This year’s program has had a challenging start.  We’ve had the unfortunate experience of  sending two students home (due to medical circumstances out of our control), one accompanying staff member, and one additional leadership team member (we only had planned for the last of these departures).  The operative word in the previous sentence is planned.


A challenge often encountered by “obrunis” in Ghana, is the consistency of inconsistency.  It is inevitable that on a daily basis your plans here will not reflect reality…

  • You planned to take a shower…but the water was out so you had to go without OR fill a bucket of water from stored water in the poly tank and use that instead.
  • You planned to work on course work involving internet use and a computer…but rolling blackouts have left you with a uncharged computer and no internet.
  • You planned to meet with a community member…but you and/or they were caught up in a conversation with a family member or friend and either were late or missed the meeting completely (relationships are more important than meetings and timeliness here – lest timeliness was specifically discussed).
  • You planned to have a set schedule for your service work…but you’ve experienced constant changes in times, locations, and tasks.
  • You planned to serve in Ghana…but you needed medical attention simply unavailable and had to return to the U.S.


Recently, I overheard my sister sharing a nugget of wisdom with her children, “Patience is being happy, while waiting.”  It seems that many of us have become so comfortable in our privileged lives, that we have forgotten the importance of patience.  I feel our group is incredibly blessed to be comprised of students who are patient, who complain little, and who genuinely care.

As we complete the academic piece of this trip and dig into being of service here in Ghana, my hope is that each of us will fiercely hold on to being patient and, “trusting the process,” as Joe would say. The motto of Challenging Heights serves as the perfect reminder :

“To whom much is given, much is expected.”


3 thoughts on “Plans

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