The musing of my off-kilter mind and whatever else decides to escape.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Ghana: Back in Accra
Upon returning to Accra we were thankful to once again have running water. Ahhh… showers. We had gotten used to falling asleep with only a fan so we didn’t even use the AC even though it was available. We missed our new family at the Village of Life, but also excited to meet the kids at Teschie House who have also been rescued off the lake.
We arrived at Teschie just before the kids got home from school. We were able to help sort and put away the gifts we brought before they arrived. As the groups of kids came home, they came and greeted us, shaking our hands or hugging us before heading off to change out of their school uniforms. Once all the kids were there it was announced that we had brought new books for them. Wild celebration erupted as the kids grabbed books to look at or brought to us to read to them. After the new books were poured over they brought us others that were already on the shelf. One boy brought me a Pokemon paperback(not a book we brought) and asked me what it was. How does a person explain what pokemon are? “They are pocket monsters.” “Pocket monsters?” He stared at me like I had not made any sense. I settled for “made up animals.” When he took the book to JD outside, she read the whole thing to him. By the end, he was asleep on her lap.
Once the excitement of the books wore off, the Legos came out. A huge bucket of them dumped on the floor. One sweet girl began a ‘Lego store’ at my feet. She would take a handful of carefully selected blocks from the pile and bring them over to me where she proceeded to sort them into piles of like-shaped pieces. This was done meticulously, with the piles being adjusted each time a block was added. As the group of kids became more dispersed some of the boys began to take from the ‘Lego store’ while the little girl was away. Upon her return, she attempted to reclaim and reorganize her stash, but the boys would not leave. This smiley, bubbly little one simply shut down. She folded herself in half, tear-stained face to the floor. I reached down and tried to coax her up into my lap. She wasn’t going to budge. I garnered my strength and lifted her up in that folded position. When she sat up, wiped her tears. I told her I saw what the boys had done and it wasn’t nice of them. I tried to distract her by offering to see her bed and then tickled her. I wondered if things like that bring back memories of life on the islands – where anything that is yours could be taken away in a moment’s notice.
One particular boy seemed to latch on to me. He had a smile that lights up and eyes full of expectancy. After we had left for the day, I learned that he in particular was often picked on by the other kids for being a bit slower. When we returned to Teschie House again, he took great pride in carrying my camera bag for me and making sure it was protected. He had gotten a pair of sunglasses from somewhere and was hamming it up a bit wearing them. Some of the girls had removed my bandana to play with my hair, so I tied it on his head and told him he was a biker guy. Then I watched that boy literally strut around showing everybody how cool he was. The picked on one stood a little taller that day.
In our final days we took a little time for ourselves. One afternoon we went to the beach. Joshua made a friend and the two of them jumped in the waves while vendors showed us their artwork. I sat down on the sand and pulled out my guitar for an impromptu worship session. Joseph, a friend of our hosts for the day and worship leader at his church sat down to join me in singing. After finishing Here I Am to Worship, he requested we do that one again because he really liked it. Amazingly, the vendors stayed and listened. They told me how much they really liked it. Sitting on the beach in Africa, singing beautiful harmonies and playing guitar sent my happy meter well over 100. We followed that up with lunch at a local hotspot – Papaye’s for lemon garlic chicken like I’ve never experienced before. Mmmmm...
Another day we ventured out for some souvenirs. As someone who is not big on bargaining and pressured buying, this wasn’t my favorite experience. There were a few vendors who really stood out and they are the ones we most wanted to bless with our business. I did manage to find a few things for friends and family. It wasn’t until we returned in search of a missing baby Jesus for a nativity set that JD had purchased that I found something unique that summed up the experience for me.
Our final day, we fittingly started the day at church with friends and fellowship with them after at their house. And then after a farewell dinner with George Sr. and friends we headed to the airport 4 hours before our flight. And we needed most of those 4 hours. First think mosh pit and then a maze where every time you think you finally found the way out you realize you are just at the beginning of another one. Finally, we boarded the plane and easily fell asleep.