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