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.