Let’s just get this over with… I AM THE WORST BLOGGER IN THE WORLD. Okay, now for the other stuff.
My second 6 months in Ghana is almost half over….How is that possible? I have no idea. Time FLIES here more than any other place I've ever been. So let’s just review here since I've been absent for a few months.
I went home in December. I had the most amazing 5 weeks at home. I was encouraged and refreshed. I was able to see so many of my amazing friends and spend time with my family, although sometimes it was hard to balance the two! I had a really hard time saying goodbye to my mom, Hayely, and Addie at the airport. I truly did not want to leave again. But I sucked it up and got on the first of 4 flights back to Ghana.
As soon as I stepped off the plane and was hit by the wave of hot African air, a huge smile appeared on my face. As hard as it was to leave “home” it was good to be back. The first Sunday back in church at the village, Pastor Stephen announced to the congregation that God had guided me safely home to America, and back home to Ghana. Even though he spoke in his language and not my own, tears filled my eyes with his words.
|Women in the village I attend church. They just returned from a wedding and came to greet everyone. They asked me to "snap" their picture.|
February and March were filled with building amazing relationships with two other volunteers/missionaries. Diana(American), Rachel(Canadian, we won’t hold that against her ;)) and I lived together for about 6 weeks at the Dzokotoe abode. We became so close over those short 6 weeks. There is something about being in a foreign land with people of similar backgrounds that allows you to create fast and lasting bonds. During our time together we loved on some sweet kids at a local orphanage, lead Sunday morning service at a women’s prison, went to the Ghana independence day celebration, and rode donkeys for fun on a Friday night (okay, they rode on donkeys, I’ve had experience in that area before and was not interested). We also started our own little bible study twice a week just studying scripture and talking about life. It was such sweet community and I am so thankful for that time with them.
|The flags of each of our countries displayed at the school. Diana and I (American), Dzifa (Ghanaian), Rachel (Canadian), and Julia (Dutch).|
|Ghanaian Independence Day celebration- It was well over 100 degrees this day with thousands of people.|
|After the celebration we went to a restaurant nearby to cool off and the children were surrounding all of the "salimingas".|
At the end of their stay in Tamale, Rachel and I went on a weekend trip to Mole National Park to see some elephants! It was an incredible trip that I intended on writing an entire blog post about, but we all know that that didn't happen. We went on a two hour walking safari and were able to see 7 elephants playing in the water hole, a jeep safari where we got way too close to a male elephant and a canoe ride down a little river with 4 hilarious Ghanaian men. One of which sang to us in the local language while paddling the canoe and holding a cell phone to record it. There is so much more to tell, but I could never explain how wonderful of a weekend it was, so I’ll just leave you with that and a few pictures.
|"Shopping" while waiting for the bus at the station.|
|After waiting for 5 hours at the bus station, our bus arrived and we were set to go!|
|Rachel and I on our jeep safari.|
|Just hanging out on a safari...WITH AN ELEPHANT.|
|Our first close up view of the elephants.|
|Riding on the moto with Osmand, my personal driver for the weekend. He let me drive for about 20 minutes down a long dirt road, it was perfect.|
|After our tour guide explained that elephants are the second fasted animal in the world, this guy right her stomped down two trees (which is a sign he did not like us being there) and as we drove away he started chasing after us.|
It was of course so hard to say goodbye to my new friends not knowing when I would see them again and it is a task I have become all too familiar with. A couple weeks after they left, I completed my big project that I had been working on since I arrived back in Ghana in January. The Ministry of Education in Ghana produces what they call a syllabus for all of the schools to follow from kindergarten to high school. The syllabus basically includes
everything the very minimum that needs to be taught over the course of a year for each required subject. This is great! Except for the fact that it is not available to any of the teachers except for in a computer file that is not easily accessible for the majority of teachers and also is not composed in a way which is easy to follow and understand. I spent a week reading this 600 page document and then got to work on outlining week by week what objectives should be taught for grades k-4. After the outlining was complete, I printed the information included in the syllabus and compiled a binder for each grade and each subject. We had a training day to explain this new resource to our teachers and they seemed very happy to have them as a guide for what to teach their students.
|Pretty excited about completing all of the work!|
|Working with the dean of the school to train the teachers on their new resource books.|
After that project was complete I was ready for the next. Our school currently doesn't have a library, but we have some books. So I am in the process of starting one along with another volunteer, Julia who is from The Netherlands. We are coming along quite well and I am so excited to see it completed! Today I entered the 1000th book into the register system. I had no idea we had so many!
|The books for the library before we started working on it.|
I have some really, really exciting news to share. One of my
friends sisters is COMING TO GHANA!!! Adoration has been planning on coming to work
with me in Ghana for about 6 months. I’ve been helping her with the preparation
of it all and just a couple weeks ago she was able to purchase her ticket to
come in May. We are beyond thrilled to have this time to spend together but
more than that excited to see the work that God is about to do through us and
in us. Please join me in praying for her. Mostly that God will just prepare her
heart for the things she is getting ready to experience for the first time and
also that all the fine little details will be worked out and she will arrive
|This one time we didn't see each other for 1 1/2 months because I moved to Colorado and we thought it was the longest time ever.... This is what will happen at the airport in 33 days! |
*Photo Credit: Hayely Queen
Oh, did I mention how God provided for her? Yeah, well, one day (very close to one of the last days for her to purchase her ticket in time to come) she only had about half of the money she needed to buy her plane ticket alone and then the next day, after a lot of prayers about this, she discovered a forgotten savings of MORE than what she needed to purchase her ticket and pay for her other expenses. God provides for his children when we go to Him in prayer and have faith that He will answer them. He just does. Addie will spend two months here with me and we will come back home at the end of July. I cannot wait for this new adventure to begin!
That’s about it…except not at all. There is so, so much that happens in my day to day and I truly wish I was better at documenting it. However, I've come to terms with the fact that most of the things I experience here will have to be my own, and I won’t be able to share everything, not matter how difficult or amazing they may be.