003 – My Rotary Story by Rotarian Amalu Tochi
In September 2017 while preparing to be in Accra for the 12th West Africa Project Fair, I recalled of my Ghanaian friends whom I hosted sometime in Port Harcourt while serving out as DRR of District 9140. Well, I jokingly informed them that I will be a participant at the WAPF holding in their capital city. Just like a Joke ooo…so nothing much serious, as I continued to also add some funds in the pocket in case of miscellaneous expenses.
I decided to take the Land trip in order to enjoy the sights of passing through many countries and cities and seeing variety of good things.
First was at the Border, when it was time for the Immigration to check our luggage and our International Passport which is normal. While on the queue, the Officer approached me and said; – I LIKE YOUR LAPEL PINS. WHAT IS IT FOR? I simply replied, ‘I AM A ROTARIAN’. My dear friends, he gave me a handshake, told me to follow him and passed through the other side of the door without check. He said,
“My name is James and my mum didn’t die because of Rotary Club. Some of your members took my mum for an open heart surgery and she is still alive. I wouldnt have paid the huge amount for such treatment. I have seen some of your Rotarians today, is there any event happening or convention?”
And I simply replied, “We are going to West Africa Project Fair where we will meet more Global partners in order to do more projects in Africa”.
Dear Friends, he gave me a written note and that made me a First class citizen till I got to Accra (No searching, No check).
As I was still trying to navigate Google to know the hotels around, I got a WhatsApp call from Rtn Joseph who simply told me to go to the Accra Mall and wait for him. Truly at this point I was tired and all I could ask for is a good relaxation, little did I know what was on the way. THE ROTARY FRIENDSHIP!
Joseph Dankwah (JoeBreeze) arrived with some other Rotarians and Rotaractors in a classy Hilux SUV and picked me. Took me to the Reunion of PRESEC ALUMNI outside Accra main city where I had lots of fun and met new friends. Well to cut it short I had fun.
While heading back to Accra town I was anxious to get to a hotel, dear friends I found myself on a Very calm Estate/Street with Security Operatives and good houses. I was checked into a Family Duplex located in the heart of the city without paying a penny. Let me shock you, this house was on same street with the Apartment for the Vice President of Ghana a stone throw from that of the Presidential Villa.
From eating free Jollof Rice, to Waakye to Banku and tilapia at Breezy’s Food Hub at Kanda Post Office owned by Joseph Dankwah (Joebreeze). My dear my money was still in my pocket and I was having mad fun.
LABADI BEACH Resort courtesy of PP Makun Linda Tetteh
Osikan Beach resort (Ghana suya and Club beer) Courtesy of PP Elorm Addo
CLUB HOUSES courtesy of Joseph Dankwah, Koku Fiadzoe, Nii Quaye Adjei
Fellowship with Rotary Club of Accra. Courtesy of PP Makun Linda Tetteh and President Julian K. M. Segbawu of RC ACCRA.
Fellowship with the Rotaract club of University of Ghana
The funniest thing that happened was for one of my friends in the Registration committee Rtn Soraya Opare- Riley to write my Country as GHANA. When I asked why, she simply said that she won’t allow me to go back until I finish all that they planned for me. ROTARY IS GOOD!
I never felt like coming back honestly after discovering the kind of love and friendship and Network Rotary provided for me.
This made my sponsor PDG Emman Ude Akpeh and my DES Nonso Epundu to leave for Nigeria while I was still in Accra having fun after the conference. But at last it was fun and impactful. I saw the beauty of Rotary and I don’t think I want to stop being a Rotarian. I HAVE TRULY ENJOYED ROTARY.
Thanks my Ghanaian friends for the love and not allowing me spend Naira. Will surely do a come back soonest.
Thanks Rotary International for the opportunity.
STAY TUNED FOR MY ROTARY STORY #004.