I asked the team to tell me what moment was special for them today. Sara answered immediately “Victoria smiled”. I have written about Victoria almost every day this week. She is a classic example of why we work here to provide education not only for the children but for the parents as well. Victoria suffers from mal-nutrition, worms and malaria. On day one she could hardly sit up until after lunch. She consumed a huge ball of kenkey a sardine and some pepe and took seconds. After lunch she seemed a little more alert but was till hot with fever and dehydrated. We continued to give her water. Day two she laid her head on her desk as soon as she arrived complaining of being hungry. We bought some porridge for her and she perked up a little. After another big lunch of wache-beans and rice with more fish she began to participate.
Day three she brought Gari for her breakfast. It is cassava dough–no nutritional value. It’s like giving a child mashed potatoes just to fill them up because it is what you can afford. Again after a lunch of Groundnut stew with Omotuo (rice ball) she was actually having fun. By today she was singing and laughing and smiling. Another good lunch of Banku (corn and cassava dough in a ball) and sardines with pepe. We are convinced that having a good meal every day has transformed this girl. Mercia has commented how much these children eat compared to the children in her school who all get three meals a day. These children eat as if it were their last meal. I know Victoria and the other children will be heart-broken tomorrow when they realize we are leaving.
Maria loved watching Mabel a little squabble between Mabel and Samuel. She was being teased for drawing a picture of Ian on her thank you note. She is thankful for Ian. After a quick slap from Mabel, Samuel learned not to tease her anymore.
Zach, Ian and Gail enjoyed the games with the parachute and the beach ball. Each class had a turn and they were so excited. The hardest part was keeping the uninvited children out of the game. Each day we have about 15 extra children who are loving the video time since I let them come into the library and watch if they are quiet.
We cannot forget Tana, our photographer (these are not her photographs–you can see her photos on Facebook–Tana Lopez Younger). She is always behind the lens. Since she has also been here four weeks with me and misses her children, we gave her a little time with our children.
As for me, the best part about today was talking with Moses’ mother. Her visit to the hospital yesterday has put my mind to rest.
He does not have Buruli but does have an infection which could have been very serious. He is now on antibiotics. She was very grateful for our concern and help. She told me that when Moses fell on the stick which placed a quarter size hole in his leg, she could not afford to go all the way to Amasama for treatment so she did her best. When we are able to build the nurses residence, everyone in this village and the surrounding village will have a nurse on a 24 hour basis hopefully giving more people access to emergency care.
There is one more person who would like to share his favorite part of the day, Joshua. Joshua is Mercia’s son who is almost 6 years old. He has been coming to camp with us each day and participating. He loved making the thank you notes today.
THANK YOU FROM ALL THE CHILDREN AT THE READING CAMP, ALL THEIR PARENTS, ALL OF GHANA AND GHANAIAN MOTHERS’ HOPE, FOR HELPING US MAKE THIS POSSIBLE.
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