Feb 1, 2015

Saturday Afternoon ~

I am sitting in the volunteer quarters in Kissemah Village, typing this update. Today we have power, I am sitting under the ceiling fan enjoying the mechanical breeze.

The day is bright, there is a warm afternoon sun casting a golden glow on everything I see outside in the compound. Radios are competing with silence, Mom's are washing, cooking, children are doing what children do, running, playing, screaming, singing - all that you can imagine. There is always a 1/2 naked child somewhere close.

Yesterday as exiting the room and locking the door, headed for my shower, around 7:30pm, my little friend, Godsway, was sitting completely naked and happy right outside my door. He spoke rapidly and excitedly when he saw me, I have no idea what he said. We always greet with a HIGH FIVE and he now calls me HEEE LEN. He cannot say Elena. He is the happiest 3 year old ! Full of himself, confident and always smiling.

Today we don't have internet, I will post when the signal is restored. I've thought many times since I got here that long ago there was no internet, say 1995 - at least not widely available to the general public. And today with all that I am used to doing, it's definitely a bit frustrating to be without it. Oh well ~

Earlier about 12:30pm, we had a wonderful, loud, refreshing rain. No thunder or lightning, but lots and lots of water. A river always develops out front. I was in the office when the downpour started. I stopped what I was doing, and sat and enjoyed the rain for about 20 minutes. At one point it was coming down so hard and fast, I had to actually step away from the porch and go in the office. I actually took a tiny nap on the couch in the office; a tiny gift from Mother Nature in Ghana. The sound of the rain marching across the tin roof overhang and the sound of the water rushing down the street, it was a symphony. I love love water.

Ceci and I are scheduled to see Teacher Abigail later today - she is home from the hospital. Her baby girl was born Thursday night around 10pm. She lives right next door to the school. The Ghana custom, the baby is named 7 days after its born, the naming ceremony will be next Thursday and it is held at their home. I'm sure some of this I've already written, since I don't have internet, I am a bit confused on what has been posted. My apologies.

Monday, Kwame and Innocent, a dear friend of the MOP organization will be completing the process at the Ghana port of Tema clearing the 40 foot sea-land container that was shipped from Austria, via Germany last year. Its a long long long complicated story, all I can say, AT LAST ! ! ! ! the container will be cleared.

As soon as they get the release from the shipping company, Happag LLoyd, Ghana customs will do the container inspection and as soon as that is completed, we have to transport to Aiykumah and unload. I am not exactly sure how it works, I know we have to return the container as soon as possible, so we don't incur additional transport charges.

So either Monday in the afternoon or Tuesday morning I will head back to Aiykumah with Kwame and Innocent and the container will be unloaded. The children will be thrilled to have the metal school desks and all the supply and house hold items that have been donated and shipped from Austria. I will definitely take photos and share.

Today Kwame and I also shopped for a generator for the school in Aiykumah. We need a larger capacity machine, in order to hook up the pump to the well and the school kitchen. We visited one place that had what we were looking for, the cost of the generator, 5500.00 Ghana Cedi's or about $1600.00 US Dollars. They only take cash. When I asked about a warranty, the man who was helping us, looked at me like I had two heads. He said, "we've sold about 200 of this type and none have spoiled. If you have a problem, you bring it back, we will fix it for a small fee." I told Kwame I wanted to come back to the office and Google information on companies that sell generators in Ghana - hence my tiny bit of frustration not having access.

Very few places in Ghana take credit cards, very few. And that can be an issue like today. I've used my card here before at a large store called GAME, they are affiliated with Walmart somehow - and there has never been any problems. Today I wanted to buy a few things at a like store called Palace and they would not run my credit card unless I had a pin # - not the same pin # you use for ATM, but a pin # to post a charge against the card. I called Visa and they said that due to all the cards all over the world being transitioned to the chip system, that additional measures have been put in place in countries like Ghana - until the chip cards are used by everyone, everywhere. Interesting that they asked me for a pin, but they did not ask for ID. The lady at the cash register told me they don't check ID on any credit card transactions.

Today is my last Saturday in Ghana. Next Saturday I travel back to Atlanta, the Delta flight leaves at 10pm each night, except Wednesdays. Three weeks will have gone by very fast, I arrived on January 17th.

On my 5 prior visits I've not experienced the consistent lack of power, water yes, but not the LIGHTS OFF everyday like we've had. It has been interesting. With water you can go fetch, as much trouble as that is, the water is always available. The power is controlled by the government and there is no power to be fetched. The topic is daily in the news, in government updates and briefings. I read articles that quoted the current president saying that in 2015 the power outages would be no more. Ghana is growing fast fast fast, my assumption, past administrations did not invest in the infrastructure, and the significant rise in demand caught them by surprise.

Last night I had a dream with my DAD. In the dream, he was giving me advice on how to care for one of the children from the school. In the dream I saw his face and heard his voice, like he was sitting right next to me. I was happy to have his visit and company. I woke up with a big smile in my heart. I know if he was alive today he would have worried the first few times I visited Ghana, but overall he would have given me his blessing and support. I know both of my parents are watching me and caring for me from Heaven.