Vision Quest began with a relatively short bus ride. We caught the bus at 8:00 am. After 2.5 hours the bus stops in the middle of nowhere under a tree. It looked like a bus stop because people were waiting and selling food. Andrew, my vision quest travel partner, says “this is Duboya!” I think “This is Duboya?!”
We asked about the home of the PCV and a man says “oh Mr. Larry, he is my friend. He is waiting across the river for the Marines.” As he walked with us to the river he told us that thel US Marines were in Duboya for training and humanitarian duty. They were going to visit the cloth makers in Duboya that day. Mr. Larry was going to give them a tour. Yes the very day i go to a remote African villiage I meet up with not only the Marines but also the Navy and the Air Force. So to all my girlfriends who are reading this YES I SURE DID ENJOY hanging out with young, buff, polite men for the day.
We crossed the river in flat bottomed canoes. They were full of people and cargo and animals! We met Larry on the otherside. He was still waiting for the Marines to appear
so we climbed a small hill and sat under a tree to wait. The Ghanaian who lead us to the river was very helpful to me. Carrying my bag, helping me up the hill.
Larry Pearlman, the PCV in Duboya, is working on tourism. Duboya makes it’s own blue dye from indigo, dyes the yarn, weaves the cloth and makes jackets and vests that are unique to Duboya. Larry toured may groups of military men around for three days and they bought many things. it was good for everyone.
As a pacifist I have some trouble with my tax dollars going to war but from now on I will imagine my dollars fund these humanitarian missions. The Marines trained local troups and had manuvers with them. The Air Force doctors held clinics every day. One doctor told me that he saw 10-15 people every 15 minutes. They will also do a vet clinic in Duboya bringing some large vet equipment into town. When they leave they will donate the remaining medical supplies to the villiage clinic. It will come to about $10,000 worth of supplies. They also brought toys for the children.
All the gifts were given to the villiage chief. later he will hold a big ceremony in the village to give the items to the clinic. That way everyone in town knows that the medical supplies were free and who gave them to the clinic.
Some of our Marines had done a tour of duty in Iraq. As I watched them interact with the people of this village I felt like this might be healing for the Marines. The children and adults croweded around the Military men. They gave them smiles and were eager to touch them. The children in the village play a game where they clap their hands twice, jump in the air and then kick out one foot. The purpose is to match feet when you kick. one bulky, tall Marine got into the middle of a group of children and started playing the game with them. They were all laughing and shouting. Even the other Military men enjoyed watching their friend play with the children.
We went to a Spot, which is a bar in Ghana, and had a round of minerals(soda) on the Marines. The Marines at my table were very interested in why I was in Ghana. They of course had heard of the PC but did not know older people could volunteer. They were impressed. I have to say it felt pretty good to impress the USMC!
The PC and the USMC met in Duboya Northern Region Ghana West Africa. How weird that one of my first cross cultural exchanges would be with fellow Americans. But I do feel I learned more about our military and can appreciate some of the good they do. i promised two off the Air Force doctors I would blog about these humanitarian missions that the Military does. The men all vlounteer for the mission and it usually lasts about two weeks. The military does this frequently all over the world. Some of the men I met had been on multiple missions.
It is hot in Duboya!
and joyful bed!