Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Our First Journey to Ho

Our Trip to Ho
        Our missionary assignment here in Ghana is to introduce the new Self-Reliance program that the Church is rolling out in countries all around the world. When we had our training in Salt Lake we were with five other couples who were heading off to do the same thing. They were going to Guatemala, the Philippines, Scotland/Ireland, Chile and Cape Verde. We did not know were Cape Verde was. If you do you are better at geography than I. If you don't know where it is that can be your challenge to find it on the map.
        We go to the different Stakes or Districts and have three training meetings; for the leaders, the facilitators and then a devotional/budgeting meeting for all the members. They then divide into interest groups, My Job Search, Starting and Growing my Business, or Education for Better Work. We have found these to be well attended and the people are enthusiastic about doing those things that will help them learn how to improve their lives by becoming truly self-reliant. It is wonderful how self-reliant these people are already. They have virtually no state system of welfare so they understand working to improve their lives. They do not generally expect anyone to take care of them except what they or their families can do. As time goes on we will be returning to these same areas and mentoring or helping improve their programs. Anyone interested in seeing this program or using it for themselves and their families can find it online in the  LDS Library. The videos, many produced here in Ghana are wonderful and entertaining. You will get a real flavor of the actual area and the people.
        We left for Ho with Elder and Sister Cannon early Tuesday morning the 4th of November. Ho is about eighty-five miles to the northeast of Accra, almost to the Togo border. The trip can take anywhere from three and a half to six hours on average. There is traffic, potholes, rough roads, dirt roads, toll booths and even little villages with immigration stops, dam closures and bridges that are out so that you have to use the ferry. We needed to be there by 5:30 so we left at nine. The fates were really with us, so believe it or not, we were in Ho by one o'clock.
We found baboons on the highway. See the one in the tree?

The twins.

The landscape much greener.

Felt like going into a Louisiana plantation

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