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.