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

Friday, December 28, 2007

Jim in Ghana (Day 3)

Day 3

Today started out like most mornings so far. I am awakened by the sound of a straw broom sweeping the concrete around the building. The family outside the guest house in the home immediately next door seems like they are right inside my room. It reminds me that I am not home and that there are people close by. It may seem weird, but I am getting used to it. It is almost like when I wake up and have 2-3 kids who snuck into my bed and fell asleep on top of my legs so when I wake up if feels that someone poured concrete on me and I have to wiggle my way out of bed.

I went back over to “Starbucks” to hook up the computer again around 9 am and it was a lot less crowded. There was American Christian worship music playing this time, which did not seem to fit the locale. I missed the initial call about what happened at the Embassy this morning.

We headed for the orphanage and were able to go to “school” inside the orphanage. We showed up when they were having singing time. It was quite noisy (kinda like at my house) These guys can sure keep a beat (unlike the obrunis) The little children are fascinated with me when I walk by and they want to touch me. They think it is just so weird to see the funny white man. When they see me coming, they probably bet each other that they are too chicken to run up and touch me, so they must take on the challenge.

I forgot my camera this morning and they remembered from last night that they wanted to see their picture in the camera again. I will try again when I walk by in a little while

I was planning to stay in the hotel when I first got here. Since I didn’t know the food situation I brought a hot pot and some packs of rice, cans of chicken, and granola bars. It turns out that I am more chicken that the stuff I brought in the can because I have not eaten anything which I have not brought myself. Zack on the other hand has already eaten cole slaw, fish head soup with some kind of gooey bread (he even ate it with his hands) and he ate the Christmas goat at the orphanage. He has not gotten sick yet. After what he has eaten so far, it that won’t do it, then I would figure that he must have been exposed to radiation at some point in his life and he will be just fine. Good for him. I am sticking to my American diet of stuff that I brought myself. I went to a wild game feast at my church and had several exotic things such as rabbit, buffalo, ostrich, rattlesnake, quail, and deer. I only needed to do that once, and I have no desire to do it again. If everyone else likes fish gut soup and goat surprise then that is great. Some of you adventurous travelers may not see the big deal. As for me and my house, we will serve vegetables (and the occasional chicken) and that’s it. I hear a goat bleeting as I type this, how funny is that. The chickens were clucking earlier too now that I think about it.

We went to exchange money at the bank. Now again, you may be thinking big building with air conditioning, carpeted, with desks where the bank assistants sit. Nope, think of low ceiling with a man standing behind some plexiglass. Just for informational purposes, 1 Ghana cidi (pronounced like city) equals 1 US dollar. The exact exchange rate as of today is 96 cidis for 100 US dollars. They used to have a rate of about 10000 something or others to equal 1 dollar. The new way is much easier to understand.

We went for a second time to Starbucks today and more kids came up to me and started smiling. I came up to them and shook their hands and they started giggling. I think they were shocked that white guy touched them. One of them grabbed me by the hand and walked me down the street to the mini convenient store next to starbucks. He got some sort of ice cream thing out of the freezer and the kid looked at the attendant, walked out of the store, and I got stuck with the bill. It was only about 50 cents, but I thought it was funny. His other friends were laughing at him when he was walking into the store with me. He came out as the one who had the last laugh because when his friends saw that he got some ice cream out of the deal, I think they were jealous. Great, I’ll probably have a mob of kids everytime I walk down the road.

I finally heard about the phone call to the Embassy. I will have to wait until Monday morning to see if something can be done by next week. The phone called seemed positive, and from the beginning there have never been any promises. We are not trying to be optimistic, just realistic. It will take a total miracle to have God open up the way for all of this to happen. But if so, Jesus is the only One who can get the glory. Just as the song goes that I just heard outside my window, “God can make a way, when there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me.” That was followed by the goat bleeting again.

Goats bleet, don’t they? I know sheep baaaahhhh, but all I know is that I am not going to eat the poor little fella.

I have had a Fanta orange soda and a Coke, both bottled in Ghana. If I don’t keel over in a day or two, they should be safe to drink.

So, for the rest of the day, I will finish up at the orphanage again. We try to get there around dinnertime and leave just before bedtime. I know what it is like when someone comes over and throws off the kids schedule. The parents wind up paying for it in the end, but that is just part of life. I feel the same way here. Although we are totally welcome at the orphanage, we don’t want to get in the way to make it harder on the kids or the workers, it is just to make it easier on everyone involved. Will update again tomorrow…..


Noel said...

Thank you for the new post. :)
I love the way that he writes, just the way that he talks. :0)
I will be praying for the paperwork to go smoothly and that the boys can come home with your dh. The praise song that he mentioned is one of my favorites, God can make a way!

Much love and prayers,

Jenny said...

Do the children who walk with you on the street have homes or are they street children or is there anyway of knowing this? Have all the children at Eban house been matched with their forever family? Is the coffee at the "Starbucks" stronger than ours? Thanks for the posts, it is wonderful to be reading about this as it happens! I miss and love you all!

Marigrace said...

Thank you so much for keeping us posted on what is going on. Like Noel said I love the way that he rights ;0) I can just hear him. You all are in my prayers. 80)

Jim & Laurel said...

Thanks for the great play-by-play action from Accra. We love your writing style.

We are praying for the paperwork to go quickly and smoothly.

Jim & Laurel

Mr. & Mrs. L said...

Had to chuckle about the money exchange. I was expecting a bank like setting in Poland too, but more often than not was standing to block the view of my husband's money belt as he pull cash out to exchange at a hole-in-the-wall place.

Glad Jim is well and stomach intact, keep us all posted and praying!

Anonymous said...

I am so enjoying Jim's posts! I appreciate the description of the internet cafe as I had my hopes up that it would be a nice cafe with internet service too so I made the immediate adjustment in my expectations!! Also love the as for me and my house, we will eat veggies line! He is really a riot. I am right with him on all of that!
I am looking forward to hearing more about the boys.
Thanks for keeping us updated...