A venerable cliché – a picture is worth a thousand words. That is particularly apt when the words being spoken are of diverse languages not understood between two differing cultures. Grannies à Gogo decided to present a gift of a photo album to the members of Sitabogogo. We are fortunate in having come to “know” our gogos through monthly reports sent to us by our volunteer administrators throughout our eight year history. We’ve also received a number of photos sprinkled throughout each year.
However, the reverse has not been true. The gogos know that funds come from “the Grannies in Canada”, and seem to think we are all simply wealthy. They do not know the details about the countless fundraising projects we’ve done over the years, nor the fun we’ve had doing them. So our tireless Granny Anne C put together a 150-photo album that detailed all our projects.
Over three sessions I presented the pages of photos to them. With Jonathan animatedly translating, I told them I brought greetings from our group who feel a strong heart to heart connection with them, and detailed what the photos were about.
As Jonathan explained each page, they learned about the activities we’ve done on their behalf. About garage and trunk sales, pot luck suppers, auctions of under-loved items, an African workshop of drumming, pottery, gumboot dancing, and beading, about sock coin collectors, walkathons, photo contests and calendar sales, sales of many beautifully crafted items, recipe books and so, so much more.
The pages were passed around the circle and studied with interest, to the point where a few gogos scolded some others for holding on to the pages too long.
One gogo, Beauty, announced she recognized her letter-writing partner, Sherry. Another took particular interest in the Sock-It-Away coin collectors, wanting to know how that worked.
When I told about a private initiative of a child’s first birthday where the parents requested no presents, but asked instead a small donation to Grannies à Gogo, the gogos spontaneously applauded.
The photo album will be left with them to peruse as they wish, and there are blank pages at the end where more photos can be added. It’s all about connections – growing stronger!