Sunday, November 27, 2011

Up to Week of November 21

Sorry I didn't write last week, it is dry season here (which means No rain and Endless heat) and surprisingly the internet is not working as well as it did when we had huge rain storms? Surprising I know but this is Ghana. Anyway, biggest announcement yet, we went to the Embassy last Wednesday, we gave them the forms sent by my dear father and... were Approved at last!! They collected Paul's passport and we were given a "Visa Collection Receipt" which is a beautiful little piece of purple paper and are to report back to the embassy on Friday, December 2 (next week) to pick up the visa. Seriously it is unbelievably amazing and we are So grateful and excited! They did say though not to make any travel arrangements until we have the visa in hand so once we leave the embassy on Friday (praying that everything goes to plan) we will go to the airport after and check flights. Paul jokes that I would leave the same day haha which is true but we hopefully will be able to come the next week?! As of right now, it still feels completely surreal and I know that feeling will continue until we are on the plane home. But HALLELUJAH that we are almost there :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week of November 7

I had a great time with the orphanage as always this past week. My nephew, Felix has been coming along with me(he’s my little buddy) and I really love having him and the kids are sweet to him as well. There are even MORE little children that have come to the orphanage, including 4 sisters whose father abandoned them and they are all under the age of 5 and are ADORABLE, just breaks my heart to think of what they’ve already gone through at that age. They are all like identical too so getting their names down has been a challenge but I have finally conquered it. Also, there is a little boy who has been there for a couple weeks and is REALLY misbehaved and rowdy but actually super adorable when he smiles, and I was talking to Emilda (Mama Eugenia’s niece who is like her “right hand woman” and she was telling me that when he came here, he had been beaten so bad by his aunt that he has like gashes in his back so bad that you can’t even touch them. I had no idea to be honest and now am making a doubled over effort to shower that little boy with love. Beatings here in Ghana are maybe the hardest thing for me. It is like such a common practice for them and “part of their culture” as they always say but it is horrendous. I was talking with the kids here at the house about it and they were telling me stories of school. (which I know are true because Paul has so many horrifying stories of being caned as well)
-If they miss a day of school =  lashes
-If they don’t answer the teacher correctly = lashes
-If they don’t have socks on, or the right shoes, or have nail polish on, or aren’t wearing the right uniform, or are dirty = lashes
-If they talk in class = lashes
-If they don’t bring a pencil to class = lashes
 And seriously like a MILLION other things that kids will do, they will be beat and if they even flinch at the pain while the beating is taking place, then they get beat all over again. I only listed what happens in schools as well, it doesn’t even COMPARE to the beatings that occur in the homes (and sometimes on the side of the roads) by children and their parents. I could go on forever about how much I despise it because truly I find it unbearable and feel helpless because it is such a deeply embedded practice here that I don’t know if it will ever change.

Besides that little rant of mine…. Our cat just had kittens (yet again) this morning and the kids are so excited. So far she has only delivered 2 but we are determined that there are more to come because she is enormous. My wonderful friend from Scotland, Marcella (who I met at Eugemot 2 years ago when I was with CCS and she was just visiting the kids on her own) is back again for 2 weeks working her magic with the children as usual. She is an Amazing woman and does so much for the kids and has been doing so for 4 years now. Just yesterday she brought each and every child from the orphanage and the adults to Hohoe to the Geduld Hotel and had like a buffet for them, dancing and music, balloons and fanmilk for all. I was lucky enough to be invited and it was Such a blast and the kids had such a great time, people truly do amazing things here all the time and I am grateful to be around and witness it.  I also met 3 girls from Missouri that were also staying at the hotel, 2 of them are identical twins and one of them is a nurse and reminds me of my dear big sister Jenna and we had a great time chatting/ having girl talk after the party ended. One of them has a stomach problem and has been sick for 5 days with little help from the doctors here in Hohoe (not shocking) so I called Paul’s mom, she told us what medicine to buy and we got it, then we came to my house to give her my Gatorade powder so she could replenish her electrolytes. The kids made us spaghetti and we 4 girls and Paul stayed up late talking and had a great time. Oh and I got my wedding ring back this last week as well, obviously made for us by a different jeweler than before. It is REALLY simple but it finally has been made well, with all the gold intact and the right diamond this time and I really love it. We also hope to get the forms so generously Fedexed from my father by this Wednesday so that we will be ready for the embassy the following week J

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week of October 31

Drumroll..... Well good news from the Embassy is that we were approved :) The bad news is that we had brought in the wrong form for the Affadavit of Support (fault to no one, we were just misinformed) so we were given 3 weeks to get the right form and are to report back on November 23 and if the right form is presented, we should be good to go. I could bore you all with the hairy details of getting into Accra at midnight the night before, going to 4 different hotels before we found one with room (super ghetto), going to the embassy then having Paul go in by himself then me being allowed in an hour later while I stood outside the embassy stressing out of my mind, still waiting 3 hours to be seen, turning in papers and all evidence, Paul getting fingerprinted, then going into the interview with the Ambassador of the embassy. It was a long day and has been a LONG 10 months, but with a big thanks to all the help that we have received, we are finally feeling as if we are coming to the end of this struggle and are preparing for the next struggles (and excitements) that lay ahead.