Meet and Greet

It has been an overwhelming two months with final papers, graduation, the never ending basement reconstruction and family responsibilities galore. Through it all, I have been scrambling in preparation for my trip to Ghana, a rush that began on May 23rd with the following introduction from Florinda at Village Volunteers:

Please help me welcome Kim Clune to Village Volunteers International Organization.

We should all be honored that Kim has chosen to volunteer with Village Volunteers and be a part of your village family. We know the camaraderie and friendships that develop between community leaders, villagers and volunteers will enrich all of our lives and keep us all connected for years to come?

Kim is a writer/photographer with a passion for genealogy. Kim has traveled the world as an international flight attendant. From a young age, Kim had the desire to join the Peace Corps but her family strongly dissuaded her. When she first read about the Village Volunteers memory box project, her heart fluttered.

Kim knows the joy and healing that can be experienced through remembering (having healed rifts and mended false perceptions in her own family through a genealogical photo preservation project). Kim would like to help empower young girls by allowing them to see their own self worth and potential, allowing each child to realize together that they hold the power to change their lives. Spending a great deal of time in her own garden with no fear of getting her hands dirty, Kim’s interest in learning environmentally sound/organic farming, water preservation and solar technologies is strong. Homeopathy is something she knows little about but has a desire to assist with.

PLEASE NOTE: Kim is a vegetarian

Next came a letter on May 24th from Paul Kpai, director of the Environmental Development Youth Movement in Have, Ghana where I’ll be staying.

Hey Kim,

you are warmly welcome to Ghana. I promise you that, every minute of your time will be enjoyed and you will come to realise that your time of stay is rather short and you will begin to think of extending it.

Be ready to hike the mountain, visit the volta lake and if you desire, paddle the canoe yourself. You would also be told a story of the people of Have and dance to the tune of Borborbor a popular local dance. About the farm, my only worry is the number of blisters that might come up your palm. But don’t worry we would take good care of you .

Clear your mind and feel very very free since you have made the right choice to come and volunteer your time with EDYM. You are once again WELCOME !

Paul.

On May 27th, I received another letter:

Hi,

My name is Gunadiish, the In-Country Coordinator for Village Volunteers and your weekends tour guide whilst in Ghana. May I welcome you to the culture and the village programs in Ghana. I have read your itinerary very well and think everything is perfect for us, as they sound very well. I want to assure you that there is a wonderful experience awaiting you here in Ghana and that the people that you’ll be working with in the villages are accommodating and will assist you achieve your aim here in Ghana. When you are in the village, we welcome your initiatives, contributions, advice, criticisms and innovations as a great step for us towards providing you, and the others after you, with a memorable experience during your village volunteering. Same also applies to the organized tours. Do not hesitate to let us know if you have any problems at the village. I will do my best to make sure it is resolved whilst you are still available with us…

Can’t wait to meet you at the airport.

Peace to You.
Gunadiish

Having been away on a family cruise with no email access, I wrote back as quickly as I could. I told Paul I’ll be glad to pack my hiking AND dancing shoes. I also forwarded Gunadiish a photo in order to identify me at the airport. In response, he said, “Your picture is very nice with your cheesy smile. :)” Shana told me that these guys were characters. I can’t wait to meet them in person. This is going to be an amazing journey!!

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