When he gets to the part about the bags of food and the cans of oil, Thomas Awiapo can make the most stoic American weep. He does this by taking you back 35 years, to the time the United States saved his life in Ghana.
Awiapo was just a boy then, maybe 10 years old. He’s not certain of his age because neither his mother nor father recorded his birth with a local authority, and both his parents died before Awiapo could think to ask them about it.
When you are one of four orphaned brothers facing starvation in a poor village in West Africa, the exact date of your birth is unimportant. Survival is what you worry about. Finding food is what you think about.