As I walked on the dirt roads of
I find my heart filling up with sadness, and tears welling up inside; as I watched the women and children working so hard; rising before sunrise; making preparation to sell goods and food at the market; or on the streets; to make barely enough money to feed their families just for the day. Mothers’ carrying their babies on there backs as they carry the heavy load of today’s goods to sell on their heads. Children that do not attend school; either because of the lack of school fees; or out of necessity to support their families; putting their lives on the line as they stand in the middle of the busy streets of Accra; in extreme heat; with soiled clothes on their back; and at times, bare foot; peddling pure water; plantain chips; sweets or gum, and a variety of goods.
In the middle of my emotion of sadness; there is this overpowering feeling of ultimate respect and admiration. Respecting how hard women and children work just to eat; without murmuring or complaining. They rise before sunlight to work until sunset just to make very little. I admire the hard work of the Ghanaian people; they work day and night, with a sense of pride, in awful conditions; yet they are able to wear a smile, and find a song and dance in their hearts. It makes me feel ashamed of how spoiled and lazy, as an American, I have become. I witnessed many people with their own businesses out of necessity to survive; whether it is a hair salon; a dress shop; selling food prepared earlier in the day; selling pure water; fruits and vegetables at the market and more. The Ghanaians are doing for themselves by any means necessary.
Although there is sadness in my heart for my Ghanaian Sisters and Children; there is tremendous respect. I salute them for their strength; both physically and emotionally. I respect their will power to survive with very little modern conveniences. They Make It; they Survive; they Thrive! I Celebrate their Stamina, Courage and Dignity.
Through my tears, I Salute You – Mothers of Africa!