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!