Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 49 - Last Day in Koff-town & Movie Night with Children

So today was my last day here in Koforidua. While 7 weeks is not that much time, in some regards it seems like so much longer. When I arrived here in Ghana, there were many things that seemed quite strange and out of the ordinary. Now they just seem normal. Its interesting what 7 weeks in a place will do to your perspective on things.

There are many children that live in the compound behind the Burro office. Many times they will come up during the day just to play or see what is going on. Jan has befriended many of them and treats them as if they were her own children (she does not have any children of her own). I have been wanting to try and do something for the kids before we left. I had thought that it would be a great idea to have a movie night with them, but didn't know how or where I would find a projector.

Last thursday Andrew, Cecilia (a Burro employee) and I were out shopping in the market. We stopped by an electronics shop and to see where we could rent a projector. They didn't know, but said that they might be able to find a place that does. They started calling some people, but weren't able to reach anyone. They told us to stop by another day and we would see if they could find one.

On Friday I was in the office all day and didn't have a chance to go back to the shop. On Saturday afternoon, I went out for a little while and stopped by to see what they had found out. I ended up meeting the owner of the shop, Kinsely Jefferson. He is, without a doubt, one of the most Christlike people that I have ever met. He hadn't been able to find a projector, but said they he would personally take me around to some other shops and see what we could find.

We first went to a store and was told they didn't have one. A few nights earlier, Andrew and I had seen a restaurant showing a movie out front, so we went over there night. Yes, some patrons had watched a movie there some nights before, but no they didn't know where the projector was. However, they told us of someone in the market who might be able to help us.

We went to the market and attempted to find the individual who might know something about the projector. We couldn't find her little store, so we had to ask around. We were finally directed to a small nail salon and Kinsley started explaining what we were looking for. Yes she said, she know the man who has the projector, but doesn't know if the projector has already been rented out. However, she can direct us to another place where there are some people who can find out.

We walk across town to a "cold store." A cold store is where you go to purchase frozen meat (chicken, beef, fish, etc...). When we got there, Kinsely asked for some certain individuals, but we were told that they were out running an errand. We would have to wait until they got back. We sat around and waited for about 20 minutes and finally they showed up. Yes they know about the projector, and yes they rent it out occasionally. But no, they don't have it. Their uncle has been entrusted to help watch over it. Kinsley tells them that we want to have the projector by Monday and asks if that will be a problem. "No," they reply, but they will have to check with their uncle and make sure. Kinsley takes down their name and phone number and indicates to me that he will call them on Monday morning to make sure and then he will let me know.

All in all, Kinsley nearly spent 90 minutes with me on Saturday., trying to help me find a projector.

I called Kinsley this morning. He replied that he had spoken to the other individuals but that the projector wasn't going to be available for some reason. He did, however, want me to come to his store around 2:00 and we would go out looking again to try and find one. I showed up around 2:30 and we went out looking for a projector. He has an idea in mind and off we set. Getting there, we find out that no they don't have a projector, but that there is another place that might. Kinsley makes sure that he has the directions, and off we walk to the other location.

While we were working, I learned that Kinsley shuts his store down at 2:00 every day. He works at the store in the morning, but is also a minister of education or something like that. He also works in a school and helps teach the kids about  and do other projects with them.

This is Kinsley Jefferson

At one point, I thank him again for his time and taking me around to find a projector. "No problem," he replies. He just wants to help out because he knows that someday he will need help of someone else.

We find the location, and Kinsley proceeds to negotiate on mybehalf, making sure that I get a good deal on the rental of the equipment. He also double and triple checks to make sure that we will in fact be able to get the projector tonight. What diligence he demonstrated. The reservation was made and we agreed to come back around 6:00 to pick up the machinery (and the individuals that come along with it to watch over the equipment). Although he didn't need to, Kinsley asked me to stop and pick him up so that he could come back with me to get the equipment. He wanted to make sure they gave me all of the equipment that they said that they would and that they didn't try and charge me more that we had agreed upon.

After we picked up the equipment, we dropped Kinsley off at his store. I tried to give him a little bit of money for his time, but he refused.

The movie night went off without a hitch. Everyone had a great time. And the best part, it only cost GHC 24 ($17.14 USD). This was a fun way to spend the last night in Kofforidua