It is official!! I am going back to Ghana this Saturday! Are you floored? So am I. A few months ago I was invited to return for a meeting with a number of worldwide organizations to discuss what is working, what is not working and how to sustain the successful programs in the future. When I got the invite I was so excited, I checked the dates and saw that even though my May was pretty full, I could make it work if I left for Ghana on May 10th and returned the 16th.
The idea of such a short trip with such LONG flights was a little daunting, but when I thought of the future impact for those children, there was no question if it was “worth” so an express time zone turn around. Then I looked at the finances of it. When we went to Ghana in January we raised just enough money. There was no extra. Now what? I will be honest with you. I felt silly coming back to the hundreds of you who donated a few months ago to say, “Well shall we do this again?” I just didn’t think I could handle the stress of fundraising while in the middle of producing some new shows.
I sent an email saying I would not be able to attend, unless someone could somehow pay for my airfare.
A week later I was coming home from Baby Celebration Los Angeles. My younger sister Rebecca was in LA at the same time and managed to catch the same flight home. I shared my disappointment with her. She listened as I told her how I just couldn’t do it right now and how I felt silly that I didn’t have the foresight to “over fundraise” in January. But how could I ever know I would be asked to return so soon and for something so important. Rebecca sat quietly and listened. Then she said. “Rachel, there are so many foundations and organizations that support the very things you do. They care about the deaf, they care about education, they care about children and they care about Africa. Someone is going to pay for you to go.” I sighed and told her, “But I don’t even have the time to go find that organization!”
Two days later a friend of mine walked into the Two Little Hands offices. She has a deaf daughter. When I returned from Ghana, we had gone out to dinner and then hung out at her house where I walked her through my Ghana Journal she was one of the first people to see our Ghana video, since Aaron had finished working on it that same day. She was stopping by to talk about a 5K walk that her foundation Association for Deaf Children Inc. is having on May 17. As we talked she told me that she gets teary each time she even thinks about what I told her about my trip to Ghana. Then right then and there she offered to have her foundation buy my ticket and she would come to Ghana too! I was stunned.
I emailed Marco to tell him I am coming back. He asked me to bring a Rubik’s Cube 🙂 He has one but some of the stickers are missing and every sticker is faded to almost white. I am going to go to Target right now and buy him one.
I don’t need any additional shots this time and our new visas came last week. The flights are booked. I pick up my malaria pills today. I am excited to see my Ghanaian friends so soon! I will be visiting Alfred’s wood shop and would love to bring home some items to list on Ebay as a fundraiser for The Signing Time Foundation. I mean, who knows when or where I will be going next??? 🙂
If you are in the Salt Lake City area on May 17th please register and support Association for Deaf Children’s 5K walk. You can volunteer, donate items for their raffle, or simply register to walk with your friends and family.