I do not know where to begin. The last day of reading camp. The last day of fifty village children smiling and laughing with us. The last day of little ones looking up with their deep brown eyes saying “wo mii…” Hold me” and older ones throwing their arms around us ansd holding our hands.
This is my second trip to Ghana and third to Africa. I am always amazed at what a smile and a hug can do for a child. There was one little girl who adopted me as her whiteman, Sarah Amu. Sarah is 8 years old and was in my group during the reading camp. She is beginning to read very well and is happy that I showed her how to “make the sounds for new words”. Each day she would give me a huge hug and smile and say to me in her Ghanaian accent, “Please Uncle Zach, I want to read today”. We read each day and she became less shy and told me “You are my brother.” At the end of each day she would say, “You are coming back to me tomorrow.” Today as she gave me a final hug and bye bye, she looked right into my heart and saud, “You go back to America now? You come back to me soon?”.
There is a line from a Jars of Clay song that I cannot shake each time I am with these beautiful children: “To rid myself of all but love….to give and die”. It is my hope and prayer that I can do just that….rid myself of all but love for Sarah and children like her. Yes, Sarah, I will come back to you. Zach Neumann
Images from the Reading Camp