I am not making up the names, today we went to La Bamba Beach in an area of Accra, called LA. The beach entrance was next to the Power of Miracles Church and the All Souls Baptist Church.
We were at a beach place, we had a bohio or summer hut for our group, 8 children, Peter, Paul, Gabriel and Micheal and Mary Ama, Maude, Akos and Patricia, and the adults, Kwame, Renee, Richard, Belinda, Elena, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Kimberly and Keith. The children got to come to the hotel after we picked them up at the school, they were very excited about the entire experience. They loved the water, lots of splashing, running in and out of the waves. Renee and Kaitlyn and Sarah all had their suits on, so they were in the water about knee deep with the children. The sea was a tiny tiny bit rough, the water clear and warm like in Florida, the sand grey. Besides the people being baptized a few hundred yards down the beach, we had the place mostly to ourselves.
The children were in the water for about 30 or 40 minutes, then we all came back up for beverages and the children all had rice and chicken plates, they were very happy. We danced, they have all learned the +Macaroni+ from Kaitlyn, really they mean the Macarena. They also know the Electric and Cupid slide and a dance called Wooble Wooble. It was great spending time with them just being children. They laughed, played, ran around, high energy, they all got along, we hunted for shells and a few got covered all up with sand. It was a treat to be out in the sun, it was a beautiful day, the breeze next to the ocean refreshing.
Prior to the beach outing we attend the service at the Pure Fire church in Kissemah. This is the church that Kwame goes to. I have written about this church in the past, it is much like a stadium event. The building is all cement, not finished, open, no windows, three levels, and about 2000 people attend. There is hooting, hollering, dancing, praying out loud, in tounges, sometimes the sound level of everyone is like that of a crowd at a baseball game after a home run has beem scored. It is an experience that you have to be ready for, you have to be willing and able to be part of something very big and loud. And today, not sure the reason, the service as 2 hours and 40 minutes. Normally it runs from 8:30am to 10:3am, today the pastor ended around 11:20am. The church is based in Nigeria, the resident pastor for the Ghana congregation is Nigerian and for whatever reason the accent is strong and I honestly could only understand the AMEN, and in the name of Jesus cries of the congregation.
There are many churches in Ghana. I've driven past Catholic, Apostolic, Luthern, Baptist, Muslim, Pure Fire, some have names I can't remember how to spell. God is everywhere in Ghana.
I am typing this blog entry at the hotel business center, my iPad for some reason, ran out of juice completely. It is up in the room getting charged up. I think the cover was opened while we were at the beach when the back pack was moved, not sure. So please forgive the typos.
The fresh air made me tired, I am ready for bed. I brought my new copy of AFAR magazine and will read that in the room. Tomorrow we are headed to the school early, I have a meeting or date with Ceci at 7:30am in the kitchen area. I am looking forward to seeing her and spending time with her. Tomorrow we will be at school all day, observing the lessons and helping Renee with the 5 suitcases of supplies that came with us. I want to unpack and put everything in order for her so she can store where appropriate in the school office. Tomorrow evening we are having the dinner for all the staff and volunteers at the University of Ghana Dinning Center. I am looking forward to the outing.
Time goes by fast, there are moments from this trip that I will remember forever. Watching Mary Ama Logo savour her every last bit of chicken from the drumstick she had. She was eating with a knife and fork and not quite getting all the meat off the bone, I motioned to her to pick up with her hands, and she smiled and picked up the drum stick with a mission. Mary is six years old, she is tiny. Her two front teeth have been missing for 2 years one. One is finally starting to come in small small. She is quiet, smart, and has a gigantic smile. She is the sister of Michael who was also with us today, and Peter and Paul are twin brothers.
And yes at church, I moved to the back row that is closest by the open windows because about 90 minutes into the service, I got very warm, A nice Ghanian man came and sat next to me and wanted my phone number and email. He wanted to get to know me. He was quite attentive, made sure I knew the place in the program the pastor was reading from. When he found out I was with Kwame, he got up and moved elsewhere in the church. I did not see him again. Always something going on.