The Ghana Chronicles: 6

July 11, 2000

Today was awesome!  You see, we’ve all been complaining that we’ve had nothing to do here at the orphanage.  All we do is try to bring organization into classrooms of chaos.  It’s nuts.  The kids all fight physically and verbally during the entire class and they take a break every two minutes.  Anyhow, we feel like we’re doing nothing to help- that our work there or just holding hands with a child isn’t getting anything accomplished.  It’s because as Americans, generally speaking, we work towards a finished goal and final product.  But holding a kid’s hand doesn’t produce a final product. You don’t feel like you’ve really made a difference.  We like to work- or at least I like to work towards a goal.  I like to challenge myself physically and be proud of what I’ve done.

So, today Britta and I went and asked the teachers whether or not we could help haul concrete blocks or carry water- and we did!  We hauled blocks of concrete, we pumped water from a well and walked at least 1/4 or 1/2 a mile to dump it into a large bin.  And Logan and I shoveled concrete that glues the blocks together.  Unlike America with our mechanical mixing machines, they mix with shovels, so that’s what we did.  I FELT SO GOOD ABOUT MYSELF AFTERWARDS.

I have definitely learned something that is easily overlooked.  Nobody is going to hand you your life and give you directions on where to go, how to do it.  Soon I will grow up and there won’t be a chaperone or houseparent to tell me where to go and when to be there.  If I want to accomplish something, I have to go out and get it.  If manual labor makes me feel like I’m contributing then I have to volunteer to find the work that needs to be done, the supplies to do it and the determination to get it done. It won’t always be handed out in front of my face.

I have to look beyond what has been laid out in front of me.  Stop bitching and start reforming if you want to change something or make a difference.  It takes the utmost determination and highest level of perseverance and strength to force yourself to find what you want.

Wow!  I feel great!

Love,

Lauren

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