My Africa Story

I raced to catch the phone before it stopped ringing and caught it on the third ring!

“Will you marry me?” the caller asked.

“Who is this?” I asked laughing. It was such a relief to hear Fred’s voice. He had been gone for four weeks and had planned to be gone for two.

I felt like I had won! Fred had told me 18 months earlier when we had first started dating he would never get married again.

“When?” I asked.

That was in May and he was returning from his first trip from West Africa. He had reconnected with Ade who he had gone to Stanford with in the early 70′s. Ade had told Fred there were nearly new trucks abandoned on the side of the road because they could get replacement batteries.

Always up for a challenge, Fred flew to New York to arrange a meeting with JC Penny to put his private label on truck batteries. He had them ship two car loads to Ghana. He managed to double his investment, but it took twice as long as he anticipated.

On the flight back from West Africa Fred met a man from Boston who invented a solar irrigation panel which was six feet square and unfolded to 6′ x 18′ and would irrigate three square miles in a day. Ghana’s weather pattern has the equivalent of two full harvest seasons.