Friday, December 9, 2011

We're In America!

Well... I am sorry I didn't do an update last Sunday, things have been So busy! But Paul and I successfully (thanks to my dear dad) were able to get on our plane (Paul's first of so many new things) and were warmly welcomed by my family in Salt Lake. We are So happy to be home, can't wait to see everyone and are adjusting into the wonders of American life.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Up to Week of November 21

Sorry I didn't write last week, it is dry season here (which means No rain and Endless heat) and surprisingly the internet is not working as well as it did when we had huge rain storms? Surprising I know but this is Ghana. Anyway, biggest announcement yet, we went to the Embassy last Wednesday, we gave them the forms sent by my dear father and... were Approved at last!! They collected Paul's passport and we were given a "Visa Collection Receipt" which is a beautiful little piece of purple paper and are to report back to the embassy on Friday, December 2 (next week) to pick up the visa. Seriously it is unbelievably amazing and we are So grateful and excited! They did say though not to make any travel arrangements until we have the visa in hand so once we leave the embassy on Friday (praying that everything goes to plan) we will go to the airport after and check flights. Paul jokes that I would leave the same day haha which is true but we hopefully will be able to come the next week?! As of right now, it still feels completely surreal and I know that feeling will continue until we are on the plane home. But HALLELUJAH that we are almost there :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week of November 7

I had a great time with the orphanage as always this past week. My nephew, Felix has been coming along with me(he’s my little buddy) and I really love having him and the kids are sweet to him as well. There are even MORE little children that have come to the orphanage, including 4 sisters whose father abandoned them and they are all under the age of 5 and are ADORABLE, just breaks my heart to think of what they’ve already gone through at that age. They are all like identical too so getting their names down has been a challenge but I have finally conquered it. Also, there is a little boy who has been there for a couple weeks and is REALLY misbehaved and rowdy but actually super adorable when he smiles, and I was talking to Emilda (Mama Eugenia’s niece who is like her “right hand woman” and she was telling me that when he came here, he had been beaten so bad by his aunt that he has like gashes in his back so bad that you can’t even touch them. I had no idea to be honest and now am making a doubled over effort to shower that little boy with love. Beatings here in Ghana are maybe the hardest thing for me. It is like such a common practice for them and “part of their culture” as they always say but it is horrendous. I was talking with the kids here at the house about it and they were telling me stories of school. (which I know are true because Paul has so many horrifying stories of being caned as well)
-If they miss a day of school =  lashes
-If they don’t answer the teacher correctly = lashes
-If they don’t have socks on, or the right shoes, or have nail polish on, or aren’t wearing the right uniform, or are dirty = lashes
-If they talk in class = lashes
-If they don’t bring a pencil to class = lashes
 And seriously like a MILLION other things that kids will do, they will be beat and if they even flinch at the pain while the beating is taking place, then they get beat all over again. I only listed what happens in schools as well, it doesn’t even COMPARE to the beatings that occur in the homes (and sometimes on the side of the roads) by children and their parents. I could go on forever about how much I despise it because truly I find it unbearable and feel helpless because it is such a deeply embedded practice here that I don’t know if it will ever change.

Besides that little rant of mine…. Our cat just had kittens (yet again) this morning and the kids are so excited. So far she has only delivered 2 but we are determined that there are more to come because she is enormous. My wonderful friend from Scotland, Marcella (who I met at Eugemot 2 years ago when I was with CCS and she was just visiting the kids on her own) is back again for 2 weeks working her magic with the children as usual. She is an Amazing woman and does so much for the kids and has been doing so for 4 years now. Just yesterday she brought each and every child from the orphanage and the adults to Hohoe to the Geduld Hotel and had like a buffet for them, dancing and music, balloons and fanmilk for all. I was lucky enough to be invited and it was Such a blast and the kids had such a great time, people truly do amazing things here all the time and I am grateful to be around and witness it.  I also met 3 girls from Missouri that were also staying at the hotel, 2 of them are identical twins and one of them is a nurse and reminds me of my dear big sister Jenna and we had a great time chatting/ having girl talk after the party ended. One of them has a stomach problem and has been sick for 5 days with little help from the doctors here in Hohoe (not shocking) so I called Paul’s mom, she told us what medicine to buy and we got it, then we came to my house to give her my Gatorade powder so she could replenish her electrolytes. The kids made us spaghetti and we 4 girls and Paul stayed up late talking and had a great time. Oh and I got my wedding ring back this last week as well, obviously made for us by a different jeweler than before. It is REALLY simple but it finally has been made well, with all the gold intact and the right diamond this time and I really love it. We also hope to get the forms so generously Fedexed from my father by this Wednesday so that we will be ready for the embassy the following week J

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week of October 31

Drumroll..... Well good news from the Embassy is that we were approved :) The bad news is that we had brought in the wrong form for the Affadavit of Support (fault to no one, we were just misinformed) so we were given 3 weeks to get the right form and are to report back on November 23 and if the right form is presented, we should be good to go. I could bore you all with the hairy details of getting into Accra at midnight the night before, going to 4 different hotels before we found one with room (super ghetto), going to the embassy then having Paul go in by himself then me being allowed in an hour later while I stood outside the embassy stressing out of my mind, still waiting 3 hours to be seen, turning in papers and all evidence, Paul getting fingerprinted, then going into the interview with the Ambassador of the embassy. It was a long day and has been a LONG 10 months, but with a big thanks to all the help that we have received, we are finally feeling as if we are coming to the end of this struggle and are preparing for the next struggles (and excitements) that lay ahead.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week of October 24

Well I am very proud of my husband. All I did this week was basically go to the orphanage, which was as fun as ever although Crazy with the 7 new children they have gotten in the last 2 weeks. Plus, a woman I met at Eugemot a couple months ago, coming from England sent six boxes of shoes which I took to the orphanage and handed out to the OVER THE MOON happy kids who now can go to school without getting beat for not having shoes. But back to to why I'm so proud of Paul... he went to Accra twice. The first time he went, the tro tro broke down like 2 hours into the journey and he ended up waiting on the side of the road for hours for another car and then after a while just decided it would be too late by the time he got to Accra so he just had to turn around. Friday though, he had a lot more success, leaving at 4 A.M. and got his police report in the morning :) He has no criminal record haha which we knew already. He then went to the hospital and waited for hours for his report. It's sealed but we assume he's in good health. We also received letters from some of my CCS friends this week that have seen mine and Paul's relationship from the beginning which will be So helpful. We have the affadavit of support (thanks to my dad), wedding cards, letters that I sent Paul while I was in America, a letter from Paul the first time I left Ghana, my journals since the time I've known Paul and lots and lots of pictures. Tomorrow we just have to print off emails that he sent me and also our Google voice phone bill. I am the only person in Hohoe who knows what Halloween is so we are just going to watch Hocus Pocus and make Corn bread with the kids at Paul's house. Then Tuesday, we will make our way to Accra to spend the night and be at the embassy at 7:30 Wednesday morning. We are obviously both So excited but at the same time So nervous for the outcome, and basically all we can do now is pray.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Up until the week of October 17

To say the least... I have slacked in my blog writing and to those (if any) who read I apologize. Three weeks ago, I was hospitalized nearly the entire week with malaria and a bad infection. It was an Experience to say the least with the ants everywhere, sharing a room with 6 other sick women with a single ceiling fan in the center of the room, having my IV "penetrate" whatever that means to the point where all the nurses and students were crowded around me as I threw a tantrum as they pulled it out while Paul just held my hand, to being wheeled around in a wheel chair being to weak to stand with everyone gawking at the lone "white girl" in their hospital. There was some good though... Paul was at my side as long as he could be until the nurses kicked him out, Paul's sweet mom Mary was working most of the time and made sure that I was treated better than royalty, and my cuter than cute friends Abby and Emily (visiting Ghana from Virgina) would come in to visit me and read me Harry Potter until I slept.
After the hospital, I had a few days of serious bed rest (ordered by Paul and his mother) and I felt a lot better. Paul picked up my cousin Ali on Saturday, October 8 in Accra and she stayed for a week and it was Such a great time. We went to the monkey sanctuary, the waterfalls, on a muddy adventure to the river behind Paul's house, she fell in love with Fanice, we went to the orphanage, the kids all fell in love with her and the s'mores she brought, we went to a Very drawn out opening of a school built by a German couple and the "king" of Hohoe, and basically just had a lot of great bonding-family time. Oh and I do want to mention as well that Paul (after spending a night in Accra and getting to the hospital at 4 am the next day to wait in line all day) got all his immunizations, and exams required from the embassy and his results will be ready in time for our interview on November 2.
 Then on Thursday, (with Ali being my vomit assistant the whole way) we (Paul, Ali and I) went to pick up my best friend Kylee at the airport who we were So excited to see after she'd had a hard time getting all her visa stuff together. We went from the airport on to Cape Coast, it happened to be my birthday and Ky had brought with her cards from home, the most amazingly thoughtful video birthday present and Ali had brought me a magazine, a flashlight (very handy), and a peanut butter chocolate cookie that we put in the middle of our dinner table and I had Happy Birthday sung to me :) Nothing like home, but still wonderful with my sweet husband, best friend and dear cousin. The next day we went to Kakum National Park where Ali and Ky did the canopy walk (haha with apparently some assistance from Ghanaian girls) and then we went to the castle which is always interesting and haunting at the same time. From there we went on to Kokrobite to spend the night watching cultural dancing and then the next day just relaxing in the sunshine and us girls doing a bit of shopping. It was wonderful but bittersweet because from there we came to Accra to ride into Hohoe for the start of the adventure with Ky but then also had to say goodbye to Ali, I really did love having her here.
I had a great week with Ky, we had a lot of girl talk, went to the waterfalls, did some good shopping (thanks to my parents for the birthday money), found ourselves some "americanish" pizza and went to lunch twice (almost felt like home), gave all the great stuff that Jenna and her young women had sent to Eric, Confi, Felix, Vera and Sika plus Paul's mom and little brother (Which really quickly do have to say that Paul's mom figuring out what floss was, may be one of the highlights of my life), gave the rest of the hygiene kits to the orphanage (Mama Eugenia was thrilled), got all the food sent by my dear mother, did glow sticks with the kids (Paul was fascinated), lit of sparklers when the power went off, watched my birthday video from home over and over again and I cried, and just honestly had a grand old time. Paul this week too went into Accra and filled out his form to request his police report for the embassy requirement which also should be done this coming week. Been a whirlwind for the last couple of weeks and I'm tired yet very, satisfyingly happy. Please Please keep us in your prayers this coming week as we get the final preparations for the embassy ready.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Week of September 26

We are definitely being watched over.... We went to the embassy on Wednesday and after a bit of a wait, we were able to meet with a woman at "the window" in the consular section. She told us that we were going to be given an appointment package which had all the information we would need to know what we needed to do to prepare for our interview but then she regrettably told us that the next appointment they had was not until February 2 which is 4 months away and however much I love Ghana, Paul and I really are both so ready to get to the US and get going on our lives. Paul being good natured as he is just said okay and thank you. However me being who I am, burst into tears and told the woman that I really want to get home but won't leave without Paul. She looked genuinely concerned and told us to sit down again and she would see what she could do. She then called us up again and informed us that she found us an earlier appointment for November 2 :) Which is exactly a month away today!  I say this all the time, but we really are so blessed. So we thanked her profusely and then were given our appointment package so basically we have one month to get Everything ready to prove that we really are a "valid" couple. It won't be too difficult we hope but please keep us in your prayers.

Other than that, I have malaria which is so weird because it's not like it's a contagious thing. But we traveled this last week to Accra and then went to our beach Kokrobite with our friends Abby and Emily for a couple of days and I must have gotten bit there. It really is the most miserable feeling in the world and I'm so grateful we don't have it in the US but I'm here and suffering haha. Paul's mom though is doing her best of making me eat everything possible too because the medicine like rocks your system and seriously does like make you more sick at first. Also, earlier this week I went with my friends Abby and Emily to Suzzy Mother Care (the school that I taught at for like a month when I first came to Ghana) and some of the kids recognized me and it was really great. Suzzy Mother Care is the school that Abby was placed at when we came with CCS so they are to her like Eugemot is to me and the kids there love her. She brought them all these art supplies which is really so great. Paul too has been taking like computer programming classes and once he's finished will work for the man that teaches them, which is really great. The days really are flying by now and Paul and I both can't wait for my cousin Ali to arrive on Saturday and my best friend Kylee to come the following Monday :) Life is good

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week Of September 19

     We have been blessed yet again this week. We got an email from the Embassy saying that we were to come on October 12 at 7:30 am to pick up an "appointment package" with instructions of what to do to proceed further with this visa process, we were excited to hear anything at all even though it was about 3 weeks away. Then however the next morning we got a call saying that instead they want us to come September 28 (this coming wednesday) at 2 pm to pick up the appointment package. I can't wait to get it and figure out what we are dealing with next. It's almost like a game or something except it's really not that fun because the longer it takes, the longer we are stuck here and I'm away from everything haha. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy things here though.
     My friend Abby and her cute friend Emily are now here and we have had a lot of fun this week with girls nights watching Baby Mama or 13 going on 30 and eating the candy that they brought haha it's so part of the American culture. We had Paul try twizzlers and he told them that he liked them but then on our way home he was like, "I really don't like sweet that much." Haha he's so cute. He has malaria though right now and I know that he's Really sick because he NEVER will take medicine or tell his mom that he is sick but he was actually the one to report to his mom of his symptoms and I haven't had to force feed him to take his pills either. Tonight is his last night though of pills and we are hoping that it is gone. Malaria though is a wicked disease. Hopefully we will have good news next week to report from the embassy :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Week Of September 12

This week we got possibly the biggest news so far… The I-130 petition was approved from the USCIS office in the Accra Embassy which means that we only have one step left to go before the visa is issued. It is Such a miracle because we weren’t even supposed to hear anything back until October 8. It has now been sent on to the consular section within the embassy and they are the ones that issue the visa so it’s really just left with them. I emailed them to find out what we need to do next but still haven’t heard back yet but hopefully when I do we will get more of a time table on how much longer it is going to be, and what we need to do in the mean time. So exciting  though!!

Other than that, I slept at the orphanage Friday night, which I haven’t done since last year and it was so great. We watched movies, had bible study (which Mama Eugenia led with all the kids and it was really great), played cards and then the next day we played kick the can, told stories, went to the river, and I watched the cards played football. At one point in the day too I was exhausted from lack of sleep (we stayed up late talking and then the bugs attacked all through the night) so I laid down and like five of the kids fanned me which was great. Mama Eugenia too earlier in the week sat me down and told me how they really regard me as part of the family and I really do feel it when I go there, I love all of them so much.

To add to the list of interesting things that I hear here… and I don’t know either if this has been heard in the US but in Ghana there is this HUGE thing going around about Michael Jackson. The story goes that a woman here died, and was taken to heaven first but then requested to see who was in hell or something like that so she was taken down and saw Michael Jackson and Pope John Paul being tortured in a hole in hell. Michael Jackson then told her that his music he created was a sin and that every time that someone on earth plays it, they torture him more. Anyways, one of Paul’s mom’s pastors came by this last week and I guess preached to the family (I wasn’t home) about the importance of not listening to Michael Jackson or dancing like him. I was whistling his song, “I will be there” and got some dirty looks from my nephew haha.

Anyways, my friend Abby (who I met while volunteering with CCS) and who came back last year when I was in Ghana as well, gets in today and I am so excited. She will be here with one of her friends for a month so it should be a lot of fun. We also found out too that the reason they are doing “light off” so much is because they are installing prepaid electricity in every building. Apparently, it has been in place for 2 years but is only now reaching Hohoe so once it is installed to get electricity we will have to go to the office and buy a card for however much electricity we’ll need and then once it’s out of money, we will have to go back again and buy it. Supposedly it is just a way for the electricity company to make more money because they “credit” that you buy runs out really quickly so Paul’s mom is worried. And last but certainly not least, 2 years ago tomorrow I met Paul at Kokrobite. I can’t believe how my life has changed since then and how Heavenly Father truly does have a plan for us. I am so grateful for my husband, he is my best friend, my teacher and the love of my life. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week of September 5

       This week I had a lot of fun at the orphanage. I have been scared to bring my laptop there but I should have known better than to worry because the kids are Always so respectful and careful of things. We took funny pictures with the effects on my computer and the kids were laughing So hard. We watched the Mask of Zorro and about 30 of them were all huddled around my stacked up on chairs and benches trying to see. We played Steal the Flag, which I taught them last year but hadn't played it yet this year and it was So much fun. To get the babies to stop crying too, we had races and Prosper was the all time champ after Luke fell on his face about every 5 steps. And of course, we have been playing a Lot of card games.
        I was really proud of Hohoe's electricity for about a month because they hadn't turned off the power, now however it is "Light off" everyday. They are like fixing something in town with street lights or something and seriously at least 5 times a day the power will go off, come on for about 20 minutes (if we are lucky) and then go back off again. And this heat with no fan can be killer, I take cold showers though in the middle of the day which does help to cool me off. And to add to the luxury of it all, the cockroaches are in full attack lately and are EVERYWHERE. Finally, even Paul had had enough and went to work spraying them all with insecticide. He seriously probably got rid of about 200 and they are still somehow everywhere. It will be really nice once the "family" house that Paul's dad is building is finished, we went and saw it yesterday and the piping is in which is definitely progress.
        Anyway, Paul took me to dinner on Friday night which was Really nice, especially because he took me to a place where I could get pizza. It definitely wasn't the same haha but was close enough and I enjoyed it :) Paul wouldn't even try it though. I think he wants to eat as Much Ghanaian food as possible while he can. We heard back from our friend in the government as well this week. The embassy here informed her that our petition was under review (which is a good sign) and that before the 60 days is up, which is October 8, we would be informed of a decision.
       Paul's dad came this weekend bearing gifts as always and gave me a whole fridge full of fruits, including watermelon :) Which of all fruits, reminds me the most of home. He also sent a package for me during the week with various things including chocolate bars and obviously there was nothing to do but put the chocolate to use so yesterday, while Paul and his friends watched the Arsenal v. Swamsea match, Confi and I made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip bars which was wonderful. And Really, despite the obvious contrasts from what I am used to... Ghana is my home now :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week Of August 29

     I can't believe it but as of Monday, it has now been 2 years since I stepped foot in Ghana to volunteer with CCS. It is crazy to look back and think of how much my life has changed since then. I NEVER imagined I would end up marrying and living here but I know I am where I am supposed to be and I'm so grateful for all the blessings I have in my life.
     This week has been great. Although I love Ghanaian food with it's fufu, banku, endless amounts of rice, yam, groundnut soup, palmnut soup, light soup, and stew... I find that I am missing American food lately. Paul's mom has been doing her best to accommodate me and on Monday we found noodles similar to Top Ramen so I was put in charge of dinner for the family for the first time and added tomatoes, cabbage and carrots to the noodles, Paul's mom then added Cow and an unknown animal's meat (possibly antelope) and a lot of spices and called it good enough to serve. Paul's family liked it okay but I was thrilled and even saved leftovers (in a covered bowl so no cockroaches or ants could get inside) and ate it again the next day. Haha it really is the little things sometimes.
    Also this week, I was able to do another task for Della, my friends business that is run out of Hohoe and am happy to feel that I can atleast be of some service to her, she really is such a success. Paul also refixed the car yet again this week and it is now in complete working condition and is definitely on it's way out of our life forever. Paul's dad came this weekend (he has been travelling for a while) and I was able to speak with him finally about getting a job teaching. School resumes in 2 weeks and I am hoping to teach any grades K-3. He is the Regional Accountant for Education and so it shouldn't be a problem I hope... Well that's about all, until next week :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Up to the week of August 22

Well last week I didn't write because I had written A lot the week before and also because I have been so sick that I really didn't have a whole lot to report. However, because I was so sick, my sweet husband stayed home to take care of me which I'm sorry to say resulted in his getting "let go" from his new job. It was disappointing but really, he was going to have to work 12 hours a day for about the equivalent of 50 U.S. in a whole month so... it is what it is.
I finally felt good enough on Wednesday to be able to go to the orphanage and it was Great to be back there. Eugemot really is like a whole family to me there, and I love them so much. There was some tragedy however that happened. One of the men who works there, who is also a nephew to the woman who runs the orphanage died this last week. Apparently he was intoxicated and mistakenly drunk a weed killer. It's really sad not only because he did a lot for the orphanage, but also because he was one of the only male role models the kids had and they truly are sad about his passing. They however credit his passing to Black Magic and are sure that the witches want their down fall. Another hard thing, a little boy there whose name happens to be Paul has some sort of an infection where he gets wounds in his legs. When I came with CCS, I was able to clean and cover his wounds everyday to the point where they healed. Now however they are back and worse than ever. He was afraid to show Mama Eugenia (the woman who owns it) so she is very upset and they are now worse than ever. When I was there he was screaming and she was beating him with a metal rod while they were also pouring hydrogen peroxide on his tennis ball size wounds, it was unbearable. I went back yesterday though and he was smiling and playing cards. It just goes to show you the amount of bravery and long suffering that these children have and I am never endingly amazed by them.
Other than that, the jeweler said that he has 2/3 of the money for us for the ring and will "soon" get the rest so he better. A man came Friday saying he want sto buy the car so we will see how this next week pans out with that. We haven't heard from the embassy yet either but the wonderfully helpful woman we are working with in the government contacted them this week and we will hopefully be getting a response within the coming week as well. Really we are just in a waiting game right now and I'm really ready for it to end haha and we have faith that it will. All the prayers we can get are more than welcome :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Week of August 8

       As of Tuesday August 9, we officially are filed with the USCIS office within the US Embassy, Accra :) Knowing how things go here, it is not surprising that it was a day later than planned. We left Hohoe at 3 am on Monday morning, giving us what we thought would be an ample amount of time to make the 4 hour drive to Accra, change money, pick up my passport with the Resident Permit inside, and then be at our appointment at 2 pm. When we got to the Ghanaian Immigration Service however, the officer who had been handling the issuing of the Resident Permit informed us that it was ready, as he'd promised BUT (of course there was a but) my passport was in a locked drawer and the key was with the director who was in a meeting which wouldn't end until 5.... No Joke. Like logically why the officer hadn't gotten the passport out of the drawer before the meeting started, knowing that we were coming? Or why they couldn't interrupt the meeting for a second to get the key after we'd waited 2 months? Anyways, long story short, we ended up sitting there until 1:45 waiting for the meeting to go on break or something finally rushing off to the embassy with nothing except a promise from the officer to try and bring a paper to us at the embassy saying that the resident permit was ready but that the passport couldn't be released until the following day which I told him would be Worthless because the whole point of getting the interview was Because we were "ready" with the resident permit. And as I predicted the woman at the office kindly informed us that there was nothing she could do until we had the passport in hand. I kept under control and then broke into tears as soon as we got out of the building. Paul thought fast and called the GIS officer who told him that he had somehow miraculously gotten the passport and was bringing it to us. We were thrilled because we thought we could still make it back into the Embassy to patch up our botched appointment. Of course though, the officer took over an hour to get to us and by the time we went back, it was too late. We did have the passport with the resident permit (which I couldn't believe is only just a tiny stamp on one of the pages after all we'd gone through for it) so we called the Embassy and luck was with it that they had another appointment open at 2 pm the following day. We went to Paul's brother Richard's house in Accra and crashed with fatigue/frustration until the next morning where we got up and were at the embassy by 10:30 am just to insure there would be No chance of any problems. Once we got in to the embassy, we showed my passport, paid the filing fee (thanks dad), submitted all the required forms including our wedding photos, were asked a couple questions, and then were informed that within 60 days we would be notified of the decision. Paul and I were both So relieved walking out of there it was like a huge weight was lifted and all we can do now is hope and pray that we will be approved :)
       Not to go on Forever but other good news from out here is that Paul also got a job the day after we got back from Accra. He woke up on Wednesday determined and came home singing and danced me all over the house, surprised me with a soymilk (my favorite) and told me that he was hired as a salesman at a store. I am really happy about it and proud of him, I feel like we are Finally seeing progress and I couldn't be more pleased. I have realized too this week that although I Love the orphanage with all my heart, that there are other kids even just around where Paul lives that are in a Worse condition than my orphans in many ways. There are these 3 little kids (siblings with 2 boys and one girl) who are always hanging around the neighborhood in rags who don't go to school, are obviously malnourished, and the oldest boy has huge boils all over his head. Well this past week, I was on the porch walking Planet Earth with my nieces and nephews and some kids that live around when these 3 siblings came over. All the other kids were laughing at the oldest boy because he had a huge hole in his pants all the way through to his underwear. I told all the kids to stop and had Confi and Felix give them each an article of clothing that my mom had sent them, the kids faces lit up and they have been wearing the clothes every day since.   I know that there is Definitely a purpose for the way things have worked out to keep us here so long and know that God has a plan for us, and just have to trust in that with all my heart. And after this last week haha I thought of a quote given to me by my dear little sister Sarah who said, "Popsicles my melt, the sun may go down, but that's when you look at the person next to you and smile." Haha and really it's true, I have Paul forever and together we can get through anything.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Week of August 1

The biggest news of the week, well even of the last seven months came finally came! J My resident permit is ready which means that we can finally apply to the U.S. Embassy and get this process actually going! The four months that were wasted thinking that “the Colonel” was handling everything are in the past. Once we got the news, I contacted the USCIS Office within the U.S. Embassy and we were then informed that we had an appointment Monday, August 8…. Tomorrow! We have been running around the last couple days in Hohoe getting all the requirements done for the petition that we are filing. It took 4 visits to 2 different internet cafes, a trip to the bank, and tonight we are meeting with the court magistrate to be their version of a notary to stamp a sworn affidavit that our marriage is real. Paul just keeps saying, “the U.S. does not mess around!” We are leaving at 2 A.M. tomorrow morning to take the four hour drive to Accra, going to the Ghana Immigration Services to pick up the Resident Permit, finding a forex bureau to change money and then heading to the Embassy for our interview at 2 p.m. and I just pray that all goes to plan (for once).
Other than that, this last week was sad because my friends Tina and Chelsea left back to California. It always makes me feel a stab of homesickness when people here pack up and head to the airport haha just because sometimes it feels like I’m never getting there. I really miss them though and I loved having them here. I am now friendless again which hasn’t happened for over 3 months now so it’s different. Paul and I have been watching the series Planet Earth though this last week which we are like addicted to. It’s been like “cold” here for Ghana this last week too, causing us to put our fan to the lowest setting (never happened before) and only really having it on to keep away the mosquitoes.
             I have mentioned this before as well but Black Magic is a huge belief here, and this week a pastor came with us to pray for the family and talked A Lot about Juju and the evils of the spiritual world. He told us that his dad had been a fetish priest and he’d witnessed his dad performing all the evils that could be practiced. On top of voodoo dolls being used, he said that people would come to his dad to have him call up their enemies’ reflection in a mirror, and then he would stab the mirror with a knife and blood would rush from it and the person, being miles away would feel the “spiritual stab” and would die. He did say though that if the person who he was trying to kill was strong in the Lord, then when he called them to the mirror, instead of their reflection showing, fire would appear and no harm could come to him.  Which he said, is the reason why Africans are so religious. He did a few other things that I had never witnessed before and it was one of those experiences that made me stop and think, “wow I really am living in Africa.” Hopefully next week, I will have good news to report on the visa proceedings, until then please keep us in your prayers J

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week of July 25

This week has been a real week of growth and reflecting. That’s the great thing about being on “Ghana” time is that there is like No Where that I Have to be, and although it’s different from the fast paced, productivity that I’ve lived with, it does have it’s advantages. I have realized that life truly is a never-ending journey to better myself, and that even if I am striving diligently to be what my Heavenly Father wants me to be, I may fall short but that’s when it’s time to re-evaluate, make a new game plan and move forward in faith. I am So lucky to have an eternal companion who is helping me to push myself to obtain a better grasp of patience, compassion, understanding and above all focusing on the positives that life has to offer.
My dear friend Beth left this week after being here for 3 months and I will really miss her. Hopefully one day, Paul and I will be able to visit her in England. Plus she is going to come back here in December haha and odds are we might still be here even though we are hoping for the best with this wondrous visa process. One of Tina’s interns Jenna left this week, and Tina and Chelsea leave Wednesday so pretty soon it’ll just be me again, the lone yevue.
Paul and I were able to go to church today, even though he has malaria and spent all yesterday chopping down “the bush” (as he called it) with his dad for farming in the village, he was a trooper and we made the journey to Ho. Today too, the missionaries were in charge of sacrament, and they brought such a great spirit into the meeting, it was wonderful. On the way home though, the tro tro in front of us hit a goat and I just have to say that I know Heavenly Father is watching over us as we drive, because honestly the roads here are like a death trap full of people, bikes, animals,  and potholes with No road signs, No speed limit, the occasional dotted line and endless amounts of people trying to pass eachother within inches of oncoming cars. We are safe though, relatively healthy and happy and for now, that is good enough J

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week Of July 18

   This week may qualify for the busiest week So far in Ghana maybe minus the time that my Mom and sister were in town. My friend Tina is in town doing business and she is definitely not on “Ghana Time.” I have been with her and her two friends Jenna and Chelsea everyday this week to help them along with everything that they’ve needed to do. Tina seriously amazes me with all she’s accomplished since I met her 2 years ago with CCS and her business really is amazing, especially really being able to understand how things work (really don’t work) here. When I have not been with her running around Hohoe finding fabric, meeting with seamstresses, or at Della headquarters watching her oversee everything, I have tried to spend time with the orphanage. I taught class 2 one day as well just because I’d wanted to and I truly loved it. They are now taking exams and will go on vacation until September, but when school resumes, I am Most definitely going to start teaching again.
      My dear friend Beth’s Mom came into Ghana this week and I loved being around a mom/daughter combo, even though I dearly love Paul’s mom, there is nothing like your own mother and I miss mine along with my entire family terribly but not wanting to delve into that, back to Beth and her mom. Beth’s mom came with us to the orphanage for a couple days and on her last night in Hohoe, they ate dinner at our house and Paul’s mom made some delicious groundnut soup and omutuo, which was really nice.
      Oh and rather frustrating news, but not totally surprising is that my ring truly was not restored to it’s original state when the jeweler “fixed” it. Tina has a jeweler friend in town and I decided to ask him if the other jeweler had ripped us off and after testing it, he said that the gold was real but that it wasn’t up to the carats that it should be and that the diamonds were cubic zirconiums. The thing is, is that honestly when the jeweler gave me my ring back, I had this feeling that it wasn’t right still and it was so light. Long story short, Paul was furious and reasoned (calmer than I would have) with the dishonest jeweler who has promised to give us the money it will cost for the new jeweler to remold a ring with real diamonds, and enough gold by the end of the month or else we will be reporting him to the police.
     Paul drove some German volunteers up to the north this week as well, which he felt great about doing some work to get paid and the car ran wonderfully, which is a small miracle haha. It is just left for us to get the door handle refixed on the side and then it will be parked and sold. They guy who broke the door handle paid for us to buy a new one, but after sending a mechanic to wade through the auto parts market in Accra twice, we still have not quite had success but hopefully this week.
     We made progress in the resident permit this week haha well Ghanaian progress in the fact that we obtained the GIS officer who has been working on our cases’s number and he said as of Friday, that our file had been moved from the head commander’s office to another office which means that it must have been signed and they are just waiting on one last thing, whatever that is.
     The kids at our house are getting to be pros at banana bread and today Confi and Felix made it all on their own with the mix. Paul’s mom loves it and continues to happily supply bananas haha. Paul’s dad this weekend brought home a bush animal that looks like a mix of armadillo/snake/rat that Paul roasted today to be eaten tonight…. It is Freaky looking and the kids played a prank on me with it and thought it was So funny. I really feel like I’m getting more and more adjusted to really wrapping my head around the fact that this really is my reality, and although TOTALLY different than anything I’ve ever known before, I’m Happy J

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week Of July 11

     I didn't write yesterday because we were on our way back from Cape Coast with my friend Tina and her friends Jenna, Chelsea, and of course Nii. I had spent the week with her sorting and organizing (my favorite thing) fabrics for her amazing business and so as a thank you, she took Paul and I along on their weekend trip. Although it was just a 2 day/one night trip, it was exactly what we needed. We stayed at One Africa, which was right on the beach and spent a morning of just relaxing in the hammocks, listening to the waves crashing. We went through Cape Coast Castle, which I have been through before but everytime I go, I am just horrified of the past and it really brings all the history of the slave trade literally to life, you can feel the awful things that were done there. We also went to Kakum National Park to the canopy walk but Paul and i had done it before and jsut relaxed at the bottom playing cards. It was So nice to travel with our friends and we are happy to be safely back in Hohoe after the 8 hour drive.
     Tina also brought a package from my mom from the states and we really enjoyed it this last week, watching the movies she sent, lighting off the sparklers with the kids (they were amazed) and I am So happy to have the tae-bo videos especially to have the added entertainment of watching Paul try to do them haha. She also sent some muffin mixes which the kids and I combined with our already great love for banana bread making and it was quite a masterpiece. We had ridiculous frustrations with the car, the bike and the resident permit but are hoping for the best in the coming week. I Truly love my husband though and am grateful to be learning so much on this journey through life.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Week Of July 4

            This week we obviously had no 4th of July celebrations, their indepence day is March 6 but my sweet mom did send me a wonderful package including sparklers which we will be lighting off tonight with the kids. This week was great though, I had a lot of fun at the orphanage, I go everyday after they close from school with my really good friend Beth and I absolutely love it there. On Wednesday, we made banana bread and brought it to the orphanage for the kids to try (they had Never had anything like it) and they Loved it!! We left some of it in the office for some of the kids that hadn’t had any yet and the ants SWARMED it, haha however that didn’t stop the kids finishing the rest of it off. Also, the kids at Paul’s house were playing hopscotch (drawing it in the dirt and using rocks) and so I taught the kids at Eugemot it as well and they Really enjoy it!
            Poor Paul has had a hard week. He found a good spot to park the car, and left the man the keys. Well apparently some guy wanted to come look at it and got a little forceful and the door handle got ripped off. Luckily, we don’t have to pay for it, but here we are yet again, having to take it to the mechanic instead of having it parked for sale. As for the bike, after he paid the 30 cedi last week, one of the officers took it to his house (who knows why) so Paul went there everyday trying to get it but the officer said he wouldn’t bring it to the station so Paul would need to come to his house to get it. So Thursday, Paul went to his house and the officer refused to hand it over until Paul paid him some money (so typical) so when Paul refused to do so, the officer lost his temper and he and Paul got in a fight, which ended in the officer’s wife coming out and beating Paul with a banku stick haha I shouldn’t have laughed but when he told me that part I couldn’t help myself. I guess the neighbors came over though and so the officer stopped, not wanting to be reporting. Paul came home with a bloody knee, covered in dirt and was sore for a couple days. Oh Ghana, why is everything such a struggle?
            My friend Tina and 2 of her friends came in yesterday and will be staying for a month and I am So excited to have her. She is the one that has the really successful business out of Hohoe, and I hopefully will get to be helping her out with that, she’s Amazing at what she does. 
            It has now been exactly 6 months to the day since I have been here. I can’t believe how fast time has gone but then yet how long it seems I have been away from home. I definitely see things differently than I used to see them and I have been made overwhelmingly grateful for all the wonderful things that I have been blessed with in my life. People here literally have nothing but yet find joy in the simple things. Things that at first seemed so strange to me, are now coming to be second nature. Sometimes I feel Worlds away from home, and then other times, I feel the love and support literally around me and for that I am truly grateful.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Week of June 27

Oh Ghana… This week Paul and I were very excited to finally have the car in a good enough condition to be able to put it for sale. Paul went around Hohoe for over 5 hours asking people if he could park the car on their land, and finally found a man who was willing to let him park it without having to pay anything. He asked Paul to give him the keys so that just in case anyone wanted to look inside, he could easily show them. (We should have known better than to think that Anyone can be trusted here) Long story short, the man ended up taking our car for a thrill ride and a pick up ran into him. Not joking…. so Paul spent the next couple days re-spraying it for the third time but luckily we didn’t have to pay anything.
I had to visit the Hohoe Hospital this week after having a Serious infection that would not go away, which could have been a Nightmare because the usually wait time is like a week of waiting in the heat with no one having an appointment, and no one knowing where to find the doctor. However, Paul’s mom is a nurse there so was able to short cut us through everything and I was able to get examined, get medicine and be on my way in only 3 hours.  After 3 days of rather creative meds, I am completely cured J
Through dealing with the car, Paul has had to go to the police station a few times and decided to chance a go with getting my bike back from them. They told him that because he quit coming everyday to get it, and hadn’t returned for a couple months, he needed to pay a penalty. SO RIDICULOUS! He gave them 30 cedi though grudgingly and they promised that they would deliver the bike to us? Umm.. Ya not shocking but we haven’t seen the bike and when Paul went back to the police yesterday, the officer on the case was “off duty.”
And my resident permit is still not done, it has been 3 weeks and they told us it would be done within a week. They are now saying that to get a resident permit, I would have to have lived in the country for 2 years? So why would they have not told us before we spent the 800 cedi? Because this is Ghana. But they then said that they were still going to get it done and it would be done by the end of this next week. I personally believe that they are just waiting for a bribe.
I did have a Lot of fun though with the kids that stay at Paul’s house this last week even with my infection. Their cat had 4 kittens and hid them under the fridge, but the kids have now pulled them out and made a house for them out of a cardboard box haha they are much more rough with animals here and even tied the kittens legs all today, kind of sad. We have been working on brushing teeth too haha because Felix (9 years old) and Confi (11 years old) apparently have not brushed their teeth for a year and so we have “supervised pasting time.” They handmade their own slingshots and Eric (13 years old) shot a bird which Paul had him roast and ate it. The kids at Eugemot are as wonderful as ever as well, Doreen, Jane and Patience painted their faces white and it was Hilarious. Also, Francis (one of the smartest little boys I’ve ever met) came back from school to the orphanage and it was So fun to have him back to play some basketball and card games. I have also been helping Mary (Paul’s mom) cook dinner at night and I’m getting a lot better at making Ghanaian food, although I refuse to touch the whole crabs, whole fish, or grasscutter that they put in the food. I’ve said this before, but everyday is truly an adventure.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week Of June 20

This weekend was Amazing! We had Katie Pendleton (one of my friends from back home) who is volunteering in the Eastern Region at a Deaf School come to visit with 2 friends that she volunteers with named Britteny and Shayla. It was So wonderful to have them, and it made me feel like I was a lot closer to home! On Friday we went to the School for the Deaf in Hohoe and the kids there were so excited to sign with them, and Paul and I loved watching it, it is So amazing that people truly can communicate in that way. Saturday, we took them to Wli Waterfalls, my orphanage so they could play with the kids for a bit, and then the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary and the monkeys were more hungry for the bananas then I have ever seen going there and were jumping all over them, it was great! That night we made banana bread and it was a delicious success and then they taught me a new card game which was So fun. Sunday we were able to make it to church in Ho (they are all LDS) and it felt so great to be at church, the topic in every lesson was Exactly what I needed to hear. Then we said goodbye to them at the trotro station :( And I really will Miss them, I hate saying goodbye to Everyone but I've just learned that's kind of just life here with the situation we are in.
Paul's brother went to the immigration office and they said that Monday (June 27) they will be giving him my resident permit, which would be Fabulous if it really happened! Also, we had more bad luck with the car this week (seems endless) but Paul was driving the car to pick up tape to put up the For Sale sign and a taxi ran into him so the rest of the week he was hassling with the police, the mechanics, and the sprayer but finally on Friday it was restored to it's right condition. We seriously just need to be rid of it! Oh and big news :) My ring is Finally finished and all the right diamonds are on it and there is no gold missing. The design is way is different than my original ring but honestly Paul and I are just grateful to have it all back! Also, I visited CCS this last week and was able to spend a while talking with Christine, Atsu, George and of course Alfa, it is so crazy to go back there to where it all started, Good Memories! Other than that though, the week was pretty routine just going to the orphanage at 2 everyday with my adorable friend Beth and having a blast with the kids. I love my life and I'm So grateful for all my blessings I've been given, and all the support I feel from home. I know that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Week of June 13

Since last week’s blog was FOREVER long, and we are now more limited on internet, I will just make this Super brief! I still have one friend left here from the UK named Beth and this week we made some Delicious banana bread, which no one has ever tried anything like it here and Paul’s family Loved it. She and I have also been having a Blast with the kids at the orphanage this last week, bless their little hearts. We didn’t hear any news on the resident permit, but we are hoping to have it by this coming week. The jeweler said he would bring the ring by on Friday night (he of course didn’t) but Saturday when we visited, he assured us that it “I Beg” it will be done by Monday night and he would bring it over, we shall see. The Honda is finally sprayed, the starter is fixed and we now have it up for sale. We want to get rid of it so that Paul can just get an ordinary job and stop hassling everyday with it, and we can get back (hopefully) most of the money that we have spent. Paul’s dad said too that I could get a job once I get my resident permit which will be So nice for me to be busy working in the mornings and then still being able to volunteer in the afternoons. Paul and I also lately have really been getting into playing "Kings In the Corner," our favorite card game which we play for the stakes of loser buys the other juice (for Paul) or soymilk. (for me)  Everyday, we just do the best we can and as we used to have on our quote board at CCS “T.I.A. Expect the Unexpected.”

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Week of June 6

This week, the phrase “This is Africa” truly was reiterated over and over again. The first couple days were spent with my friends and I with 4 of the orphans at the hospital trying to get them seen by an Actual doctor to treat two herniated Belly buttons, and a heart murmur. After a total of 11 hours spent there, getting yelled at by other waiting Ghanaians, and having a medical officer have No idea what we were talking about, we admitted the utter failure and realized that next time, we will be taking them to Accra, the big city to hopefully get help there.
Paul and I then spent the next 3 days fussing with this whole visa mess. We got up early and took the 4 hour tro tro ride on Wednesday to the Ghanaian Immigration Service in Accra, only to find out that the documents weren’t prepared for us yet so we would need to come back the next day. Well we didn’t have money to stay the night in Accra, so we had to trotro ride back to Hohoe that same night. Then Thursday morning we got up and took the most wretched trotro I’ve ever rode in, but made it safely to Accra. We filled out the forms, and Paul’s older brother Richard came to bring us the money to pay. For me to obtain a resident permit, they require my spouse (Paul) to own land? and have tax slips? haha which is So crazy because NO ONE would have that. So we ended up having to pay for not having those so the total fee was 800 cedis. (including the bribes for the missing information) Paul’s dad had sent Richard a check but the bank couldn’t cash checks that day (typical) so Richard paid for us from his pocket (so generous) and is also the Guarantor for us. Then the officers told us we would have to be coming back the next day for the final signing…. So we slept at Paul’s brothers house that night and then went (unshowered) back to the office Friday. The officers we had paid had forged like a whole file of land that Paul supposedly owned with like signatures, and stamped seals and even a blueprint of the house that was on the land haha I had Never seen anything like it. Paul just said, “It’s how things are done here.” We went up to the main office, and after being drilled with questions by the Head Commander, we were able to have the final signing and officially were accepted for our application of the resident permit. They said it would be finished in 2 weeks, and then from there we will be able to take that and file for the spousal visa with the USCIS office. After going through all that, we just marveled at the fact that the Colonel could really have fooled us that he could be “processing” anything for us… Like there is No way!
 I haven’t really mentioned this in earlier posts, but Paul gave me the most beautiful ring on the day that we were married. Both of our rings were melted from the same gold, and mine had 3 beautiful diamonds on it, the one in the center was from Paul’s mom and it was the biggest and it was square. There was a slight discoloration on one of the holders for the diamond though, so the jeweler that made it said that he could take it and remold the holder so that it fit well. Seems simple, right? Well, all the way back in February, he took the ring and removed the holder needed to be fixed, which would have been great except that he didn’t have enough gold at the time to remold it. So for 4 months, I have been wearing a ring with a missing diamond and going to this guy every week asking if he is ready to fix it. Finally, 2 weeks ago he said that he would start it and have it done by last Monday well long story short finally on Saturday he told us to come for it. He handed me the ring with this like sneaky look on his face (and he’s illiterate by the way so his English is very broken) and it was like Not even the same ring AT ALL. The middle diamond that used to be square was now this teeny circle one and the diamonds were now set straight instead of diagonal, and the gold which before had been thick and high quality, was now this thin unevenness. Needless to say, I had like a meltdown/freakout at the man and just kept yelling, “This is not honest!” Paul also (although much more calmly) told the man that we are Not stupid and that we had trusted him and that this was totally unacceptable. He gave So many excuses but finally after like 30 minutes of negotiations, he admitted he’d taken out the middle diamond and that he’d lost some of the gold when he’d remolded it, (which he was never supposed to remold it in the first place) and said by next Friday, he would remake it again, add the gold back into it and put the right diamonds on it. Such an ordeal and if Friday, it is not done, I seriously am calling the police on him but then haha there’s always the problem that Ridiculously corrupt and will end up making us pay for their help.
     Okay, other than those lovely experiences, my friends Adrienne, Rachel, Julie and Amanda also left on Saturday L And I miss them So much already. They like left us So much stuff though like I’m now stocked up on bug spray, shampoo, wipes, and even some granola bars, Gatorade powder, some tuna fish, and I feel like I’m living in luxury sleeping on the American pillows that they gave me. Adrienne gave me her running shoes which was like the Nicest thing EVER because I’ve been dying to get out and run again and have already started putting them to use. Plus she had a seamstress make us Beautiful matching Batik dresses and I am like in love with mine. I will really miss having them around and us having our “Girls Girls” talks. I just realized that this blog is already too long but I Really was amazed at the difference that they made...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Week of May 30

Well, can't say that this week has been my easiest week in Ghana....This week was the week that we thought we were going to get our visa and get to the states and really start our lives haha and I should have known that it sounded way too good to be true. Paul's dad had a man in Accra (the main city) supposedly working tirelessly on it for the past 4 months. Paul and I went to Accra on Wednesday to meet this man at the embassy for what we thought was our interview for our visa then to be handed to us. Long story short, this man was a complete fraud and had been taking Paul's dad's money and lying to us this whole time. So basically, we have spent 4 months patiently waiting for NOTHING. The shock of it all was quite overwhelming but atleast now we know and can do something about it and after two days of driving around Accra, meeting with the US embassy, calling USCIS, going to banks, going to the immigration office, meeting with Paul's dad, having all 4 of Paul's brother's sitting down with us to make a game plan, emailing my extremely helpful U.S. contact who is in the government, doing massive research on the internet and also getting help/counsel from my sweet dad.... We have now made a plan of what we can do to really get this process started. First step is getting my resident permit which must be done through Ghanaian immigration services (which we pray won't be like everything else in Ghana and just not work) but we are going back to Accra on Tuesday to pay the Outrageous fee and hopefully have it processed within a week. Once we obtain the resident permit, we then will be able to begin the process of filing for the actual visa. It's going to be a long road, but atleast now we're heading somewhere. And as Paul sweetly reminded me amidst my ocean of tears after finding out, "As long as we're together, that's all that matters." I know that God will provide for us and that obviously we are meant to be in Ghana for a while longer...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Week of May 23

This week I feel like I have So much to write about but will try to condense it as much as possible. I wrote last week about my 2 friends Adrienne and Rachel that came in, well this week a huge group of people from Huntsville Alabama (where they are from) and will be here for a week. There is 36 of them with most of them being teenagers from the high school Madison Academy and then a few of their parents. I actually was here last year around this same time and met lots of them then. They are all Super nice, Super hardworking and Super devoted to the children. They completely entertain the kids to the point of me almost feeling worthless haha but it's great because the kids are all getting complete attention.  They are building a new outhouse for the orphanage which is So great because the one the kids have now is So revolting that I can't even get within like 30 feet of it without wanting to vomit, seriously. Also, yesterday they dedicated the AMAZING school that they have funded to be built for the kids in the name of a woman named Peggy, (I had the pleasure of meeting last year) who had devoted herself to the orphanage for the last 7 years, and after returning from her trip home last year had died of complications from Malaria. It was a wonderful event in honor of her and the school is seriously the nicest school I have seen anywhere close to Hohoe, I really think it will make Such a difference in the kids getting a better education and will hopefully help the orphanage raise more money to support themselves.
Other than a very entertaining week at the orphanage, this week was great! One night after getting home from the orphanage, me, Beth, Adrienne and Rachel wandered into the open market and bought tomatoes, onion, garlic, avocado and pepper and went back to their hotel and made surprisingly delicious guacamole. We had no chips but ate it with bread/club crackers and it almost for a second felt like I was eating something from home. After Paul was done at the mechanic, he came over too and tried what we made and really liked it which gave me hope for him enjoying the food once we get to America :) Adrienne's cute mom also brought with her a package that my mom sent to us and Paul has loved the 3 action movies she sent, the kids at the house have Loved their bubbles and coloring books (nothing like that here) and we have enjoyed the easter candy as well. Also, Paul's friend Matthew went back to Canada this last week after spending a total of 11 weeks staying with us. The jeweler still doesn't have the rest of the gold to fix my wedding ring (after waiting for 3 months) but Paul told him that Monday is his last chance before we take it to someone else and he promised that he'd have it and also gave me a pair of really cool earrings to say sorry for taking so long. Paul's dad also took us to his farm today which is like humongous and is spread out all over these beautiful mountains. He and Paul worked on fixing the yam growing while Felix and I picked pepper, it was a fun experience for sure. It's been raining a ton here also which is great for the scenery, it's like So green here but it also brings out even more bugs and as of now I have 33 mosquito bites just on my legs and am so thankful that I brought anti-itch cream or I'm pretty sure I'd be miserable. I love Paul more and more everyday and am So grateful for all of our blessings that we have received. We have some exciting things to look forward to this coming week, which I don't want to say and jinx them actually coming true (the way things go here I wouldn't be surprised) so hopefully I will have a very happy report to blog about this coming week!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Up To Week Of May 15

     Last Sunday, my friends Adrienne and Rachel from Alabama came in and we went and picked them up from the airport in Accra. Rachel's bag was missing but they told her it would arrive in 24 hours so we should stay in Accra somewhere. They had the Wondrous idea of going to Kokrobite (mine and Paul's beach) and it was Such a nice surprise to be able to have a little getaway from Hohoe and just relax. We went back in the morning to the airport and miracle of miracles, Rachel's bag was there so we were back in Hohoe by Monday night. That is the reason though too for my absence in writing last Sunday about the previous week but it was Well worth it :)
     Basically though, Paul and I now spend as much time as we can in the mornings and then I'm off to the orphanage which has been So fun! The kids are just endless amounts of energy and laughs and time really flies when I am there. There are 6 new little ones there too and another 8 year old just came last week making about 50 kids, so there is definitely never a dull moment. Rachel and Adrienne's community/church actually funds the whole running of the orphanage and they have been coming for years to Ghana to visit, and LOVE the kids too, so it is So nice that we can go together. Also, our friend Beth who volunteered at Eugemot last year came in on Wednesday too so we are just all having a blast. It is unexplainably wonderful to have friends here haha and Paul has been really great about just letting us have our "girls girls" talks, as he calls it.
    The only bummer this last week was that I was sick for a couple days again this week with a "runny stomach" which was the worst it has ever been so I finally used my Siparo medicine that I have been saving up for when it's really bad. It stopped it up though and I am now back to good health except for a cold haha which I always find odd to get here in the Blazing heat of Africa. Paul has been the perfect caretaker as always and actually went out this morning at 5:30 to get me some Milo because he insisted it was the only thing that would help my throat, he's the best. It's crazy to think that I've been away from home for almost 5 months, but there is No where else in the world that I'd rather be than here with Paul.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Week Of May 2

     This last week was pretty great actually J  After 3 months of non-stop problems with our wretched excuse for a taxi... We are finally rid of it! Paul found a man in town and after 4 days of going back and forth, we successfully sold it. It's like a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders and although we lost too much money to even think about, we are not looking back for a second! 
     Also, my good friend Tina, who I met 2 years ago on my first trip to Ghana with CCS, came back for a whirlwind week trip and it was So good to see her again! She has a very successful business called Della and was here checking up on things. It was so fun to visit the headquarters, see her amazing seamstresses at work creating fabulous items out of the beautiful African fabrics and see all that she is accomplishing. She will be coming back in July for a whole month, and I can't wait!
      A really exciting thing for me too, is that I have officially reinstated myself at Eugemot Orphanage. One of the boys from there, visited Paul and I at the house and told us how much the kids miss me. We discussed the issues that had kept me away and he assured me that if I came back that evening, I would see that it had all been resolved. Paul and I went together and I had such a great time, honestly, I had almost forgotten how much I loved being there. My kids greeted me so warmly, and then took me on a tour of the whole place showing to me that all the work I had done over my total of 5 months volunteering there had truly made a difference for them. We pulled out a bunch of the storybooks that I had left the last trip, and read for quite a while. I went back the next day and went with the kids to the river where they bath, it's filthy water and most of them didn't even clean with soap but they had a great time swimming around. Last trip, I swam in that river and got really sick so this time, I decided to be a little more wise haha. I helped the kids collect the clothes that they left drying in the grass.We played a lot of cards, reminisced on old times and just laughed.  Going there, I felt again a burning in my heart that I only feel for those kids, and I feel like I'm back at the place I'm supposed to be to make a difference with my time here in Ghana.
     We also went hiking on Saturday to the upper falls at Wli with Paul's friend Matthew. I had done it before on my first trip to Ghana and had remembered it being pretty difficult but had made it okay. This time, on the way up, even my strong and perfectly in shape husband was asking if we could take breaks haha. At the top it was as beautiful and breathtaking as ever and the breeze from the splashing falls felt glorious. However, on the way down my legs literally would not do what I wanted them to do and were like seizing up but with Paul's encouragement and help, we eventually made it down haha I felt SO lame. We woke up today SO sore too that we are both hobbling around and taking turns trying to rub the tensenesss out of each other's legs haha we make quite the pair.
      I have No idea when we are going to get back to the U.S. but I’m really just learning to let go and put my faith in the fact that Heavenly Father does have a plan for us, and that it will all fall into place when it’s supposed to. In the meantime, I’m with Paul so what more could I really need?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Week of April 25

      Well after this week, I am pretty sure that I have solidified my ability to be the most Patient person ever haha Oh Africa. Paul went every single day this week to the license office from when it opened until when it closed and everyday it was the same story, "Please wait, we'll be with you" and everyday, Paul would come home empty handed. He amazes me though with his perseverance and patience haha which are traits you HAVE to possess if living in this country. He said they are waiting for a bribe to speed things along, as they do with everything else because everything in the government is So corrupt.
     We have been trying all week to sale the taxi and are realizing that we are Never going to get back even close to the money that we have spent on it. Most people are offering 1600 or at most 1800. We bought it for 2700 and have put in atleast another 1500. However, the longer we keep it, the more that we spend and we are both ready to be free of it. Paul's eldest brother has been very generous to offer us his Honda (he recently got a new car) and is giving us a really good deal on it and it's Very reliable unlike our disaster of a taxi. So, once we rid ourselves of the wretched taxi, we will be able to purchase the honda and Never look back on all the money that has gone down the drain. Lesson Definitely learned.
    In Ghana and all over Africa, there is JuJu which is a black magic.  It is done various ways, whether it is mami water sent from a sea dweller, using voodoo dolls, or having an owl sent to cry your death. When someone is envious of you, they will seek out a witch or wizard to harm you. If you are able to realize what is happening in time, you can seek out a fetish priest who will then find a way to counteract the Juju. I don't totally understand it and am skeptic but I saw it being done for the first time this week. In  the post office square there was drumming and dancing when we drove by one night so we went to see and apparently a tribe's brother had been killed and so they were performing a ritual to scare away any bad juju that would be sent to harm their deceased friend. There were guys dancing around with machetes and cutting themselves all over their bodies, however because the protection of the juju they were casting, there was no blood. There was another guy warding off any juju trying to interfere by circling the group and continuously dipping a broom in a calabash and spreading water around. It got pretty crazy with a lot of smoke, screaming, drumming and dancing and it is just one of those things that reminds me that I really am living in Africa.
     Other than that, we had a great trip on Monday to the Wli Waterfalls, there were TONS of people and cultural dancing as well, and it was a lot of fun. All Paul's family but his youngest sister have gone back to Accra after the holiday so the house is quiet again. Yesterday at church instead of the normal meetings, they showed a session and a half of General Conference. Paul and I were so happy that we were able to hear from our leaders and the message that resonated with us was one of Charity, Family and continuing on with faith. It was exactly what we needed to hear and the spirit was wonderfully there. Paul's friend Matthew also came along with us and I hope he enjoyed it as well. Also, rainy season has officially begun and everyday we have a massive downpour and despite the fact that I get a little scared of how strong it storms, it's so nice to have the rain cool things down a bit. T.I.A.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week of April 18

My week was full of frustrations with the car, (which is currently unstartable) and Paul's license, (which the officer at the office has mysteriously misplaced) and many other things, so I am just going to fast forward to the Holiday! I was really trying not to think about home but luckily, Celebrating Easter in Ghana was unlike any Easter experience I have Ever so my mind was kept busy. Paul's siblings except one were able to come to Hohoe to celebrate with us and it's been So fun having them here, I love the noise and the energy of family and it makes me feel a little more at home. Ghana is very Christian and Easter is Really celebrated. Last night at 3 in the morning there were people parading through the neighborhood playing drums and singing praises for the resurrection of Christ. There was also a goat brought to the house yesterday, to be slaughtered today... yes, slaughtered and it knew it was going to die because it was crying all night long. Paul has been shown since childhood how to kill a goat, so this morning he got up and built a fire at the side of the house. Then with the help of the two little boys, he tied the goat, dug a hole in the ground for the blood to pour and then I will just let you imagine the rest. After he killed the goat, his brothers then brought four roosters for him to also kill. It was amazing because he acted like it was no big deal, but for me (american girl who has Never before seen anything like that) I was shocked. He laughed saying that now I know where meat comes from instead of just going to a store and buying it in packaging haha and he's right. The rest of the day, was mellow because we both had a fever so mostly we just relaxed, read Luke 24, and then this evening went for a walk behind his house through beautiful farmlands to a river that I didn't know existed.
 Tomorrow is a holiday and his family ever year goes to Wli Waterfalls to swim and picnic and I'm really excited for that! I just am striving everyday to find the positives. All I can say is, I'm so happy that I have found my partner in life and with him everyday is a wonderful adventure and because of him I feel like the most blessed girl alive!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Week of April 11

This week in Ghana I have learned to let go of the things that are out of my control and to focus on my blessings. This taxi is the most out of control thing Ever. Literally, every single day this week there was a problem:
Monday: His friend who works at the bank (supposedly respectable guy) calls him at 9:00 at night and begs him to come get him from Boondocks, which is a bar on the outskirts of town. So Paul goes, waits for three hours while his friend finishes drinking with his girlfriend, then the friend and the girlfriend get in a fight and she ends up stealing his wallet and running away so Paul didn't get paid.
Tuesday: There is a volunteer who was with CCS in Hohoe who got her bags stolen while walking to the Geduld Hotel (like 2 minutes away from CCS) so Paul's friend Jojo had been helping her try to get the things back. They found the bag, but everything was missing out of it, then they found the thief who apparently sold all her things to people in Kpandu, a town about an hour and a half away from Hohoe. So Paul being the sweetheart that he is, spent the whole day driving them there and around the town without any success of getting the things back. The girl promised she'd pay Paul for his driving and gave it to Jojo, who pretended like the girl hadn't paid him, then when confronted about it admitted he'd spent the money that was supposed to be given to Paul, so again, nothing!
Wednesday: Because of the long trip to Kpandu the day before, we had to take the tire to get air pumped into it. Then discovered that the exhaust pipe had fallen down so we had to get it welded back on.
Thursday: Paul was driving someone on a "rough road" (which means that it's dirt and has more craters in it than the moon) and anyways, he fell into a hole which led to the engine getting hit from underneath and the thingy that hold the oil exploded and all the oil fell out. So he had to have people help him get out of the hole, then get a mechanic to fix it so all the money that he'd earned for the day was spent.
Friday: It was Market day and some people said they wanted to buy the car but before they would buy it, wanted us to put new rings in the engine, (no idea what that means) and we'd had enough so we parked it and are giving ourselves a break from it for a couple days.

Other than that though, this week has been great! My school is on Easter Break for 3 weeks and so while poor Paul was dealing with our wretched vehicle, I had to find something to occupy my time... Well lots of you know my Famous Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars that I invented :) well I decided to make them for Paul's family and after a trip to 3 different stores, and the open market I was able to get all the ingredients. The kids were fascinated while helping me and we watched disney movies (just like being at home) and without any measuring cups, (they are unheard of hear) we baked up my masterpiece. To cook it, I had to light the top of the oven with a match, leave it for ten minutes, then light the bottom. Then Paul suggested that the kids could try selling them so, we individually packaged them in baggies, and Eric took them out on Tuesday for a "test sale" and people loved them! I sale them for about the equivalent of 20 cents haha but I made 4 batches and 10 cedi and it made me feel like i was actually contributing something.
Also, Paul had to go to Accra yesterday to get his friend from the airport and the flight got delayed 6 hours so they ended up having to stay the night. Well this morning I gathered my courage and took the 1 hour and 45 minute trotro ride to Ho to go to church by myself. I'm SO happy I went, the spirit was wonderful and Ghanaian people really amaze me with their conviction and faith in the gospel. I got a calling as the Young Women Advisor and the Branch President also told me that Paul is being called to be a Sunday School Teacher which is So great!
Despite the challenges, I can't even count all the blessings that I am receiving here! I know that every challenge is an opportunity for me to grow! I love my husband and I love my life :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Up to the Week of April 4

      Well I am updating not on a Sunday and 2 and a half weeks late because we didn’t have the internet (This is Africa) but it’s back and running J I have too much to write about but will do my best to hit the high points and not go on forever!
     Teaching at Suzzy Mother Care definitely keeps me busy but it gives me a sense of accomplishment when even one of my children show signs of learning. We have been having final exams this week to test on what the kids have been learning which is shapes, colors, ABC’s and numbers. Most did pretty well but there are about 3 kids in my class who flunked every test and no matter how hard I try, they don’t learn like AT ALL but I won’t give up. They are absolutely out of Control though most of the time (ages 4-8) and so the headmaster will come in every like 15 minutes with his cane to threaten them, “I will Beat you.” The lady that owns it, Suzzy, is super nice though and everyday has water delivered to me in my classroom and twice a weeks she sends me home with fruit. Also, Abby Chester, my friend who I met while volunteering my first time here, donated a ton of storybooks which have been Very helpful and the kids love being read to because it opens them up to a world of things they have never/will never see. Teaching in Ghana, although Totally different from teaching in the U.S., is getting me really excited for when I can get my degree and begin my career as an actual teacher one day!
     This last week I was really sick with a fever and a constant “runny stomach” as they call it here. There has been recent cases of cholera here and people have died so Paul got way worried and alerted his mother, Mary who then went to work on healing me (she’s a nurse) and made me take about 10 different pills. She called different pastors too and had them pray for my evil diarrhea to be gone too. She brought me in like full on meals every couple hours and would stay to make sure I ate. (Side Note: In Ghana, to be fat is desired because it means you have food to eat so Mary is doing her best to “plump” me up so that people don’t think I’m suffering for food in her house. However, because I’m me and am terrified of getting fat, I’m fighting it every way I can.) Anyways, then Paul’s dad came home for the weekend and stocked me up on a variety of food to show his concern for my health. They are so great and after all their efforts, I have been healed J
     As for the wretched car, because of the mechanic overheating the engine, the gasket broke along with 2 other things that I don’t know the name of in the engine so we had to pay to get that fixed. Plus, in Ghana they require a fire extinguisher nailed in the car by the windshield, well because of the intense heat here, ours exploded, sprayed stuff all over the car and smashed up the windshield which showered glass in the car. Paul used his “Ghanaian creativity” and bought stickers for the windshield which hold the glass together haha so we are just going to leave it like that for now. However as of this week, it is finally functioning to the point of driving and Paul has been driving it during the day while I’m at school and then when I’m done, we drive until dinner which means we are finally making money at last!
     Other then that.... After endless amounts of visits to the police station, we are still without possession of my bike. But Paul’s neighbors have bikes and we have been borrowing them to enjoy night bike rides, which has been really great. My running shoes were stolen as they were left outside to dry after being clean which has been a big bummer but tomorrow is market day and we are going to try to get another pair. I love the kids though at Paul’s house and we have fun playing in the rain, playing Go Fish, watching them climb the Mango trees and bring in bags of mango, and lately they have really been teaching me Ewe which is a continuing process. I have finally convinced Paul that cartoons/Disney movies aren’t just for little kids and we have been enjoying watching them.
I love my life and although, sometimes living in a different country is a challenge, I have Paul and the gospel and am on a great journey through life J

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week Of March 14

Wow this week has gone by Super fast and we have been BUSY! First, to report on my bike situation (we haven’t even begun to pursue Paul’s bike) but after Paul went to the police station every day this week; he had to pay the officer who then had to fill out a form to release the bike, the officer lost the form, he had to fill out another one, the police commander had to stamp it, he wasn’t in, he came and then wanted money to stamp the form so Paul paid and finally after 4 weeks we were going to get the bike… But of course that was PSYCH because the police officer in charge of locking the bikes misplaced the key. I wish I was joking but there you have it.
The bike situation is ridiculous but it doesn’t even compare to the car. So far we’ve fired two drivers after they’ve almost ruined the car, right? So Paul decided to get his own driver’s license. All day Tuesday he was at the license division and they granted him a learners permit which meant he had to put L plates on our car. (which no one will stop a taxi with a driver who is learning) Well his driver “friend” wanted to take the car and make money for us doing the day. Well we let him take it and he brought it back with the shaft broken which I don’t even know what that is except that it cost us 40 cedi. Paul decided he was going to find his driver friend and have him pay us back but first he had to come pick me up from school (I’ll explain that below) but on the way to come get me the police stopped him. (someone in town who was jealous and knew he didn’t have a license reported him) Paul told him that he had a learners permit but it was at home plus he didn’t have the L plates on so Paul had to pay to not be taken to jail plus the car would be kept until he paid to get it. Paul decided to have the driver friend that broke the shaft pay to pick up the car which I thought was a great idea. However the driver didn’t bring the car to us until Late in the evening and then left. Paul got a flashlight to inspect it and surprise surprise, the man had broken the key off inside the lock!! Plus had broken one of the dirt flaps (haha I don’t really know what they’re called) behind the tire. So yesterday he spent all day at the mechanic shop while they somehow removed the broken key from inside the lock. Today a mechanic came and picked up the car to have a key made but on our way home from church 4 hours later we passed him on our way into Hohoe. When we got to the station we found our car parked in the middle of the road, keys in the ignition, gas cap off, and the mechanic no where to be found. Paul just got home and informed me that the mechanic drove the car without putting water in the take so the engine was so overheated that it almost exploded and was smoking….
But other than THAT haha this week has been really great J Paul played football with his friends on Tuesday, scored a wonderful goal and was easily the best player out there! (although I’m a bit bias haha) It was pouring rain and lightning but still they played on. I also taught Paul his first keyboarding lesson this week and he picked it up really well. We dropped off some fabric to Bertha (the seamstress) to have made into a dress and purse for me, a shirt for Paul. Yesterday morning too, I was super sneaky and had the kids helped me get water in the buckets and soap to do my washing (Paul’s mom doesn’t allow me to do my own) but after about an hour and a half with the kids laughing at me the whole time, my fingers were raw haha and I was only a third done so… I gave in and the kids quickly finished. Paul’s mom Mary said, “Blacks are meant to do hard labor while whites have machines.” Hahaha she is the funniest woman.
Oh and then I guess the biggest news of mine is that I started at Suzzy Mother Care which is a small school in Hohoe owned by a spunky old woman. I am teaching KG 2 (kindergarten) and the kids are rowdier than anything and have Zero comprehension of anything. So far we have gotten from A-D and some of them still can’t tell the difference haha so it’s a work in progress but I’m determined. I am also teaching them colors and I made up a song for them to learn the rainbow (which they had never heard of before) and Friday was Red day so I wore red and the kids were like “Sister Annie that’s the color you taught us!” And I was so excited but when I asked them what it was called they shouted out “Blue! Black! White” Haha so basically I have my work cut out for me but it should be fun to volunteer again.
Okay this is Super Long I just realized so I’ll stop but I’m still loving my husband and loving my life here in Ghana J I’m so blessed and grateful for all the love and support too from home! Until Next week!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Week of March 7

This week was another Wonderful week in Ghana and I am learning more about myself than ever before! While Paul is dealing with car problems (daily occurance) or going to try and get the bike (still has not been released from the police station) I am at home either learning the Ghanaian ways from his sweet mother, playing with the sweet kids that live with their family, getting good exercise time in, having time to sit and study the scriptures, and really am just focusing on bettering myself as much as possible (which is an endless process). It is so different than the US where you can just go out and apply for a job, go to school or even walk around town without having people yell at you to either come to them or go back to your country but we are making the most of it and although it is not as I expected it to be, I am adjusting and am truly enjoying my life as it comes everyday. Plus, when Paul gets home from working to get stuff done in town and I see him it's like my heart leaps for joy and my other half is back. We have so much fun just being together and are really coming to a new understanding of each other's needs.
 Paul too is teaching me an Ewe word a day (the tribal language that is spoken in the area) and I'm not going to lie, I'm practically fluent :) He also everyday has been showing me different areas in Hohoe that I never knew even existed, and the town is bigger than I would have thought. Today too, he surprised me with a trip to the Talking River which is absolutely beautiful and so peaceful and we had a great time just talking and relaxing.
This week too, Hohoe held like a sports competition for all the high schools where they played football, volleyball and ran track. Paul and I went and watched but there was a Huge rainstorm so we had to run for cover. The rainy season has started and when it rains it Pours here in Ghana, which is great because it is So So hot and the water tap gets turned off less, however now there are more bugs than ever and the power goes off atleast twice a day.
Confidence (the sweet girl from the village who lives with Paul's family) and I waged a MASSIVE war this week against the beetles that are taking over the fridge in the room (I'm determined that they live inside the lining of the fridge) and although the beetles put up a good fight, after a lot of soap, and copious amounts of bug spray, we conquered the little devils! They have since been trying to make a comeback but their reign is ended :)
Other than that, we got rid of our second taxi driver. He was just dishonest and would always make up stories as to why he didn't bring home the money he was supposed to, some days wouldn't even bring the car home at night, would give out the car to his friends to drive or would park the car during the day instead of doing his job so Paul said enough is enough. This coming week he is going to work on getting a driver's license so that he can drive during the day (at night they don't check licenses but it's really dangerous) because we have realized it just isn't practical to give our car out to anyone to drive with them being so irresponsible and untrustworthy.
Well that's my week and basically, I just love my husband So much! Although I definitely miss family, friends, home and American life; I am with my partner, comforter, best friend, greatest teacher, laughing buddy and love of my life so how could I not be blissfully happy?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week of February 28

Well this week I am happy to report for the first time in 4 weeks, we had minimal car problems. (just a fan wire broke and the fuel tank leaked) Also, we have a new more reliable driver who brings in 20 cedi on regular days and 25 cedi on Monday & Friday because those are Market days. Paul too has been driving it at nights and has been bringing in actually really good money. After much "marketing" as Paul would call it haha which really is just bargaining over the prices with tons of different buyers, we found a man who is going to buy it. We just have to get the car ownership papers from the guy that we bought the car from in Accra, and then the man will give us our money and we will be free of this car :) I am actually getting a little less hostile towards the Blinksta. I have actually learned a lot about owning a taxi in Ghana:
1) In Ghana, when passing a car on the road, taxis say hi to eachother. If it is day time they honk like 5 times. If it is night time, they flash their brights and then if they are feeling really friendly (haha Paul always) then they will also honk along with the lights. It's quite exciting haha.
2) In Ghana, no one fills their own gas well they actually use petroleum. So the man who fills up the pump is totally in charge. There is a switch on the fuel gage that stops the fuel from going in and just puts in nothing but it is still charging at the same time. So the pump man will press the switch, rack up the price and then pocket the money that was not used for fuel and no one will know the difference. That's why instead of telling them the amount of money you want of fuel, you always have to say the amount of gallons.
3) There are massive holes in the roads here so as you are driving there will be Many times where a car will be in the wrong lane, headed straight for you trying to avoid the enormous pot holes and will swerve at the last second to miss you.
4) Or boys from the villages will decide to make some money and will put some dirt into the holes. They then will pull a string across the road to make sure that cars stop and throw coins out the window before passing by.
5)I don't know if they do this in the US but here, the cars need water so every half hour, we always have to stop, get water and pour it into the Blinksta like we are feeding him.
6)If Paul takes half as good care with our children as he does with our care, we will have the most well kept, clean, orderly children Ever haha!
Also this week I went to Happy Kids Orphanage which is in area of the Hohoe district called Wegbe. There are 20 kids that live in the home permanently and then 60 kids that come from town to school. I taught the Nursery class and there were like 30 3-5 year old children. They truly are absolutely beautiful though and sang and danced the morning away, it was adorable. At times, as they danced, someone would get hit or walked on so there would be crying and I would just get to pick them up and hold them. Unfortunately, one of the little girls that I chose to hold had wet her pants so that was an unpleasant surprise. The book selection for kids isn't the greatest, but I was able to read them 4 books including Berenstein Bears, and a Disney ABC book (which they have No idea what Disney is) but they'd repeat after me, "A is for Ariel" haha and it was pretty cute.
Also, on Friday Paul's parents had us go see a man that they call the "prophet." It was like a 4 hour drive and when we got there, the "prophet" was a bigger man wearing a New York Yankees baseball jersey. He said a prayer for us though which was actually really nice minus the cursing away of evil spirits that were coming for me and Paul haha. Luckily though we had missed the Prayer day (which was the day before) where tons of people apparently come to gather and yell, sing and pray. The prophet then rebukes from them all the demons or devils that are inside them because of the witches and wizards that have used black magic or juju against them. However, there was still one man left from the day before in the dirt, chained to a tree because his demons were stubborn and wouldn't leave him. The prophet said that he would be chained for up to 3 weeks. It was quite an experience as is most of my time in Ghana but I truly am enjoying every minute to the fullest.
Yesterday Paul and I had a resting day and enjoyed in immensely; eating fresh cut fruit, hanging up pictures in our room, putting up the one mirror in the whole house, watching Casino Royale and playing Kings in the Corner. (a card game) We've now hit our One Month Anniversary and I can definitely say I've never been happier!