The following submission was written by one of my former students from Accra, Ghana. Phoebe is a 2012 graduate of the Herman Gmeiner International College (HGIC) who has decided to take a gap year to stay home and work. She is an outstanding student who took top honors in History at a school that prides itself on excellence in academics. She’s also a voracious reader and an ambitious writer.
Never afraid to speak her mind or share her feelings, she is an undeniable force of nature. One day during our 11th grade English class, she dropped and broke her laptop. I don’t think the machine had even hit the ground before poor Phoebe went apoplectic. Were it not for the immediate intervention of almost everyone in the room, the computer and the girl would have been down for the count.
Phoebe sent me this poem after reading my blog’s introductory remarks about seeking new adventures. By offering this differing point of view, she provides an important perspective on our increasingly mobile society .
In her desire to see her classmates someday return to their homeland, she echoes the motto of HGIC – “Knowledge in the Service of Africa”. It takes great faith to educate people who will take their learning elsewhere, but maybe that faith is a hopeful element of our global culture.
12th August, 2012:
“Wore fe fie, worekoo”
(~They have left home, they are going)
One day they will leave the land of their birth,
Then, the sun will grieve; she will refuse to set,
She will scatter her sons all about the earth,
And she will know not of their return; not just yet.
The sower will sow seeds as the parable tells,
On paths, in good soil, in rocks and in thorns,
They will find themselves in a world so new,
And so different from where they were born,
Can these seeds so accustomed to our warm red earth,
Thrive and bear fruit in this strange, foreign man’s land?
Can they, through the perilous journey to their peaks
and biting cold and cruel winters stand?
Yet they will be thrust into the thrills of orientation, and college greek life,
House parties, stimulating lectures, and freshmen events,
Most importantly they’ll take on ambassadorial roles,
Their countries, and the entire African continent to defend
These are seeds of no ordinary kind,
They are a rare breed of genius, straight from the Master’s mind,
Planted in fertile soils, in the milk and honey land,
They will sprout, and bear fruit to the pride of their homeland,
Maybe Christmas, summer, or four years later they shall return,
ushered back by the rhythms of Osibisa’s “Welcome home”
the motherland awaits our service, seedlings
let us come back and unravel our manifold of blessings.