And the winners are...

Trip Start Feb 21, 2010
Trip End Apr 18, 2010

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Flag of Ghana  ,
Thursday, April 1, 2010

Last night was the much anticipated Global Mamas of the Year event. It was such a pleasure organizing, and also a huge learning experience. No matter how many events you plan, each of them are so different and have to be handled carefully, especially with these laid back Ghanaians. If you want people to arrive at 6pm, you have to tell them to arrive at 5pm, if they tell you that the cost is 65 cedis, budget for at least 75, and expect to be hissed at all evening. The hiss here is not necessarily rude, just the best way to get someone's attention.

A few staff members, Dani (who is back from South Africa) and I left the office early to grab a taxi and pick up last minute essentials including spoons, napkins, matches, ice and ice cream (we decided we needed dessert during our ride home). We then headed to Eli's to set up. We were able to borrow chairs from the church across the street and took every table from the house that we could find. Eli usually has five people for dinner so 60+ was a first for her and she didn't have enough tables and chairs, which we found out at about 4pm and had to improvise. Once the tables were set up, we covered them with Global Mamas table cloths and lit candles all over the restaurant. There were over 100 and the place looked amazing. One lady pointed at the candle and asked me what it was?

As expected, the women began arriving at 6-6:30 and were welcomed by five drummers and smiling staff members. The program began just after 7pm (about 45 minutes late but pretty much on time based on their standards) and Renae, who is the founder of Global Mamas, followed my script to a tea. She even read all of the cheesy lines, like 'Where are our Seamstresses, make some noise, how about our Batikers, can you do better'? The ladies loved it! After grace, dinner was served and we got to enjoy the fruits of our labour. The food was delicious and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The drummers were so amazing that the women got up to sing and dance, it was priceless!

After dinner, Renae got everyones attention by speaking a bit of Fante and then the award presentation began.

Winner of the Initiative Award: Monica Eku (Batiker)
Winner of the Innovation Award: Hannah Dodoo (Seamstress)
Winner of the Leadership Award: Alice Korsah (Seamstress)
Staff Member of the Year Award: Wisdom Tamakloe
Global Mama of the Year Award: Georgina Abra Afenyo (Batiker)

The crowd went crazy when the winners were announced and Georgina said a few words. It was a very special evening and one that many of us will never forget.The sad truth is that my project is officially completed and today is my last day of work (tear). We plan on spending the long weekend on the beach and checking out the infamous Kumasi market. On Tuesday, I will visit Esther's village and then have to decide whether to make the 13 hour trip to visit elephants at Mole National Park or opt for a vacation at the beach - such tough decisions!
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Dad on

What a journey!! Memories like those you've made and described are going to be etched in your mind forever. Along with your sad feelings should be proud ones that you've made a difference in someones life. Congratulations on having the courage to do what many of us have only dreamt about doing! Love
, Dad

Twin A on

You did it! You completed your mission.I think you should go visit the can hand out on a beach anytime. I cannot believe how fast the last 6 weeks have gone, I am very proud of you Mel.

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