This week we were invited to join a small group going to “the river”. This is a well-known excursion made by many of the couple missionaries in Accra. Near the mouth of the Volta River, there is a populated island, only reachable by boat, where a unique electrical project was completed over 10 years ago by Empower Playgrounds, Inc. http://www.empowerplaygrounds.org The playground action generates electricity which is carried to a battery facility where individuals can recharge their LED lights so the kids can study after dark.
We were invited on the trip by the MTC president and our guide was Isaac, who has been associated with the project for many years now. We received permission to miss our shift on Friday, then arranged to get the temple van. Once I declared myself as the driver, two other couples and a sister joined us.
We left about 7:15 AM and after picking up those who live off-site were able to get to the MTC in Tema by 8:30,so we had a brief tour of the facility. It holds 95 missionaries at a time and they stay for three weeks. About half are French-speaking or assigned to a French-speaking mission but the balance varies from group to group. It is a nice facility.
The new MTC is being built next to our stake center and the temple, which will make logistics for getting the missionaries to the temple much easier. The new building will roughly triple current capacity.
New MTC under construction
This interesting map on the wall at the MTC shows how the USA fits nicely into the NW corner of Africa, with China, India, and most of Europe filling in the spaces. Africa is BIG!
On the way to Ada, we passed a lot of melon fields and stands.
Motorized canoe like the one we used to get to the island.
Typical mud home in the village with thatched roof.
Children attend this Jr. HS for 1 Cedi per day ($0.26) and 40% of the kids on the island can't afford it. Some students earn their own way and take up to 10 years to finish 8th grade.
The merry-go-round that generates electricity
It tastes refreshing on a hot day!
A captivating smile of a student
Traveling on the Volta to its mouth on the Atlantic
Our canoe worried us a bit
The only thing about Africa that has made Sue feel at home.
Fisherman throwing his net into the Atlantic
Independent women travelers on the Volta
Back at the "dock". Notice the sacks of mussel shells.
Woman carrying supplies and her baby
Tomato, melon, and mango stand on the way home
The drive home was hair-raising, to say the least, due to the Friday night traffic. It didn't help that it was dark as we approached Tema. A two lane road turned into six lanes of vehicles, filling both shoulders and every space in between. Driving became a real game of chicken, inching and merging. The huge trucks were especially intimidating, but we made it home safely thanks to the prayers of everyone in the van and Tom's prior experience with bumper cars.