Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Creature Called Inspiration

“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.” - Frank Howard Clark

I've been thinking a lot about my motivations for volunteering in Ghana, mostly because the path there has been, at times, rather challenging. Being a project of my own creation, each time I am confronted with a difficulty I need to pull myself up by the bootstraps and remind myself why I am going through all this trouble. 

Last night I went to a talk by Peta Hall, whose work in Ghana has included spearheading the building of the Atorkor Vocational Training Centre, a new skills training centre that will change the lives of so many in the impoverished coastal region.

The talk was a fundraiser where people could purchase tools for the centre, sponsor a student, or donate towards larger purchases needed by the centre. There were also some Ghanaian items for sale, and I picked up this little guy:


I saw him and my heart melted. I love his imperfection, his quirkiness, his bright batik colours. The tag says he was made by Regina at the Dzidefo Women’s Cooperative. Wherever you are, Regina: thank you. You have given me a talisman for my journey. If I feel discouraged I will look at this creature’s little yarn smile and remember that this type of wild creativity is exactly why I am going to Ghana, to work with the little ones of your country to use their hands to create joyful objects. There will certainly be some other outcomes for myself, my project partners, and the children we work with. But for now, creativity is more than enough.

Creature, I shall call you ‘Inspiration.’

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