Community

C.R. Wall sponsors ME TO WE trip to Ghana

Lynne Corvaglia, with the support of C.R. Wall & Company Inc. embarked on a trip to Ghana, West Africa with the Me to We program this past summer to build a school and change the lives of children in Ghana.  Below in Lynne's words are the highlights of her trip:

"I learned so much in Ghana and experienced a whole new culture.  This trip I witnessed extreme poverty, I saw child labour first hand, and I got to tour and stand before the "Gate of No Return" at Cape Coast where thousands of slaves were shipped to Europe and the United States hundreds of years ago.  All of these times were sad, heart retching during times during my trip to Ghana.

However, on my school building trip I also experienced what a caring community truly feels like.  I experienced love from so many of the children.  Life-long friendships with all of the community members and my fellow travelers as well.  I went swimming in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, released newborn baby sea turtles into the ocean, experienced a canopy walk through the diverse rainforest in Kakum National forest; and even had a snake fall down my shirt!

My trip to Ghana was so impactful....I am going to share with you a few of my most inspiring moments during my trip.

One day we were working in the community of Asemkow (just a couple hundred feet from the shore of the ocean) building a school.  We had run out of water on the build site and this was necessary to mix with the cement for the floor.  The closest source of fresh water was a 45 minute walk.  So one of our facilitators took five volunteers in his truck and drove it as far through the jungle as he could so we didn't have to walk as far and so that when we retrieved the water we could just throw the jugs in the back of the truck to hurry along the process.  When we got to the water hole a few of the local women were there and they asked us what we were doing getting so much water, we explained and carried on.  Those women somehow got the word out to about 25 other women that we needed water.  Then one by one, 25-30 women came to the build site with 25L jugs on their heads to give to us.  They gave us that water that they had to carry, that they could have used to make their food, wash their clothes, and feed their animals.  These women chose to use that water to build their school so their children can have a brighter future.  Without their help, we would have had to do that trip at least 2-3 times that day.  After just one trip to get water, we did not have to go back because of all the women's generosity and dedication.

Building in Ghana is much different from any other country I've volunteered in.  It gets so hot and humid being on the equator that we would build for only 15 minutes then take a 10 minute break on an air conditioned bus so none of us would get heat stroke.  Talk about being spoiled...however that's what you gotta do to keep healthy.  The good news is that even though we were working in such extreme heat we exceeded all expectations by completing as much as we did.  This was so uplifting for all of us as we got the floor done, the porch, and the walls built up past our reach.  Our facilitators said that community members wanted the school to be done for September however; they told us it would be a long shot for that to happen.  That inspired all of us to work harded and as a result they told us the school most definitely would be open in September!!!

I mentioned getting to go on a canopy walk through the diverse rainforest in Kakum National forest.  I also had the opportunity to spend myt three weeks with Spencer West, a motivational speaker who last year climbed Mount Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa to raise money for clean water projects in Kenya.  Spencer has no legs.  I was right beside Spencer during this whole day that started off with a hike through the rainforest to get to the top of the hill where the canopy walk begins.  We were walking over tree stumps that were as tall as Spencer and I watched Spencer manage his way over many physical obstacles.  Spencer was right behind me the entire time he kept yelling when we were on the canopy walk 'THIS IS MY PANIC ZONE, I AM NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THIS" through much of all our encouragement Spencer got through it and did the entire canopy walk on his hands with grace.  It's crazy how much we take for granted.  Quite simply our legs, and what a daily struggle that would be....throughout this whole trip I couldn't stop looking at Spencer in true amazement.  He was such an inspiration to all of us.  Whenever I was feeling tired or physically worn out I would look at Spencer and imagine how he must be feeling and I would realize that complaining was not an option.

I am truly grateful for my life and the life changing opportunities I've been given to experience the lives of others less fortunate".