Aug 29, 2013

15 Red Lights

Today I left early for work, 7:10am or so, usually at this time the commute to the office is just shy of 15 minutes.  Not sure what happened or what was going on, I got to my desk at 7:55am. And it wasn't even raining, didn't see any accidents, not sure why all the cars and congestion.  All I remember: every light I came upon was red. 

Sometime during the late morning I decided to trace my commute on the white board next to my desk and I counted 15 traffic lights.  I retraced the route in my head a few times to ensure I did not miss any and figured, 3 minutes at each light X 15 stops and that's how the 45 minutes added up.  Made sense.  

Then I started to think about what my commute will be like in Kissemah and I smiled.  30 steps from the volunteer quarters to Ceci's outdoor kitchen, then about 30 steps to the front area of the compound where the school office is, then 15 or 20 steps back to the open area of the compound where we have the outdoor classes. I actually wrote down some notes under the heading, What Will Be Different in Kissemah; and here is the list.  Maybe this is all part of my separation anxiety.  I am getting ready to turn the page, start the next chapter, sometimes it is exciting, sometimes scary. 

1- 60 children will delight my heart every day Monday through Friday. I am nervous I don't know all their names, I am determined to learn them all.

2_ Heat, Heat, Heat, no AC -  It becomes mind over matter and I drink lots and lots and lots of water. And a few Club beers. 

3_ Food and Facilities, no refrigerator like the ones we all have a home, no pantry, no QuickTrip or Kroeger; there will be fresh mango and pineapple and the best scrambled eggs ever - and Wache !!!  I know Ceci will be a marvelous host and House MOM. 

4_Time, Time, Time - after school everyday, there will be time to read and time to write. I am planning to do my daily updates via - I have to locate a back up internet cafe close to Kissemah incase we are in a "lights out" condition.  

5_Matilda - I made friends with a wonderful lady on the flight home last time, Matilda B. from Brooklyn. She is a native of Ghana and is leaving on September 11th, she will be in Accra for 9 months. She lives in an area called Achimota about 10 minutes from the school.  I have an open invitation to come to her house, go to church with her on Sunday. We've talked on the phones several times over the summer. She wants to come to the school and meet all the teachers, children and Renee and Kwame. 

6_NAWA - I found this organization a few months ago, North American Women's Association in Ghana -  I have written to them asking if Renee, and Kwame and myself can come to one of their monthly meetings to make a presentation on the school.  Will be interesting to meet the members of NAWA. 

7_ Miniature Golf ... I found a miniature Golf Course close to Kissemah, actually in Achimota where Matilda lives.  One of my best childhood memories, the entire Arosemena Family at mini golf outings before our MOM passed. I am going to check this place out and take some of the children. 

8_ Random goats and chickens, they are everywhere. Not all the time, but when you least expect a goat or a chicken will come into your life. 

9_ I am going to learn EWE - Not sure how fluent I will become, I am going to practice everyday. Also need to brush up on my sign language so I can communicate with Rueben and Randolf. I found a great app for the iPad, you type in the words and on the screen you see the word translated into American Sign Language.

10_ Maddie and Morgan.... it will be tough. I love them  so much, I am going to miss them dearly.  Will they forget me ? I will take several videos of them on my iPad. And for sure talk to them on SKYPE.