The letter from African Ancestory.com arrived in my mailbox in May. DNA test tell me that my maternal ancestors lived in Cameroon. With that news, my journey began.
I was part of the Religious Education team for my group of 18 Unitarian Universalist folks , 16 of which are of African ancestory and the other two are Europeans in long-term relationships with two folks in our group. As such, I had to do a fair amount of research in order to help our colleagues prepare for the spiritual journey ahead of us. Now, having gone and returned, I can echo the words of our former UUA President Bill Sinkford who said upon his return, "I'll never be the same." He was right. Scroll over the picture box below to see more images.
Looking Back in Order to Go Forward
Welcome to Ghana.JPG
After flying 5,000 miles over the Atlantic in the middle of the night...we arrived. It's a total existential encounter, especially when you think about the irony of our traveling "back" to Africa in comparative luxury. Ah, the agony of 1st-World life (said with intense snarkiness).
If you're like me, you often spend far too much time trying to figure out the impulses that guide both the big and small choices you make in life. Going back to Africa to witness the beauty of the people and the raw strength of their character helped me understand why I'm an educator as well as the source of my stamina and creativity. It also helped me understand how my struggles today are nested in an age-old drama. ABOVE: The Male Dungon, where 200 men were housed at a single time, with only the small holes you see for air and light. Imagine spending 6 weeks here. sigh.
I, along with fellow traveller, Taquiena Boston, was asked to share a personal reflection on the trip at a worship service at General Assembly in July 2014. You can hear my remarks here. [Note: my presentation begins at the 47:00 minute of the video.]