"We are all handmade people created by a God who is not safe or small." Rend Collective Experiment

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jim Goes to Ghana..

My "Guest Blogger" this week is my beloved hubby Jim. ..ha, ha... that just sounds so official and so bloggy.

Here is Jim unedited..(well except for taking out the location thing, and he spelled toilet wrong, but other than that..)


Day 1

Departure Date, Dec. 25th, 2007 8:00 a.m.

Leaving *******was somewhat uneventful. I pried my wife’s fingers off of my arms as I told her I must desperately leave for Ghana. She just did not want me to go. Can I blame her? Anyway, going through Atlanta was just fine, especially since I was upgraded to 1st class. I usually travel no class, but due to my skymiles membership, it finally paid off. Not only **** to Atlanta was 1st class, but Atlanta to JFK was 1st all the way. The flight to Accra from JFK was completely full. There were hundreds of people there. Yes, I was one of a small handful of white people there. I didn’t really seem to notice myself, but I am sure I stood out a little, being white and nerdy and all. So now the big long flight to Ghana. Knowing how uncomfortable it is on a long flight I was somewhat dreading the next leg. My name was called as we were boarding. In my life’s experience, anytime someone ever states my name in public, it is almost always because I am in trouble and that I did something wrong. Well once again, the friendly people at Delta thought it was fitting that I arrive in style, automatically upgraded to business first class, aka “elite” status. I usually do not like it when people wait on me, open doors for me, carry my luggage, etc., but for what I paid for the tickets, Delta could have started to message my feet and I would not have cared. But, needless to say, I was an excruciating flight. I had to use my own personal LCD display for the TV monitoring, which had full access to music, movies, games, flight data, etc. It was very intense. After I was served several rounds of snacks (minus the alcohol), I was forced to eat the four course meal with real silverware and glass drinks. The fancy napkins were a little cumbersome though. Finally, just before arrival, I had to have breakfast. I departed from the plane, and almost instantly I was in trouble again. I did the taboo thing; I took pictures of the plane and airport. One of the security officers said something like, uppp uppp uppp, which I believe is Ghanaian for “Stop that!” I had my visa stamp in about 5 minutes, and the luggage was on the conveyor belt almost immediately. I was about to grab my bags and go, except my bags never came right away. After fighting through the crowds and hundreds of bags that looked just like mine, I finally picked up my bags. I finished up through customs real quick like, and made my way down the red carpeted platform. The luggage carts had brakes on them that were quite annoying, that was until I realized their stopping power on the way down the big red carpeted ramp. If I was in the U.S., I probably would have ridden the cart down the ramp, but due to the lack of qualified medical facilities, I took the adult and mature option of riding the brakes down the hill. I was met by Edward who was holding up the AAI sign for me. He only held it up when there was the lonely white boy coming down the ramp (which was funny to me), so it really wasn’t a challenge for Edward to figure out who his client was. I thought I was going to go to the hotel, but instead went right to the orphanage. I hope there are families for all of those kids, because I would take them all if I could. They were very nice and happy. I don’t know who is who yet, but I will be figuring that out over the next several days. I did start taking several pictures as I have been ordered. If I can find a cable to hook up to the camera, I will send them along soon. It is now 12 noon on Wed. the 26th. Instead of staying at the hotel like originally planned, I wound up at the guest house. It is a block away, and it would be a 15 minute drive everyday if I did the hotel thing. Yes it is humid, but not hot (If you’re from Florida). The guest house does not have air conditioning, but boasts some spectacular barbed wire fencing, along with a community toilet and shower for your toileting needs. The little feathers on the bed sheets are kind of fun to flick off the bed, and the ceiling fan blows air. Since it is so close to the orphanage, I would rather huff it out for a week than to be stuck waiting for a ride each day. I will update more by tomorrow, but I am in a fog because I only slept for about 3 hours and even though it says noon on my watch, it is really 7 am. Zack is currently in the room next to me at the guesthouse. If you are reading this message (then you are not illiterate), that means my computer worked at the internet cafĂ© just up the road. Signing off for now, and don’t let the bedbugs bite (haven’t found those….yet) Jim


Day 1 Evening..

Day 1 evening
Later in the day on Wednesday, more details can be added. The kids are all well taken care of. Most have the typical orphanage behavior of fighting over things that really seem to be about a power struggle more than anything else. Gifty is a riot. She is very ticklish and man can she do the funky dance. Little Mary and Martha are funny little kids. They laugh a lot and you can just move towards them and they start to giggle. I don’t usually see that in kids that young. Most of the kids just want to be held and / or touched. I interpret that to mean that they want a mom and a dad that they can call their own. I sincerely believe that all the house parents really care for the kids, and the affection neededby the kids is understandable. I can tell that they are fed well because most of the kids eat half of what is on their plate, so they are not lacking food J How that smiley face just showed up there is beyond me….

The guest house is interesting. Several observations; I have been upgraded to a new room that has a toilet inside of my room. You get to the toilet by walking through a big, scary, empty room that leads to the bathroom. The room has one small fluorescent light bulb that illuminates the living quarters. I kind of reminds me of having a bug light inside the room. Anyway, instead of looking at barbed wire, I now have a view of the next door neighbors window, and vice a versa. That makes for a lower comfort factor in using the bathing facilities. I was able to take a nap this afternoon, and the wake up service worked very well. It seemed that an unhappy guest was yelling at the front desk area and the voices carried as if they were inside the room. Zack heard it at the opposite end of the hall as I did. Even though I could not understand every word, the international language of profanity did echo quite clearly. Its funny that the only words I could understand only contained four letters and were repeated over and over again. On a more serious note, if you want to spend the most time with the children, the guest house is the place to be. Secondly, the money I am saving by staying here will be able to be used for the orphanage and is a measly little sacrifice for me. I would not recommend this place for a female traveling alone, although things should be ok, it is just a little rough all the way around.
I have been called white boy several more times. I am getting used to it. Make a note that stamp pads with ink for kids does show up well on white skin, but not black. The kids are fascinated with my hair, which for obvious reasons is different and therefore drawing attention.
We are supposed to go to the embassy early in the morning to file the paperwork. So right now that is the main focus of everything. Once that is done, then we will see what will happen next. This update will be delayed by about two days, but after that, hopefully things will be better communicated. That’s it for now…..

9 comments:

Robin's Reports said...

Woohoo! Saying another prayer this morning.
(side note: you blogged at 3:50am? Impressive.)

Shana said...

What a great update! It's obvious that God's favor is upon Jim. I am confident that will carry over at the embassy. Praying...

Shana

Anonymous said...

Renee, this is fabulous! Jim is doing a wonderful job at keeping us updated. I love his description of the children, I can't wait to hear more...

Jennine

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad we get to read these updates...
praying!!

In Him,
Grateful for Grace

Sophie said...

Jim is hilarious!! I'm glad that things seem to be going so well. It's fun to see the traditional clothing of that country--very different than Ethiopia! Best wishes to you all--I hope your days at home go well, too!!

~ Angi :) said...

What a beautiful and humorous write up as the final days of the boys' life at the Eban house comes to a close . . .

Congratulations, Renee ~ I know you are excited to have them all home safe.

Mominireland said...

Hey, I stayed at that guest house for a week, in the same room! Too funny. I always wondered if I should be using that empty room on the way to the bathroom for something...

Jenny said...

I am lovin' Jim's humor!! Will be praying without ceasing for you, Jim, Eben and Joel, and all the ones at home. Love and miss you!
Jenny

Anonymous said...

May God be with you all while he is gone! We will be praying for you all and praying expectedly!!!! God bless and I love and miss you all!
Leah-Joy.