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Almost welcome

Experiencing different cultures is always fun. I recently made my first trip to Accra, Ghana.

Soon after our arrival we were greeted by a friendly Ghanaian with a broad smile and a warm heart. Samuel was our host and comrade.

He had spent the better part of his life on the front lines battling in the war against contaminated water that kills nearly 2 million people every year.

As soon as jet lag waned, we were soon on a domestic flight to Tamale, Ghana with bags and bags of heavy luggage. We were traveling with heavy hand-drilling equipment used to bring fresh water to villages. Our Water4 team would be spending more than a week conducting training demonstrations with nationals who we would soon be at work helping solve the water crisis that plagues many parts of Africa.

As we stepped onto the Tarmac, and made our way to the steps to board the plane, I reached out to my new friend and expressed my gratitude for his help loading and negotiating our robust cargo. I assured him we were there to help in his work not add to it.

In a rush to make our way across the runway, he spoke over his shoulder with sweat on his brow, “You are almost welcome.”

“Almost welcome?” My heart sank. This wasn’t going too well. We weren’t even on our first well site and I wasn’t winning any friends or favors.

I leaned toward another one of my travel companions. “I hope we can win Samuel over. He said we are almost welcome.”

I big grin and chuckle soon followed. “You are all, most welcome. Not almost welcome. Samuel is glad you are hear and happy to assist you! That is why he said you are all, most welcome.”

“All most welcome!” I had been snagged yet again by cultural nuances!

I have had the privilege of serving along side many cultural warriors like Samuel. Men and women who give their lives day in and day out in the betterment of mankind.

And for each and everyone I am forever grateful. Should the opportunity ever present itself, in my country or in my home, they are all, most welcome!

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