Just like in my reoccuring dream I found Sandow. He did call me back
in about a week, and our first phone connection was lousy. The noise
on the line made it a challenge to understand everything he said to
me, but one thing was crystal clear, he was as happy to talk to me as I was to
talk to him. One way he expressed this to me was saying, "It is as if my mother
is alive from the dead."
After laughing alot and saying over and over how happy we were, we asked all
the questions like, are you married, do you have kids, what do you do for a living,
I asked him if anyone still
called him Sandow. He laughed and said, "No, people call me S.S. or Sule.
Only one person calls me Sandow." Yes, that's me, and all my family. In
Mampruli the name Sandow means "strange child." Strange as in unknown.
The Mamprusi tribe gives this name to male children until they get their
real name. For some reason, it remained
We promised to send each other pictures, and we both did. It took 12 days for
me to receive his letter and photos. He has gotten
an e-mail address since then and I have sent photos with my e-mails. He goes
to an "Internet Cafe" where someone can work the computer
for him and he can print the letter and photos.
Sitting at his desk, in one of his 10 warehouses, when he was regional stores manager, 1993.
I learned from Sandow that his mother had died
of cancer in 1989 and his father is now 105 years old and the chief of
Jawani, a northern region village. Sandow and my other friends grew up in the
usual Nalerigu family setting which was a compound of round rooms in
a circle with a wall that connected them. Water was carried from the river
and when nighttime came, a fire, a kerosene lantern or the moon was the source
of light. The stars were so bright there.
first phone conversation was wonderful. It wasn't long after talking to Sandow
that I knew I would have to travel to Ghana. This was the time. Sandow has said
to me over and over, "You will love it here."