Making the Most of Friendships

DSC00727Today I came across an article on Fox News that said the “U.S. life expectancy hits new high” of 78 years.  My great-grandmother was 81 before she died of cancer, and that was about 15 years ago.  It’s possible I may exceed the average life expectancy of our nation.  In my research on malaria, I came across statistics that said the life expectancy here in Ghana is only 60 years of age.  In the past, I acknowledged that data like this was sad, but it was never personal for me.  That day that I came across this information on the internet invoked significant emotions of sadness in me.  My eyes welled up with tears and my heart felt heavy.  I’ve made friends here—Ghanaian friends.  And I thought, I may live to be 75 or 80 years old, but my friend Angie will only live to be 60.  She’ll die 15 to 20 years before me!  Think about it.  This means that I must make the most of my time with Angie and my other Ghanaian friends.

Tywonn

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Making the Most of Friendships

  1. Dan

    Here’s a link that may make you feel a little better.
    http://www.livescience.com/health/090821-human-lifespans.html

    It’s a common misconception that ‘life expectancy’ is the same as life span. Ghana has a comparatively high infant and child mortality rate, which brings down the average. UNICEF gives a value that only 115 children out of every 1000 lives to the age of 5. That’s over 10% and will significantly impact the life expectancy numbers.

    Thankfully, due to the hard work of you and others, those numbers have been improving consistently.

    Keep up the hard work.

    • Tywonn

      Dan, thanks so much for clearing that up for me. I’m ashamed that I didn’t figure that out myself, but I see from your link that many people much smarter than me also misunderstand that statistic. It does give me some comfort. Thanks for looking into that!

      • Dan

        No worries, I had it all wrong too until I read that article. 🙂

        That’s why your work is so important. Preventing malnutrition, helping villagers improve their diet, and checking the kids for worms, all gives those children a better chance of getting through the tough early childhood years. After that, they have much better chances of leading a long healthy life.

        And with some luck you and your friend Angie will still be good friends at the ripe old age of 80.

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