Photos by Debi Frock and Marjie Mack
Blogs by Marjie, Paige, Anna and Meghan
Can you imagine wanting a single toothbrush so badly for your child that you would push and shove to get it? That is just what happened when Debi, Paige and I visited the village of Kodjo Ashong on Thursday. Dr Cynthia had arranged for us to talk to ladies about how basic hygiene helps keep us healthy. There were only about 20 mothers with their babies waiting there for us when we arrived. Well, they were unsmiling, wary of who we were and why we were there. This reminded me of when we started working in Akramaman village five years ago. The ladies were wary of us and didn’t really understand why we were there and why we were interested in their children.
By now, we have done a number of hygiene and health clinics for women and children at Akramaman. The ladies trust us and
we are honored guests in the village. It is so exciting to see the children run to greet our GMH van as we drive into the village and to see the ladies waiting patiently for us, smiling and waving. Hopefully, the mothers in Kodjo Ashong will learn to trust us like that also. We really got a good start today. By the time we were done with our program there were over 60 ladies there. We started handing out a small washbasin, bar of soap, dishtowel, toothbrush and toothpaste to each mother, and we were mobbed! The ladies were grabbing, pushing and shouting, trying to get these basic items, especially the toothbrushes after Paige did her fun program showing a girl how to brush her teeth after cramming marshmallows into her mouth. It reminded me of how basic and pervasive the needs are here and how much we have that we can share. We had planned to go to two villages today but we ended up giving out all our items just at this one so that everyone could have one and peace would reign!
Each mother was also given a beautiful and colorful handmade baby quilt. These were handmade by the ladies of both Redeemer Quilters (All Hallows Episcopal Church in Davidsonville and Christ Episcopal Church in West River) and Galesville Methodist Church. Both mothers and children love these quilts and absolutely refuse to share them! Before we left, these ladies actually asked us if we could come back and teach them basic nutrition and breast cancer awareness on future trips. Just as at Akramaman, they told us how helpful they found our programs and how grateful they were to us for coming. Marjie
Health Mission by Paige–Due to time, we only visited one village for Health Education
Thursday was a success. But I wish I could have had the chance to see the second village, although we did have the joy of seeing the one. This place was filled with so much dirt and trees. There were so many different sick people that needed help and guidance. That is why I came here, to show different ways to prevent the germs that cause different diseases such as worms. It’s important for them to always wash their hands and have good nutrition.
I have observed that the children are verywell behaved and they pick up things that are taught quick. The children are really adorable they get so excited when we arrive and it excites me that the kids can’t wait to see us. I have learned so many things like songs and hand-games from them such as tutti-ta and the moose. Overall I love this trip so much and as so as I get back home I am raising money to come back next year and I would recommend everyone to get involved with Ghanaian Mothers Hope Mission. Paige
A note from Debi
Paige decided to use marshmallows to demonstrate the mouth with 32 teeth. We asked for a volunteer to place 32 marshmallow in their mouth. Well, marshmallows are not common here. At the Reading Camp, the three volunteers could not wait to spit them out. At Kojo village the little girl tried to eat them but it was not nice. We finally found 3 adults who loved the marshmallows so we gave them the bag.