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