Feb 9, 2015

HOME

It's Monday, I woke up at 3am. I went back to sleep and got up at 5:30am, I took Maddie and Morgan out to do their business. It's wonderful how simple, familiar, routine activities in life can be so rewarding and comforting.

Maddie and Morgan were close all night long, especially Maddie. I knew I was home when I woke up this morning and a Morgan tennis ball was at the foot of the bed. They are both such sweet girls. And certainly they don't forget their daily routines. They were right next to me wanting their cappuccino foam, after they both had their breakfast.

Yesterday I knew I was tired when I had trouble navigating the terminals at JFK. I remember checking the departure boards for the Atlanta flight. After passing through immigration and customs and rechecking my bags, I was excited to get to gate B20, and find a place to sit quietly for a few minutes. Much to my surprise when I got to B20 it was the gate for a flight to Aruba and not Atlanta. Well at least I got the first letter of the city correct.

So back to the departure flight information boards to confirm that the Atlanta gate was B-35 and not B-20. It was nice that the Delta Sky Club was right across from B-35 so it all worked out. I actually slept on the flight to Atlanta. It was a short two hours indeed. And the middle seat was empty.

When I got to Atlanta, I got on the train - I think I was sleep walking by then. I remember the train announcement saying - next stop is C gates, next stop is D gates - I soon realized I was on the wrong train. First time ever that I've been confused on boarding the train at Hartsfield. This slight detour allowed for my bags to reach carrousel 7 by the time I got there. And Cindy was waiting for me curbside, I was ready to be home.

I slept from 2pm to 5pm and then did my best to stay awake until 8pm to manage the transition back to the Eastern Time Zone. Today I am up early, ready to unpack, do laundry, open the mail, and hang out with Maddie and Morgan. I think were supposed to have rain all day in Atlanta.

I lost 10 lbs in 22 days. This has been my average on every trip, usually a half pound for each day I am there. As I tell people, there is no pantry in my Ghana experience. No grocery store close by. And the heat always curbs my appetite. I am grateful for the wonderful care and hospitality provided by Ceci. I am very careful about what I eat and I've never had any stomach or digestion type issues. For the first few days I am home, I eat very simple foods, Frosted Mini Wheats and pineapple. Tonight I will have stir fry veggies mainly cabbage and carrots much like Ceci makes for me daily. And I will continue drinking lots and lots of water.

Even though I've been to Ghana now six times, I'm always surprised when I get home by the order and certainty of things. Things like lanes marked on the highways, like the row of houses on my street being similar in size, in building materials, in shape and form, like the order of living inside, eating and taking showers inside, of closet space, shelves, I even appreciate the Tupperware drawer. I think about the certainty that when I turn the faucet on, water will be available 100% of the time. The same for power.

When I went to sleep at 2pm, the sound of silence got my attention. The silence is loud, no radios, no children outside the window, no dogs barking, no generators humming in the background. I welcomed the silence as I was falling fast asleep; the gratitude in my heart for all the blessings and comforts in my life - front and center, a mental billboard that I see over and over.

Amazing how a random Google search for "recycled glass bead bracelets from Ghana" has made such a significant impact on my life.

My most sincere thanks to everyone whose provided encouragement, support and financial contributions to help the children of Mawuvio's. I am grateful each and everyday ! ! ! As they say in Ewe, AKPE AKPE AKPE - Thanks Thanks Thanks !