Taking Care of Business , Chapter 4C

A Journey HomeA Journey Home is the story of my mother’s experiences working as a nurse in a health clinic for the under-served in Ghana, West Africa. Click here to begin with the first entry of “The Journey Home”  My comments are in red.

Today’s post is the last half of her letter I began last week.

November 29, 1989

I am in Accra (capital city of Ghana, right on the coast) today for a CHAG (Christian Health Association of Ghana) meeting. Many clinics and hospitals are members of this association from all over Ghana. It will be interesting. Today is the matrons’ meeting and tomorrow is administrators’ meeting, so Bob (Williams) will attend it.

I plan to have a permanent put in my hair while waiting for him. Beth (Williams) did not make this trip, as we will be coming back on Sunday for our trip to Togo.

My hair is really straight! Brenda (McVey) has her permanent put in at a beauty shop, using a home perm she takes to the shop. She remains watchful during the whole process, instructing frequently. So another new experience.

Dan and Brenda were the host housing for any of the mission team needing to spend the night in Accra.

Dan and Brenda’s home provided housing for any of the mission team needing to spend the night in Accra.

The meeting today was very interesting. Forty to 50 people – all nurses at mission clinics and hospitals. Many Catholics and several white nurses, but I really think I was the only American. They served coffee, hot tea, and some kind of sweet bread before the meeting began at 10:15. The meeting ended at 2:30 with no breaks! I was starved!

Then they served Ghanaian foods: rice and meat sauce, cabbage, yams, and “kenke”. Most of it was very good. I drove myself in the red pickup with a straight shift. No problems.

Received your letter a few days ago that was written early in November. Some letters arrive in 11 days and some in three weeks. No matter – it is good to hear from home. I haven’t heard much from the boys (my three brothers). Paul has written once with a “blow by blow description of Hurricane Hugo”. (He was stationed at the Air Force Base in Myrtle Beach, SC.) Steve has written several times and David twice. They make me anxious. None of us wrote her as much as she would have liked. In fact we received some mild scolding at times. She reminded us that she wrote her mother and mother-in-law once a week. And she faithfully wrote me once a week when I was away in college. 

I finally found some Ghanaian Christmas cards so I better get busy and get them in the mail.

I hope to talk with you while we are in Togo next week.

God bless and keep you all in His care,

Love,  Mom

While they were in Togo, a country on Ghana’s western border, she called and left a message from her hotel. When I returned her call, I got the front desk and tried to use my college French to communicate. I finally made my message clear, and the worker said, “Okay, I’ll get her.” He laid the phone down, and I was left waiting, long distance to Africa! I tried to imagine how far he had to go to deliver his message as the minutes ticked away. She finally picked up the phone, and we had a great phone visit.

Before Mama left for Ghana, she made plans to return home for frequent visits. Even though she first arrived in September, she returned to the States just before Christmas and stayed until February, 1990. Her flights from Amsterdam always came from Atlanta into Nashville, so I picked her up at the airport. She left her car at my house, so she could drive to West Tennessee to see two of my brothers. 

 I am thankful for the safe travels Mama had over some very poor roads throughout Ghana as well as multiple flights from Nashville, Amsterdam, and Accra, Ghana.




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