Joe Emma in Europe

Our unrivalled care-director Joe Emma spent a month-long visit in Europe

in June/July and just like back in 2013 it has been a wonderful journey and an unforgettable experience for him.
Joe Emma had been invited by the Dutch foundation of Hand in Hand so he could personally meet members of the board and discuss the short- and long-term policies for PCC with them. Obviously, these conversations were extremely important and worthwhile.
Also, Joe took part in a very successful meeting with the board of Ananse in Bielefeld, a German foundation that has supported PCC for 20 (!) years now.
And last but not least, Inge Maters and Marian Schenk, both experts in physiotherapy and care-management respectively, trained Joe Emma for a week during his stay. This personal training appeared to be very useful. It is a fine thing that they will both come to PCC again in October to teach and to instruct our caregivers and to also advise them on the best care for our residents.
In spite of his busy schedule Joe Emma still had time left to meet some former volunteers and to visit various Dutch churches that support PCC generously and regularly. Furthermore, he visited a Ghanaian church in Amsterdam. The service was held in his own language so he could sing familiar Twi songs, which was of course a very special experience!
For the European readers of this column it is hard to imagine what a journey like this means to someone like Joe Emma.
In the mean time it is publicly known in Ghana that it is not very easy to travel into Europe. So it felt like an exceptional privilege when Joe Emma received his visa to enter Europe.
And then the journey had yet to begin!
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A trip to The Netherlands and Germany, two well-organized, prosperous and peaceful societies in Europe where there are ample opportunities for personal growth, fine educational standards and excellent health care for all, a well-developed rule of law, (relatively) clean surroundings, etc., etc..
Well, to us these are basic and not so very exceptional things, however, to someone from Ghana and especially to a sharp observer like Joe Emma they are highly exclusive things.
He was most impressed by what the Dutch call “Nederland Waterland” and admired our countless canals, rivers, ditches and of course the North Sea. Also huge infrastructural constructions like tunnels, aqueducts, the smaller and larger dykes, but especially the “unique road through the sea” connecting Lelystad and Enkhuizen drew his unwavering attention.
“How is it possible for people to make this all?!”, Joe Emma regularly exclaimed.
Another question he brought up was: “Our Ghanaian politicians regularly visit foreign countries, also in Europe. Why don’t they introduce many more of the good developments that they notice in foreign countries into Ghana?”.
A good question but not easily answered!
In Ghana people often tell each other that everybody who travels into Europe can go to places the Ghanaian call “Bola”, where Europeans dump old cars and computers which can be taken away without difficulty and for free…..
Ghanaians like to believe in this fairy tale and that is why we showed Joe Emma that there are no Bolas here (there are charity shops, though) and that a lot of effort is made in recycling used materials as much as possible.
Joe Emma has seen a lot also during this visit to Europe and he has again gained much new information. He is very motivated to introduce the best of his knowledge into PCC. In fact, he has already started!
In case you would run into Joe Emma, ask him if he’d like to tell you something about his journey to Europe. Broad smiles and many stories guaranteed!