Monday it was time to start working. A twenty-five minute walk brought us to the Aya Centre and Palm Institute. There we joined Miss Lucy Dawu, who is our Ghana coordinator, and Dr. Richard White, who teaches development at Portland State, and were reunited with Mr. Frank, one of the most careful and most capable taxi drivers in Ghana. Frank drove us to Nima, where Richard brainstormed with Kofi and Kate Anane, about how their very impressive school, Anani Memorial International School, might find additional ways of developing the school, which serves many children from poorer families.
Then we had a late lunch with Mr. Kankam Mensah Felix, our very, very industrious and organized coordinator at L & A Academy, and his friend, Mr. Richard.
Reflection: Dr. White mentioned that across the developing world "slums" (a word that in Ghana lacks many of the negative connotations it has in the U.S.) are often places of great creativity and accomplishment. Nima, the slum in which Anani School is located, draws people from all over West Africa looking for a better life. Many of them succeed and then leave Nima. So, in broad terms, people in development see Nima as a place between two other places: the many (often rural) parts of West Africa where conditions are often desperate enough for people to move many miles to Nima, and the places in Ghana and beyond that the people who are successful in Nima then migrate to. So Nima is a very dynamic place, with many people coming and going, and institutions like Anani Memorial International School are crucial to the many success stories that Nima generates. But the successes do not come easily, and there is a nearly infinite supply of people in West Africa eager to get to places like Nima where, it seems, the chances for success are better.