Monday, April 6, 2009

Unsung Woman (Ghana)

During my stay at the orphanage (children's home and school), I learned to appreciate alot of things I took granted: regular running water, electricity, variety of food, comfort of soft furniture, stove, microwave, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and so much more. Things that are such a part of my life, but I hardly notice the ease it gives to my daily living.
During my two month stay there, I learned to appreciate not only the comfort I had back home, but the strength and endurance that the women in Ghana have. They would do all the chores I did back home, but they would do it without the appliances or convenience that make my life easier. On top of that, they did it for 200 children (only a portion of which are orphans, the rest are students).

One of the women, who you hardly ever hear about, was my salvation in so many ways.
Her name is Madam Salina.

(Madam pictured here with Abraham. Madame is actually holding 18mos Kobi on her back. They are preparing for day at the beach with the orphan children.)(Unfortunately, I lost alot of pictures and video due to computer and camera failure and so do not have the other photos or video of this wonderful woman!)
This is a woman who was up before I was (and I was up at the break of dawn), who went to bed after I did, and worked endlessly cleaning, cooking, and caring for the children (especially those under the age of five) as well as helped me clean and take care of Sufi and myself.
Every day she insisted on sweeping and mopping my room, even when I protested. She would take Sufi's clothing and bedding (that he had pooped all over -nightly) to wash before I could even finish feeding breakfast to Sufi and eating myself. She ensured that after my clothes had been hung to dry, that they were folded and put back in my room. She often bathed Sufi along with the other children, and when I was ill she took on caring for Sufi without hesitation.
This was all in addition to the fact that she fed the youngest five children all their meals, washed and bathed these children morning and night, changed diapers, swept and mopped the main house and the grounds around, washed clothes for most of the children (and that is ALOT of laundry on a daily basis and takes hours to do), help monitor the students, cooked meals over coals or logs, and so much more. There was hardly a moment when she sat down to relax. Yet, she was always so happy, never complained, and was always asking how else she could help me.
I never thought of myself as a lazy or slow worker. But watching Madam put me to shame. My admiration of her is so great. She does all that I do, at home, without the luxury of appliances and other conveniences that I take for granted. Not only does she do it without these things but she does it for so many more people and children than I do.
So for those, who go to the orphanage,
look for Madam Salina and know that she is