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Collinsville, Oklahoma and Nalerigu, Ghana, West Africa
From Collinsville To Nalerigu


1967 on a cold sunny day in Collinsville, Oklahoma the Carlin family has no idea of the amazing adventures that lay ahead over the next 3 years.

A very brave decision was made in my childhood. It came out of my Dad's deep desire to be of service. He opened his heart and mind to an extraordinary possibility. The possibility that a Veterinarian, from a small town in Oklahoma, could become a missionary and be of service somewhere in the world—that he would be led to a place and whatever the journey required of him and his family, they could give. My family's missionary journey is an amazing gift I was given as a child. Thanks Dad and Mom.
My story begins here...

Finding My Friend In Africa
My family moved to Ghana, West Africa, in January 1968, when I was eleven. We lived in a missionary compound outside the northern region village, Nalerigu.

It was a fabulous adventure for a farm girl from a small town in Oklahoma. I made some very special friends there.

Me and Sandow sitting on the water tank  next to our house.
Sandow and I are sitting on the underground water tank outside my bedroom window. We pumped water daily, by hand, to another tank on top of the house for our house water.


Most of them were boys about my age, Sandow, Alando, Mahama, Bugiri and his brother Wuni, Dahamani and others, who would come from the village to the missionary's compound to play with my brothers, sister and me.



Sandow and me standing in front of Mom's sewing class in the driveway.
Sandow and I are standing in front of Mom's sewing class. Her students were the families of the tuberculosis and leprosy colonies down the road from our house. These women had never held scissors or a needle and thread. I loved when they came because there was usually someone who would let me hold their baby.


When my homeschool studies were done, Sandow and I sometimes roamed around the missionary compound, walked to the village market or down the dirt road past my house to the dam. We also sat outside and played games like chess, checkers and oware.




Young Sandow
Me happily holding anyones baby
As you can imagine, there are lots of stories I could tell about those 2 1/2 years in Ghana. But of all the places we went and all the things we did, my friends were the best part of Africa for me.



You can take the girl out of Africa...
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