villageToday we drove from Tamale to Mole on the bus while enjoying an “African massage” from the unpaved, bumpy roads. Along the way we stopped to see a traditional village. The village consisted of several families living in mud huts. Unlike cities such as Accra where it’s more common to have fewer children, men in this area would have multiple wives, and up to 20 children. We met the elders of the village, and were introduced to a chief from the surrounding village who’s daughter had a physical disability. The chief explained that the family treats the child just like all their other children, and Jenna spoke on behalf of the group to agree with this approach, and to share how we try to accept children with disabilities in the US.

After this beautiful exchange, we made our way to Larabanga to visit Faruk and his mother. We were so excited to see how Faruk’s surgery had gone. Faruk was a baby that the previous TC group encountered in May when they heard of a baby that was born with a cleft lip, and the rejection from the community forced the mother to keep him indoors since his birth. The group pooled money together to help fund his surgery. We were all so happy to see that Faruk’s surgery had gone well! However, we quickly realized that this family still faced so many challenges. Since this story deserves its own posting, please see future postings for the details. The group left the family with a promise to return the next day with a plan to help them.

The village interpreter lead the group to the oldest mosque in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was fascinating to see the construction of the structure, and how there were multiple entrances for different groups (men, older women post menopause, the Imam).

We ended our day with a safari at Mole National Park. The park rangers told us that we would be really lucky to see one elephant considering the time of our arrival. We climbed up on the roof of jeeps and prepared ourselves for a thrilling and dusty ride. We were extremely lucky, and saw baboons, warthogs, bushbucks—as well as over ten elephants!!!

Thanks to Marissa Fruauff for the post.