I still think about Ghana every day

Well then, here I am – sitting behind my desk, looking at cars driving on the left side of the road and a rather cloudy sky. It’s about 16 weeks ago that I returned from Ghana and sometimes it couldn’t seem farther away. The life I lead here is totally different and it’s busy. I’m always running from lecture to seminar, hockey practice to committee meeting, orchestra rehearsal to bar crawl. I enjoy it, it gives me the thrills, and I’m glad to be back. But make no mistake; I still think about Ghana every day.

Kelvin and Heleen

My bedroom has a sink, and above it a large mirror on the wall. I’ve put photos of the kids from the Children’s Home around the mirror – it’s like an aura of happy faces. (Okay, there’s an Abercrombie & Fitch model up there as well; I’ll admit that one. But hey, who doesn’t appreciate a nice masculine chest – I know for sure that the Ghanaians do!) I wake up to them and I wish them goodnight. They’re somewhat of a conscience and they put my everyday life into perspective.

“Morning Kelvin, good to see you! Yeah yeah, I know it’s time to cut my nails, I’ll get on it.” (This is not as random as it seems. Kelvin always used to tell me that my nails were too long and then he’d get out a razor blade to cut them for me. He quite regularly cut my skin though, so I quickly learned to indeed keep my nails very short.)

“Hi there Ruth, you hard-working Ruth. The bins need taking out, you’re right. Don’t look at me like that! I promise I won’t be lazy!”

“Hello Rebecca, how are you? What did you just say? You said I’m beautiful? Oh wow, you’re making me blush. But don’t forget you’re absolutely gorgeous too, sweetheart!”

“Abraham, you look very happy today! I should be a bit nicer to everyone, shouldn’t I? No, I know you didn’t say that! You would never say such a thing, would you? You’re right though. We should all be a bit nicer to each other.”

“Hey Mary! What did you just whisper? You weren’t insulting me again, were you? What did you say? Keep dancing? Ohhh of course; keep dancing! Always keep dancing!”

Perhaps I’m glorifying the children a bit now. They can obviously be naughty, whiny or just generally annoying. But these kids were shaped by the hardship they’ve been through; they are so strong. They were shaped by living in a children’s home; they are so sociable. And they were shaped by their experiences in the Meet Kate Children’s Home; they’ve learned to trust and they’ve learned to love. Work hard at school and stay just as you are, my lovelies, then in a couple of years time you won’t need any help from anyone. I have much respect for you all and I hope we will meet again.

Lots of love,

Auntie Helen




Auteur: Heleen Vellekoop
12-01-2014 Categorie: General


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