, and others. All were welcoming. Afterwards, we mingled briefly outside the room, looking directly out over the Atlantic Ocean. Although we were quite nervous and hoping we would not do something really rude, in James' estimation all went well.
Then we drove up the dirt road to the orphanage. It is looking really good---a nice substantial building. It was too dark to take pictures, but we walked through it, and kind of marveled at what has already been accomplished.
Finally, in complete exhaustion, we went to the Beach Hotel, where we had a meal, met with the manager for some time trying to work out the details for the group, etc. The location is beautiful, but somewhat far from town. Today we will work out details here, meet with all the Ghanaian delegates that can come, meet with other leaders in the pm, including WCHH Board members, look over other possibilities in town for restaurants, etc. and then back to Takoradi. Tomorrow we plan to go back to Accra to wrap up arrangements there.