Balanced (Nov. 2015)

Balanced: We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives – intellectual, physical, and emotional – to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.

Today we visited the village of Zali. The village is a mix of Muslim and Christian religions. We attended the Zali Baptist church where we delivered supplies and the eye glasses that Odyssey scholars provided in a recent NJHS project.

I can’t effectively tell you the rush of emotions that I have throughout the day. I am in another land and yet the human spirit is the same. They look at us curiously but they go about their business. Most are mildly disinterested but occasionally I caught a child smiling at me with the slightest tug of their lips and the kindest eyes on the planet. One young girl stood quietly beside me, took my hand and quietly held it for the longest time. My heart melted. Language is not necessary for becoming friends. The 14-year-old student, Austin, that is traveling with us, played with the kids so hard he instantly fell asleep when we got back in the car.

What I saw on the way to the village and on the way back can only be described as another world. They have cell phones and motorcycles. Goats, chicken and cows run along side the road, as well as over the road. They have store fronts that sell water, dead animals, cut hair, work on motorcycles…..and much more. However, it all seems very linear to me. If someone is a banker, they are just one. There are few businesses with management, at least in the villages or small towns. At the surface, leadership is one person and very far away from your daily life.   One of my questions (so many questions, sorry Adrisu) was at what age do children in Ghana start thinking about what they want to be when they grow up. The reply was that they don’t think of such things until they are in senior school. I let that soak in. Children are not asked about their dreams. Do they have dreams? I instantly thought about our own culture where we never expect our dreams to be taken away.

We ended the day at a restaurant that provided me not only the best meal in Ghana, the best meal that I’ve had in a long, long time. For the third time that day, the word “balanced” came up in our conversation. And, so balanced is the theme of today.   May you find some balance today. I know that I did.