My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

Get Involved

Learn More


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Welcoming Them In

I had every great intention to write a blog yesterday about our amazing day, but when I finally made it to my room, exhaustion took over and the blog never came about. And today, I came home, thinking I needed a little rest and time to write, and yet, as I came to my computer, the internet was down. Awww, life in Ghana! But, here I am, Wednesday morning, and finally ready to send this thing out!

The past few days have been busy with incoming teams from Australia and preparations for the Ride West Africa team coming in. This team left Australia four months ago to travel to Spain. They traveled all the way from Seville, Spain to Ghana in four months...on their bicycles. Everywhere they went, they told the story of child trafficking and labor in Ghana and raised funds for our school building along the way. We've been following them every now and then on their blog and have heard some of the crazy stories that they have experienced along the way (ie. a sand fly growing larvae in one of their knees, punctured tires, fights, bad food, etc). What an adventure!

The team finally planned on arriving in Doryumu on Monday. They had been staying in Accra for a couple of days to rest up before their final ride. We had set up some media interviews (go fig. . .they didn't show up when no money was put in their pockets), and a police escort. When they came to Doryum Junction, the road that we use to turn in Doryumu, the older kids met them there with their bikes to make the trip down the road to where we were ready at the finishing line.

The whole town seemed to have come out. Doryumu's "Keep Fit Club" all turned out with their bright orange t-shirts, and the ladies from the shops nearby came and filled out some of the seats. Some of the local children that don't attend school came to see what all the commotion was all about as well. In fact, we really noticed the high percentage of children (and adults) with special needs in our community from yesterday's big event (and yet another reason for why we need a special ed class in our school as they recieve NO opportunities or supervision during the day). And as the time approached for the rider's to arrive, the village chiefs and elders also came!

We spread out a red tape across the road for the riders to cross. And guess who came barreling down the road FIRST? DK of course. He was on a mission to reach the finish line first! He rode that bike so fast! And Valentina wasn't far behind and whizzed through the finish line without even the bat of an eye. Benard came next and was followed shortly by Rosemary and then, THE REST OF THE CREW! The rest of the kids were riding behind the Ride West Africa guys. It was so exciting to see them all together in their biking outfits and smiling from ear to ear! It was a terribly hot day, so we knew that they had to be hot and hungry, but I think that even more, they were just ready for the craziness of the last four months to finally have been completed.

We were so proud of all they did, all the money and awareness that they raised! Can't even imagine spending four months of my life biking across West Africa, but they did it. . .and they did it well!

Louise (the YGAP coordinator) gave a little speech and Johnbull stood to give out our thanks and then each of the guys stood to give a little talk as well. What a treat to have them there. All the kids were so excited to finally meet the boys that we had been talking about! They were so happy that they got to ride with them too.

We spent the rest of the day celebrating with cake and cokes. And then, everyone put on their dancing shoes and we played music and danced up a storm. It was such a fun afternoon, even if it was a long, hot day.

When we began out walk back home after the celebration, it seemed as if half the town kids decided to come along as well. They all played with our kids out in front of the house, riding bikes, playing football, and everyone was enjoying themselves.

It was a little bittersweet ending to the day though as Jess, Anthony, Kali, and Kion (our first Australian YGAP team) all had to head out. We had such a great time with them and we were sad to see them go, but hoping that it won't be the last time that we see them.

I have so many pictures to upload sometime in the near future. Keep checking facebook for those!

And cheers to YGAP and the amazing Ride West Africa boys! Thank you for all that you have done for us, to help us bring this school to the community of Doryum and to the orphaned, abandoned, and trafficked children of Ghana. We love you!

1 comment:

  1. Oh what a busy day! It sounds like a great celebration. But very eww to the larvae thing. Praying for rest.