Great things are happening at our little Ayi Mensah School. This week 7 Obroni (white) women arrived with tape, brushes, rollers, and paint; and we painted the inside of the 4 completed classrooms. Wearing the red shirt is Sally Murray who started the "Ayi Mensah project." She returned to Ghana with some friends to help paint.
The room preparation was more than we expected. While moving everything away from the walls, we came upon a cluster of baby mice. We also had to sweep down spider webs from the walls. Little did I realize that we would be using a machete (here they call it a cutlass) to knock random hunks of cement off the walls. And then we swept the edges of the room. There hasn't been much sweeping done here for a while...
We taped around the blackboard and were ready to prime the plaster (these walls have never been painted before). The village chief noticed our presence and came over to thank us for all we have done for his village. He is old, wise, and has a great smile (on the right).
Ayi Mensah began without a building and was only a teacher and her students under a big tree. On day #2 of our painting the children had to leave the school and returned to their beginning. They all carried a chair upside down on their heads out to study under the tree while we worked. Three of the teachers came ready to help us paint. They all seemed surprised that white ladies could actually work! I'm glad we got that clarified. We had a chance to explain to them that all of our grandparents were farmers and ranchers, and our parents grew up working on farms. They were not expecting that. This day all the students received a school bag c/o Dani Taylor in Utah. Thanks Dani.
Day #3 brought a big rainstorm midday. The children came running with upside down chairs on their heads to the classroom we finished painting earlier. Again 3 teachers help us paint. We learned later that this was a considered a recreation day for them (they would not be paid). But, they wanted to be part of this good thing that was happening at their school. And believe me, it looks much better!
This school exists today because of generous donations of others. We have 4 complete, but basic classrooms. Classroom #5 has a foundation and walls; we hope to get the roof on soon. If you would like to contribute to help us complete Ayi Mensah (we need 3 more classrooms) please send your check to: (Forever Young is an NGO-your donation is tax deductible and we have NO overhead costs)
c/o Sally Murray
8695 South 4770 West
West Jordan, UT 84088