Pencils of Promise has plenty of people to thank for our success. We build off the lessons learned in less cooperative countries where we operate. We benefit from the guidance of corporate-trained staff. We thrive on the eager support of thousands of youth promoting the cause of global education. But just as importantly, we are able to work thanks to our generous donors.
Despite its youth, PoP Ghana has made huge strides over the past year. The New York staff decided it was time to show off what Team Ghana has accomplished.
Cue: Ghana’s first donor trip. Hosted by yours truly.
As is true for most first-time planning events, so much seemed to go wrong.
- Family fears from the Westgate attacks (however unfounded) overturned our first three itineraries
- The hotel decided to begin loud and unsightly construction projects the day before our guests arrived
- A huge storm on Sunday evening doubled all our driving times
- The full staff was almost never all together, so introductions were on an ad hoc basis
- Communities planned elaborate ceremonies to welcome our guests, doubling or tripling our allotted time at each
- The hotel room was inexplicably musty and the wireless internet access seemed to stop right at their door
In the end, though, I would call it a success. Joe and Dan were excellent guests – willing to be flexible despite the difficulties, trying new foods, allowing community members to fawn over them and bestow honors, and generally taking care of themselves when I wasn’t around.
It was during this trip that I recognized how much I will miss Ghana. With my countdown begun, the landscape became more beautiful, the people more welcoming, and the food more delicious. Expect an increase in sentimentality over the next few weeks.