What is it like taking a large team to Africa?  It has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. In mid February, I began leading Rotary members from all over the East Coast of the United States through Ghana. I’ve tried to give the team a warm Ghanaian welcome like I’ve received on my earlier trips. A large trip is a real blessing because each person sees Ghana and our work in a different way.

A highlight for the team was greeting the chief of Sagadugu. The team got excited about buying goats and food for children in the villages where I support eight churches. It was good to see the pastors of most of the eight churches, and I had to explain that we were just passing through on our way to Bolgatanga.
The vastness of the work that Rotary has done in Ghana is almost beyond imagination. We are transforming lives and making a difference. We have friendships that will last a lifetime.
We drilled two boreholes in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region with a grant led by Past District Governor Ben Coe and Sam Purington of Watertown, New York, and funded by the Davidson County Community College Rotaract Club in North Carolina and Chatham and Rocky Mount Rotary clubs in Virginia.
We have a grant for over $115,000 that we need funded for new and repaired boreholes near Techiman, Ghana. We also want to improve the Holy Family Hospital that services this region. We also want to continue our work to help people with Buruli Ulcer, a flesh eating disease. The Techiman Rotary Club was chartered in May 2013, but they already have a huge list of new projects.
What do you say about a journey that has changed your life? I was touched by the speech from a woman at a basket weaving center near Bolgatanga. She passionately told us that because Rotary located a well near the basket weaving center in 2009, 600 girls have the opportunity to go to school. The mothers use the income from the basket weaving to fund their daughters to go to school. I never understood that clean water could lead to a better education for girls. The woman’s speech will remain in my heart for a very long time.
By Walter Hughes, a member of the Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, Virginia, USA