Everything starts and ends with family

Trip Start Oct 01, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's been an incredible two weeks with Mom and Dad, so much so that I don't think I'll let them go home on Friday. The best word to describe the way I've felt during their stay is pride, bursting pride. From the instant they walked off the plane they've embraced the people, the culture, the food, the chaos and well, me. They have been more adventurous than any volunteer that has visited, even more than I was during my first two months. Mom can hail a taxi in no time and when we walk down the street in our village we hear people shouting 'Hi Wayne!' They've made an impact on so many people's lives in such a small time. From the staff at the office, my new family in Elmina, over 800 children at Bantama and random strangers that we will never know. They always have smiles on their faces and are quick to extend their arm for yet another handshake and quick chat about where they're going, what their name is, where they're from and if they'll dash something.

Of course they'll have their not so wonderful stories to tell when they get home, like my mini tantrum at the trotro station in Takaradi, the day that they spent over 7 hours on a trotro in 40 degree weather, the running (not the kind you'd think) and the roosters, those damn roosters! I'll save some stories for them to tell for now but I'm sure more and more will come out during the next few months.

There's been a few moments that I've had to pinch myself to remind me that they are here and a few moments where I might have rolled my eyes a bit and bit my lip, but the most important and memorable moments I've gotten goosebumps and had to hold back the tears. Thought I would share my 'top 10 moments with Mom and Dad' but then I realized I had 15, then 17, then had to stop and settle, so here are the top 18.

18. Our morning runs in Elmina
17. Running through the streets in Labone during a massive rain storm to buy beer their first night
16. Having a beer at Stumble Inn on our first beach day together and catching up after not seeing each other in 5 months
15. Having to search AGAIN for a damn Barclay's Bank....DAD!
14. My tantrum in Takaradi  
13. Walking out onto the balcony to find Dad listening to 'can you feel the love tonight' with a glass of Baileys, a cigar and tears running down his face the last night in Elmina
12. Spotting them with big smiles surrounded by what seemed like a million school kids at Bantama
11. Mom's face during the drive from Accra to Cape Coast
10. Laying on Busua beach, hearing the alarm go off and Mom and Dad flipping over every 15 minutes so they don't get burnt. I've termed it rotisserie tanning.
9. Calling them from Accra to tell them I drank too much on the party bus and missed the Elmina stop, then getting up at 5 am to take a 3 hour trotro to get back home the following morning.
8. Hearing them call Wisdom 'Winston' and Patience 'Precious' by mistake at the office
7. When they were introduced as Diane and Wayne Powpowich at the Trot for Trash and Dad was asked to say a speech to 800 people who spoke Fante - we had no clue a speech was required! He handled it with style and grace of course
6. Watching the sun go down during dinner at Brenu after a 4 hour beach walk
5. Mom and I finding Dad dancing with 5 Ghanaians at a club after he might have had too much rye whiskey!
4. Seeing Mom and Dad work with the Global Mamas on their business plans. They were so respectful and had so many great ideas!
3. Laughing so hard it hurt while making fun of them for over talking about the fan and AC in Busua
2. Seeing them walking down the arrivals corridor at the airport
1. Realizing again and again that I have the most supportive, adventurous, beautiful, thoughtful, funny and loving parents. How many people get the opportunity to travel with their parents in Africa?
Thanks for the memories Mom and Dad, it will be August in no time and I will be the one supporting you and cheering my heart out when you cross the finish line at IMC.
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Johnny on

Damn you Mel, you have me tearing up at my desk!

Sweet D on

Damn you Mel, I'm tearing up at my desk too!!!!
We sure have amazing parents and I'm SO glad that they were able to come to Ghana and see why you love it so much and experience everything!
Miss you and love you - so nice to talk to you this morning.

Lindsay on

Oh Mel! I am so happy that you got to spend some time with your parents over there! It sounds like you all had a great time. Miss you lots and tell your parents to bring back some warm weather and sunshine with them! :)

Dorothy on

Thanks for sharing some of the highlights with us. All I can say is "Wow!".
Can't wait to catch up with your parents when they return.

David Wighton on


gramma_nance on

Oh Melly - I caught David's allergies!! This is such a beautiful blog - and such a wonderful tribute to your mom and dad and strong family. Love you, miss you and am so proud of you - my little sister that I never had...


Jess on

Great post Mel. You had me in tears in my cubicle. Next time post a warning please! So glad you had such a wonderful time with your parents.

Auntie Georgette on

So proud of my brother & sister-in-law and of course your parents!! Never a doubt that they would take it all in and fit right in.So glad that they had a chance to visit with you. Makes them more aware of how happy you are to be where you are & doing what you are doing. Take care Mel. Lots of love. xoxo

Tammy on

Gulp - beautifully written. I don't know your Mom and Dad, but they are absolutely beaming in those photos! Smiley and sniffly all at the same time…

Lisa Jane on

AHH Mel!
You sent me tumbling back to my Africa days (which was a nice break from chilly Edmonton) and you managed to warm my heart with all the inportant things in life. I am so proud to be your friend!

Keep having fun - love the posts!

Diane on

We had the most amazing time in Ghana...we were thrilled to be with Mel and to share her life for a couple of weeks. It was such a pleasure to meet her colleagues (especially Wizzy & P) and friends, including all of the street vendors and cab drivers, that call her sista. It is comforting for us to know that there are lots of people that look out for Mel and sincerely care about her, especially: Eli, Nii, Ellen, Judith, Janet, Davina, the lady that demands Fanti when Mel visits her stall, Macy (really Marci), Annan (One Love taxi), Joe (the fish guy), Mama Sabina, Appiah (hope he's forgotten that Wayne said he should monitor Mel's curfew), oh - and all of the Global Mamas who came to check us out, they love Mel.
Mel has a terrific support system and I know that Wayne would agree with me when I say, now that we've been to see her we're certain that she's safe and happy.
Thanks for the sweet words Mel and thanks for being you. We have memories to last...until August. Love, Mom and Dad (Kawku, & Esi) xxoo

Bran on

Miss ya Mel!

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