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

Monday, December 31, 2007

Jim in Ghana (Day 5)

Day 5

I finally did it. I succumbed to peer pressure. We stopped off at a local restaurant in Ghana. Zack, to no surprise, had some fried plantain thingies, with fish. The fish was fried, and oh yea, it was the whole fish. Head, flippers, and all. I think it was still moving on his plate. The one thing he did not do which was kind of disappointing was to do as the locals and eat all of the bones, along with the head. Maybe next time. The other companion had some fishy soupy thingy with corn flour balls. She did the customary eating with the hands (right one only). There is a special reason to eat with the right hand. For those of you who are not the seasoned travelers, lets just say it has to do with the lack of toilet paper. So then there was me. I said to myself, “Self, you might as well dig in too.” I ordered the cheese pizza. It was pretty good. The only thought I had was that the cheese was probably goat cheese. It has not yet been 24 hours, and I figured if I make it through that window I should be fine. Maybe I will start bleeting.

The power went out last night right before I was going to update day 4. I was told this could happen, but by the time I packed up and got back to the room it came back on. The guest house has a generator so that helped. It lighted up the 5 lights in the entire building just fine. I guess its good the water heaters weren’t on or it may have overloaded the circuit.

Today was church day..It was hard to understand most of it because it was preached in another language, and the interpreter had an accent who talked half of the time when the preacher spoke. A couple of strange things happened to me. I will just give a few of the highlights. They like to dance. In fact, they all started doing the train thing. Keep in mind this was no white people train, they are all movin’ and groovin’ up and down the aisle. To my horror, the house mother attending service thought it would be nice to show me around. Needless to say, she put me on board the train. When I was a lost person, I hated dancing. Baptists are known for their lack of dancing. I can say I stuck to my convictions and I did NOT dance! I just did the obruni shuffle with everyone else;o). It seemed like hours, but was probably 5-10 minutes. I was one of the few who did not have a white handkerchief to waive around while I was doing the train. I did not shake my behind either like many of the other women. What was done was not irreverent, it was actually quite enjoyable (once I got off the train and I could watch from a distance). They even had tambourines and whistles of all things out among the congregation. They were definitely using them. Just think of reggae type worship music. I have seen some wild stuff on American T.V. which showed stuff similar to this, but I think this put a lot of the American churches to shame. Another bizarre moment was when the preacher told us to gaze into the persons eyes next to us. Then without notice everyone started praying. I would almost say this was in tongues, but everyone was speaking in a foreign language anyway, but it sure sounded like tongues to me. The lady yelled at me to start praying, so I just prayed like I usually would with my typical quiet Baptist prayer. I was warned about church services like this that receive multiple offerings as well. You have to do the train thing to go up front to put your offering in the box. I snuck around the side the first time, but the second time I got busted and was made to get back on board. The good thing was that it was a short trip. I think there was a third offering, and each time you thought church was over, it was like the Energizer bunny, it didn’t stop.

I had to leave to get something and when I came back the kids from the orphanage saw me and brought me into the building where children’s church was. There were dozens of kids and they were all doing the typical stare as they gazed at white man. All you have to do to them is smile and shake their hands and the next thing you know, they will shake over and over again. I have concluded that all of the kids in the area are nice kids who are just a little reserved at first. Most of the adults won’t look at you, but I say hello as I am passing by and almost every adult will smile and say hello. I think if we make good relations with the people here, any time someone comes in the future they will be just as, if not more welcomed. I can see the workers opening up a little more too. At the very minimum, if you go out of your way to be kind, that will open up things for a long time to come for the obrunis. I kind of feel like I am part of the obruni tribe now. Since it is mid day and the internet cafĂ© is closed for most if not all of the day, I am going to stop here and include the rest of today on day 6….


Anonymous said...

We are still praying expectedly that the boys will come home with Jim! I love and miss you all VERY much!
God bless,

Noel said...

We love you guys and you are all in our prayers!

heretodayghanatomorrow said...

Oh my goodness, he makes me laugh with his descriptions! I can just picture him at church. I love reading this experience from Jim and Zach's point of view as it is different but they are both so fun and entertaining!
I am praying that the paperwork is processed quickly!

Sue said...


I really appreciate you blogging Jim's adventures :)


Jen said...

I have been meaning to leave a comment for while now but though I read the posts, not sure why I didn't take the time to leave you a comment before now.

Anyways, I just want you to know that I "love" your blog and it is such a blessing.

Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us!