Conversations with Ever-Inquisitive Children

I love the way the mind of a child works – both naturally complex and creative, but uncomplicated. Believe it or not, this conversation about my country and traveling from here to there grew out of a very thoughtful one between me and Grace, age 10, about exchange rates and what money you can use in different countries. She had a ten cedi note in her hand to share with all her nine cousins…

She read off the note: “Bank of Ghana,” and asked, “Madame, do you have Bank of America?”
Me: “Yes, Grace we do. It’s a very big bank. People think they’re mean.”
Grace: “Oh [with a sad face]. So when you go from your country and come to Ghana, you use Bank of America money?”
Me: “No, I have to use Ghana Cedis. My money doesn’t work here.”
Grace: “Oh, Okay. And so if you come from your country, how much America money is this?”
Me: “It’s five American Dollars.”
Grace: “So you get only five big biscuits, but I get ten?”
Me: “No, no. When I come to Ghana, I have to give my five American Dollars, and they give me 10 Ghana cedi back. Then we both can buy ten biscuits.”
Grace: “What if you give them 10 America money?”
Me: “Then they give me 20 Ghana cedi.”
Grace: “What if you give them 500 America?”
Me: “Then they give me one thousand Ghana cedi.”
Grace: “Oh, wow…”

And the conversation immediately following:

Christopher, age 4, in Twi. Grace translating: “Madame, Christopher asks, when you go to your country, will you fly in the sky?”
Me: “Yes, I fly in an airplane.”
Christopher: “Air-o-pin, whoosh.” Hand motion and everything.
Othanel, age 6: “Madame, when you fly do you enter into the moon?”
Grace, after smacking him: “No, no, he means when you fly to your country, do you enter into the sky, into the clouds?”
Me: “Yes, I fly through the clouds, but I’m inside the airplane, so I just see the clouds.”
Grace, in complete shock, earnestly asks: “Oh! Madame, do you see God!?”

Through my laughter, I only could think: “No, my dear Grace, I don’t see God in the clouds on the way back to my country. I see Him here, in all of you.”

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