When I got back from my first trip to Ghana I started looking into how we could host a student for a school year. Crazy, I know. I'm getting ready to add a one year old to my daily life and I want to add a teenager too? If you've been to Ghana, you probably already "get it". There are children everywhere needing an education, any education. It makes you want to bring them all home where they can attend public school for free!
Well, it's not so easy. I got home, made some calls and found out that in addition to their airline ticket of about $2000+, you have to work with an agency to get their visa sponsorship and this costs another $2000-3000. If we were going to spend that kind of money, it would be better to send it to Ghana to help more children. There were teenagers with family who could afford this, but it just didn't really feel right. We wanted to host a student who would give us better insight into Kwasi's life and culture. A family who can afford $5000 to send their child abroad, would be coming from a very different life than our little man.
A couple months after making these calls I was contacted by AFS. They had a couple of students from Ghana who had won an amazing scholarship - all expenses paid (air fair, visa costs, etc.) and they just needed a family to host them. These were students who would not be able to participate otherwise.
It immediately felt right to me, but as a mom, I had to think about it for 5 minutes. Would it be good for Kwasi? Would it be good for our student? Our AFS coordinator and I decided that if it didn't work out for our student, they would assist in finding her a better situation. As for Kwasi, we think it can only help. Seeing how our student adjusts will help us understand what our 1 year old who can't verbalize his thoughts might be thinking. What about our culture is overwhelming to him? She can also teach us about his culture and how to make some yummy Ghana food.
OK. I was all in, but I had to talk with Chris. I got my list ready and by that evening, he had agreed with my crazy idea.
So, I'd like to introduce you to Esinam! Esinam is 17 years old and the best word I can think of to describe her is delightful! We got to meet her whole family during our Ghana trip and they are wonderful people. She is very driven, top of her class, in almost every club she can join, etc. She seems very excited to teach us about Ghana and we can't wait to have her! She is even excited about having 2 little brothers. Right now she shares her room with her 3 sisters so she assured me that the boys won't be too much... We'll see :) She'll be arriving in just a few weeks - actually before Kwasi gets home :)
Esinam and her moms :) I'm having a heard time adjusting to her calling me mom. Afterall, I'm only 12 years older than her.