As I begin the series of sharing my experiences Journeying with my mentor dubbed “Kathy and Gifty in the PulseWire Boat “I am filled with so much love, excitement, pride and nostalgia.
March /April 2009-The Genesis
When I first read the call for participation on the website of Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) on 11th March 2009, I had not in my wildest dreams that it was my call to the greatest connection with outstanding men and women from different cultures, continent, countires, race, background, heights, sizes but with one vision: to see women live better lives. When I started the programme, I knew of some connection but I never imagined that there was going to the greatest opportunity to build strong and healthy bonds, a platform that will challenge my creativity, an opportunity that will sharpen my writing skills, shape my world, and a free haven to share “maadwen”-(my perspectives), my dreams, ideas, solutions, answers to global issues as a young woman. Above all, to have life coach- a mentor, a friend, a dream partner to voyage with me.
When I received the instruction of the mini assignment to write a love letter to a mentor (whom I had not seen or heard from yet) many questions rushed to my mind: Who is he or she? Why would he or she want mentor me? What does he or she do in life? How will our sessions be like? Forgive me, but I am curious and I like to ask a lot of questions which has sometimes land me in trouble as many people do not like that. So even though my questions were unanswered, I went ahead to write the letter. The words still ring bells in my mind:
Dear Mentor, …………………. I am thrilled to embark on this journey as a Correspondent with World Pulse. Being a correspondent for me, is a sacred opportunity and responsibility to internet my views and voice woman’s issues. I want to increase the volume of the silent loud voices of other sisters in every corner of Ghana. Honestly I feel honored to have you travel with me as a mentor on this journey. I believe you are a gift to me and you will leave indelible foot prints in my life as we journey together. I know you will listen, coach, encourage and teach me. I feel you are with me already. I appreciate the fact that you accepted to be my mentor. It means a lot to me. Thank you for all you will do to bring the best in me in the course of our voyage. I cannot wait to hear from you so that we start this life changing experience.
This is the link to the whole letter: http://www.worldpulse.com/node/10028
I was excited when I received her letter as part of my welcoming package from Jennifer Ruwart.
June/July 2009-Dream Come through
“Finally. Kathy and I chorused as we embraced each other warmly for minutes at the reception of Airside hotel-Accra, Ghana. Are we hugging each other for real? This question dropped in my mind uninvited. Yes, we were. We did not want to let each other go. We could not believe that we were seeing each other so soon. It was like a movie or a story we were reading but it was a real life experience! “There are no accidents! Kathy’s words re-echoed. She had sent me a message telling me the possibility of she coming to Ghana to work for few days which we all looked forward too anxiously.
“You are beautiful” were the words I heard her say as I tried to deliver my self from the surprise of our meeting-It was a dream come true so soon for me!” Come on in”. We sat and talked and talked about everything-family, friends, visions, passions, successes, challenges and empowerment. Then she empowered me with a headset so I can call my colleagues on Skype. “So I empowered you with a little gift!” she said when I told her a day after meeting her how excited I was, speaking to Jennifer, Sunita, Khusbu and Halima on Skype with the help of the headset. That was when we both starting discovering empowerment in a new direction. At least for me, I understood from that point on that empowerment is all about doing those little (and big) things to help others do what they dream, wish, plan and pray to do in one’s own small unique way. The next day was her birthday and to me that was a privilege! For me it was an honour for me to be part of her birthday celebration. It was an opportunity for me to touch Kathy with my small gift- Ghanaian beads and chocolates.
01 July 09: Last moments with Kathy
Today is a holiday in Ghana. It is our republic day. It is also my last moments with my mentor-Kathy Castro in Ghana as she flies back to the United States of America early Morning. “We will meet again very soon”. We tell each other confidently.
So there we sat in a restaurant-Kathy, Cindy, Jim (Kathy’s colleagues from University of Rhode Island) and Harry and me. The others were amazed to hear the story of me and Kathy’s connection and curious to know about the programme that has woven together two wonderful women and others with so much vast difference-background, age, race, continent and country. As we recount our story of joining PulseWire and the fact that Kathy picked me anonymously I was filled with amazement. We sat to dine and wine and then we went to shop together. I was connected with one woman and through her I now have others Jim, Cindy and Harry as friends as well. I never wanted this moment to end but I am confident that,
This is just the beginning of the life changing experience with my mentor Kathy Castro.