Not Coming to America
Not a day goes by that I don't miss my good friend and co-founder Arkuh Bernard Tettey. So it was with great disappointment (spiced with a huge dollop of frustration) that I received some news recently from the Department of Homeland Security. They didn't exactly deny our application for Bernard's training visa, but they described some pretty challenging hoops we would have to jump through just to continue the application process...and with precious little hope of a good outcome. In fact, they made it pretty clear that, as a small organization without a "well-established training program," we were unlikely ever to be approved.
After ranting for a few days to anyone who would listen, I finally settled down and, taking a few (hundred) deep breaths, started gearing up to start leaping through those hoops, however high they might be. (After all, my African name "Adanki" means, among other things, "stubborn.") But in the meantime, a window suddenly opened where a door had been slammed almost all the way shut. Within a few days, Bernard received a call from his father offering to send him to school for a degree in marketing!
This kind of education is something that will help Bernard all his life, and it won't do West Africa any harm either! This young man, with his steady intelligence and unshakable integrity, represents the very best that Ghana has to offer. He, and other young people like him, are Africa's greatest hope for the future. And now he'll be learning things that he'll be able to implement--and teach me to implement--so that we can offer good, secure jobs to more of his country's people. It's all very, very good.
Meanwhile, it will be business as usual at Soul of Somanya Ghana. Our wonderful staff of artisans will be handling the day-to-day operations, with Bernard commuting home from Accra on weekends to oversee their progress. I wish I could be there to help. I so miss being a part of it all. But I'm keeping very busy here right now transforming the fabrics I've been using as table cloths into colorful purses and pillow covers and placemats and such--and having a wonderful time doing it! So I guess I'm where I'm supposed to be right now. And I know you join me in wishing Bernard all the best as he starts this new phase in his life.