"As you can see Mr Karl over there are the sections of the underground pipe. They are in the correct diameter and I am very pleased with our supplier, he has done well," mentioned the supervisors taking Mr Karl around the construction site. "Over there you can see the heavy machinery that we use to dig deep down so that the pipes are at the same level as in your country and cannot get destroyed easily. At the end of this stretch, as you can see Mr Karl, we have a special station that later service teams will use to check in the situation of the underground pipes, where they can put their cameras into and see whether everything is okay or needs repair before we have serious issues with the sewage system here. And over there are the pipes for fresh drinking water that can easily be used for human consumption, I mean that water that comes in the homes out of the taps. All is accordingly to German correct standards and...let me tell you, Sir, I am very, very proud to be part of this success story even though some people living along this stretch come to me and complain!"
"Complain about what?" was Mr Karl interested to hear.
"They say we do not build enough, and they want a much faster solution to their problems," answered the supervisor.
Mr Karl laughed his head off and looked at the progress made. He was very pleased, only minor advice and correction to be given and said: "They want open gutters that are of no use, that are in fact harmful as they cause flooding and are the best place for mosquitos to care for their offspring. Yes, underground pipes take longer, they take as long as it takes, and our budget is limited for which reason we cannot build as many in a given time as we which. Open gutters are much cheaper but overtime to do something that is better and will benefit the community more and done in the correct way...will help all of you people. So, take such complaints not too serious. At the end, when our initiative has been completed with good works, all people, even our critics, will apologize to us and be so, so happy that something had been done to make their lives so much better and that last for generations to come."
"Mr Karl...I know you are right and...let me humble myself and declare that your vision is great, your heart is great and your endurance to accept all the insults on you, the shame and naming that is on your head...I mean that you carry all that on your head and are not bothered, not moved by it at all. You are always so calm, so friendly, so nice to anyone regardless of who he or she is... ."
"Hold it...simple hold it, my friend," put Mr Karl his right hand on the left shoulder of his supervisor. "I just do my job...that is all!"
He had to excuse himself and headed off to his next appointment which was close to Sakumono Village and The Junction Mall at the beach line. The narrow road leading to the recently opened complex was tared with palms and bushes at each side giving people at the end of the road the much-wanted privacy. George stopped the car and let Mr Karl get out to greet the Director of the complex, one round shaped Administration Block and five smaller blocks around it. The atmosphere was filled with peace and freedom. People were walking around as singles, couples, and friends. They were mostly Whites. Between the houses, flowers and beautifully shaped plants were an impressive decoration along with the water fountains in various shapes and sizes to add to the quietness of the place.
Monica Africa, Director of Sunshine Beach, a resort for old people of a different kind, took Mr Karl around the facility while greetings the old folks that came from all around the world, mostly from Europe. She said: "Mr Karl, it is true, I once was a senior nurse in Northampton in England for so many years. I was very happy there and my children went to school there and also my husband had a good job just outside of Northampton. But when you told me that here this would happen," she turned around and looked at the buildings with tears in her eyes and a big smile on her face, moved by remembering the many months of hard work that went into getting the project off the ground and onto the market, "...so, when we met in London face to face and you told me about your dream...which by the way should have come on stream long ago...but you know us Africans, we have no idea...so, when you told me about your dream and I felt deep in my heart that I can trust you, you a man that knows how to fight against the odds, that can overcome obstacles over time...and all of them... then I spoke to my family and said to them that I would be so honoured to accept your call and manage this place for you. At first, my family was not happy at all. Especially my children that were all born in England said they would refuse to go back to a country that is so deep down in poverty when they have such a great life in England. But as for me, I knew deep, deep down in my heart that I had to follow your call and come down here, back home again so that the country of Ghana can grow by our examples. My husband, after months of discussions, eventually agreed to come back also, only my kids decided to stay in England but promised me to come for a visit down here as often as possible and for me to spend my holidays mostly over there. So, we in the family found a good solution to all our individual interests and it works out very well, Mr Karl."
"I knew this would happen...when I trust, and you trust...anything is possible and will happen."
"Yes, Mr Karl...when words are spoken and hand get to work...anything is possible," smiled Monica Africa and her tears were dried. She opened the door to House two, a place for twenty apartments, most of them two-bedroom flats. With great satisfaction was Mr Karl able to have a good look around the apartment of Mr and Mrs Sheldon from Manchester, both in their late seventies. The apartment had a little cooker, microwave, washing machine, a bathroom planned for old and disabled people, a balcony and two-room, one used as a spacious living room, while the other one hosted their master and wardrobe. The rooms were decorated with personal memories, pictures, and paintings from home in England.
"Mr Karl...we are so happy here and in fact have no intention to go back to England unless for holidays or birthdays and anniversaries and so on. We are really, really happy and have never regretted so far our decision to come down here," said Mr Sheldon looking over to his wife that give him a thumbs up. They had prepared coffee and cream cake for their guests from Germany they saw as Ghanaian knowing he still would insist on being seen as German.
Mrs Sheldon added her happiness and said: "We are so happy that we do not only have to walk around the place hoping one day death will do as depart from life. " Her husband smiled and looked over the balcony to see the waves of the Gulf of Guinea rushing to the shores of Ghana. "No, here we can do something and find ourselves being still needed and useful."
"What do you mean by that, Mrs Sheldon?" wanted Mr Karl to know ending his cream cake ready for a second helping which Mrs Sheldon was well prepared for. She took his plate and put the second piece of cake for Mr Karl onto it with a side look that told him he should somehow mind his weight while visiting many places around his district.
"Here we have not locked away from society or taken care off too much like infants," started Mrs Sheldon to give her side of the story. "As long as we are still well and active, we can go out down there into our little gardens and grow vegetables and fruits, some of us even have chickens or rabbits down there. One is keeping local birds in a shed and enjoys their singing each and every day. We are part of the community here around us. many of us have children of less privileged families that we have taken as our grandchildren...a sort of. And through our love for the kids, we are part of their families. We see where there is a need and we help the next generations to grow into a good spirit. They see us also deep down in their hearts as family, not as foreigners. When Bill and Robert come to us and we sit down here and have long chat, they both enjoy your stories so, so much. They cannot get enough of our life and what my husband and I went through. They want to know all bits and pieces and we happily share with them what we have experienced in life and how we see this world for that matter. When they sit on the couch over there where my husband and Mrs Afriyie is sitting, they are quiet as a mouse and their eyes and ears are wide open. When I think of them my heart is jumping for joy, so the one of my husbands. And we know that we are in safe hands. The people working here in Sunshine Beach are professionals. most of them have worked anyway in our societies, be it in England, Germany, France, Holland, Denmark, Poland and so many other countries. It feels like a little UNO here," laughed Mrs Sheldon and guided her guest out onto the balcony to enjoy the evening sun about to disappear and be replaced by the moon. "When we should fall sick or later can no longer go out but will depend on other people to serve us more and take good care of us...we know, Mr Karl....here we are truly in very good and trusted hands. No, we do not miss anything. England was our past and we loved it, but here is our future until one day God will decide for us to go and have perfect peace. Until this happens...oh, Mr Karl...life is so good to us. And we know that our pension fund back home is paying for us, so financially we have nothing to worry. It is here like in England for us, safe and sound...but with people around us we feel honestly loved by and that we can give love back to them. Therefore, once again, let me tell you...we both do not regret this decision has come down here and our family back in England is so, so happy for us as they know we are in good hands and that we enjoy life to the fullest in such a great setting. Each day we learn something new which keeps our mind fit, up and running, very important when you grow older and older. Your brain must be constantly challenged...when stopping to see something new...your brain gets messed up and you lose hope and happiness in life. All people in this facility think the same. We are like a universe of nations here...and that feel dam good, Mr Karl."
"I can see there is so much life in you and you are smiling deep out of your heart...that makes me truly humbled and is a great testimony that my work has a meaning for others," greeted Mr Karl the couple while having to rush to his next appointment. George was already nervously waiting.
"I was already worried, Mr Karl," did George start the engine and drove off in a hurry. Even having to be fast highest priority was nevertheless to bring Mr Karl safely to his next appointment. "I called Mr Fred already and told him we might be a bit late. I guess ten or fifteen minutes should be all in the end."
"In Ghana, no Government Official cares about it and informs others of being late coming," laughed Mr Karl.
"You are right, Mr Karl," commented George the driver and stopped the car to let a bike rider pass the street safely, "as we have no respect for other people...no matter the level you are at, no matter your business or political Title, here people live anyhow and go about their business anyhow. But as you folks in Germany have the most respect for each other and know about the importance to observe timing...you behave differently. Here a Minister or President are treated like Gods, something very, very special, even these are only people doing a job, service to our nation, not more, not less...simple. Therefore, they are still normal people that have to behave like normal people...and that means well. So, when they are late, they have to inform people well in advance so that these people can reschedule their day. But here no one cares about such matters of respect anyway...ignorant folks that we are as a people, I am telling you the truth."
"Yes, when someone has become President or Minister, he thinks he is something special...but in fact, he or she is not. They are only the highest servant...let me repeat...servant...of Ghana and have to go about their duties like that. A President is just a President...nothing to worship or hold to higher standards than any honest Ghanaians, any doctor, lawyer, backer, mansion, plumber...people that are honest and go about their professional work each and every day. Your Ghanaian mentality has a serious problem!" said Mr Karl in anger.
"Yes, Mr Karl...we Ghanaians have a long...a very long way to go!"
"Will you ever arrive at your destination?" provoked Mr Karl as they had arrived at the restaurant Fred Blum had opened three months ago, a Jew from Stuttgart, in the South of Germany.
"If we miss our timing...I guess we will miss our target!" prophesied George the driver. "And in that case, we have no right to share tears with the rest of the world that once more goes before and ahead of us!"
"Wise words spoken...of a great man," stepped Mr Karl out of the car and greeted Fred Blum accepting his invitation to a small dinner wanting to present his new restaurant to him.