I am back from Ghana! Very unexpected and amazing trip. The most amazing thing was that my quilts took me there and allowed me to meet wonderful people quietly doing their job, dive deeply into the world of Ghanaian textiles and other crafts, see the REAL, not tourist’s Ghana, and meet sweet young people, the future of Ghana.
The reason for this trip was to deliver my two Kente Cloth from Ghana quilts that I made for OITC – Oasis International Training Center
Senior pastor Nancy A. Hudson kindly invited me to come at the same time when she was there for teaching classes, and I started preparations. I needed to get vaccinated for yellow fever but most importantly I needed a visa. That was the hard part. I am an American citizen residing in Lithuania and the only way to get visa was at Ghanaian embassy in Berlin. They don’t issue visas right away. If I post my passport and all required papers than I don’t have a chance to fly to Berlin to get passport back after the visa is issued 8 days later. I can’t cross any borders without a passport and they would not mail my passport back across the borders. I had to be really inventive, and I was.
I packed the quilts and few belongings and I flew from Riga to Accra via Brussels. I really didn’t know what to expect about the weather, mosquitoes, sites to visit, but I knew I will meet nice people and will be immersed into Ghanaian textiles. Before the trip I did some research and this blog post by Molly Hamilton was really helpful: https://www.folkwear.com/blogs/news/ghana
I arrived at night and next morning the first thing I did was to step on the balcony. I could see the Atlantic ocean right from my window:
Next I walked around the OITC enjoying the sunshine and the surroundings. I was amazed that many plants that in Lithuania we grow as house plants, grow freely there.
The next day my quilts were put up on a wall inside the beautiful foe of OITC:
There were classes taught at the center and I tried to be a part of everything what was going on. I attended some classes and also gave a presentation about Lithuania and about the process of making my quilts. Quilts as blankets are not known nor needed in Ghana as Ghana is one of the countries located very close to the equator. Students were very sweet and curious and were interested in my country as well in quilts:
I made many friends at OITC, people who work there as well as students:
I am very grateful to everyone who works there and hope we will remain friends in the future. I also hope we will meet again, in USA, Lithuania or some where in Europe:
I just can’t find words to tell how much loved and appreciated I felt. I think I didn’t even deserved that much. I didn’t do anything extraordinary, making quilts is the thing that makes me happy, that’s all.
One night Nancy said we were going to meet after supper for just a friendly chat. Nancy came with the bunch of wrapped gifts and my first thought was- she brought Christmas gifts for everyone:
How surprised I was to learn that all gifts were for me!
She even gave me a true Amish quilt made from flour sacks that she brought from USA:
I also received a nice gift from Sue and Ambrose:
That’s shortly about my time spent inside the OITC. My post is getting too long and I will continue, next time telling about Ghanaian textiles and the life in Ghana that I have seen and experienced.
els mommers says
What a beautiful trip and as I have said already your quilts are gorgeous. Isn’t it wonderful where quilting can bring us?Looking forward to your next blogpost.
Els Mommers says
What a wonderful trip. Your quilts are gorgeous. Isn’t it unbelievable where quilting can bring us and how easy you can make friends? It mst have been an unforgettable trip and I am looking forward to your next blogpost.
Thank you, Else! yes, quilting brought many friends into my life, you are one of them!
will e says
Such a nice trip!! I am glad you got the chance to go there.
Kristina Arlauskas-Hartley says
I love hearing about your trip Maryte. It’s always an adventure. So much to see and learn.
Jolanta Vaitekuniene says
I am so proud of You , dear Marytė , being such a wonderful ambassador of Lithuania. Thank You for the photos and such an interesting story.
Thank you, Jolanta! You are being missed!