Oct 3, 2015

Saturday ~ 7:50am Ghana Time

I don't know when I will post this. I have at least two more hours of waiting time at Kotoka in Ghana, I decided to write. Writing will calm my nerves a bit.

The Delta aircraft from NYC has not landed in Ghana. It is 45 minutes late arriving, it should be landing any minute now. The counter agent already moved me to a later flight out of New York to Atlanta. Not sure I will make that connection. I have 2 packets of oatmeal, 2 JIFF peanut butter packets and 2 protein bars. And lots of Tylenol PM - I'm ready.

Leaving Ghana is always interesting. Last night I got two surprise roommates in the volunteer unit at Kissemah. Camirra and Jasmin came to Kissemah for the weekend. Kwame and Flo forget to tell me they were coming. It all worked out.

I got up at 5am today and got ready in record time. I have my Grandma Chichi DNA - she always traveled by being prepared and extra prepared and being early. I am the same way. For some reason the volunteer quarters door got stuck when I was ready to go, I could not get out of the room. Fortunately Ceci was passing by and she helped me get out. I had two cups of coffee with Ceci in the back kitchen area. We sat quietly for a bit and enjoyed the early Ghana morning breeze and the songs of the nearby roosters. It wouldn't be early morning in Kissemah if you didn't hear the roosters and chickens.

Ceci came with Kwame to drop me off at the airport. It was very nice. We left the compound around 5:45am and the traffic to the airport was LIGHT.

Yesterday I was in the MOP office about 4pm when some of the area children were coming home from other schools near and around Kissemah. A few days ago I gave two young girls some small story, coloring books. They are made for classroom reading and art activities, the kids love them. When they passed by the Kissemah office yesterday they stopped to thank me again and tell me how much they enjoyed. Their older sister was with them and she shared that she had been a MOP student long long ago, she said Auntie Renee was her teacher. And a volunteer named Heather. It was nice to see them. They were so appreciative. Anything related to coloring and drawing the children love it.

At the airport I queued in all the appropriate lines. I forgot the thermal station where they take your body temperature before you enter immigration. The officers in immigration in Ghana are like the Customs officers in US - they don't smile, they're not friendly and sometimes even mean spirited like the one I encountered today. When he waved me to the assigned agent that would stamp my passport - that agent when I arrived to his station was stamping a handful of passports along with the immigration card, and interestingly each passport had a US $10 bill. When he was done he put the documents and passports in a worn manila envelope and set them aside in his work station.

Speaking of US Dollar bills, Reginald from the compound, he is 11, he is one of Cecelia's son. Yesterday was his birthday and he thought he had hit the jackpot of jackpots. He found an envelope in a dust bin (I never got the details of where ) with about 15 or 20 US $100 Bills - and at first glance when he showed them to me, they looked real. Whoever did the set up and printing did a great job. I took them to the volunteer quarters and we compared with the dollar bills I have (not hundreds) and we all confirmed they were fake counterfeit. Kwame advised Regi and Nicholas to tear them up in pieces and put them in the rubbish to be burned. Reginald was disappointed, at the same time, he understood that the bills were not real and that he could get in trouble if he was found out by a police officer, or worse, someone could harm if they thought the bills were real. Always something.

Everyone at the gate is getting a bit restless. Everyone is estimating when the aircraft will and and when we will depart, last I heard the 9am departure time is now 10:30AM.
It is now 8:15am and no aircraft.

In the departure area there is a demo area set up for DUBAI real estate. A lady approached me and asked me if I wanted to invest in The First Group real estate projects, at the low cost of $350,000 US Dollars for a one bedroom unit. HMMM ? I watched the promotional video, I had no idea that Dubai was a combination of Disneyland and Las Vegas. The man made peninsula and all of the tall condominium buildings were beautiful. They actually did not look real. The entire video looked photoshop slick.

I am entertaining having a cappuccino, there is a large church group next to me and they are all drinking coffee. My hesitance, I don't want to get hyped up with caffeine for a hurry up and wait for 2 or 3 more hours. The coffee that Ceci makes I don't think has caffeine. I had a significant withdrawal headache the 2nd or 3rd day I was here, then my body got settled and I was good.

We are all waiting, waiting for the aircraft. Stay tuned.

8:38am - 478 flight from NYC has landed. Let the adventure continue.

I am now in the SABRA Lounge. For $20 bucks I am sitting in a comfortable seat, in AC, surrounded by businessmen and I have WIFI. The passengers are getting off the plane and the Delta website says we are leaving at 10:15am. Not sure they can turn around a large wide bodied jet in 75 minutes, I sure hope so.

Oh and the pastries that I saw earlier being checked by the screening machine (they were in large tupperware type containers) those pastries are here in this lounge. They have mini pizzas, humus with Pita bread and a host of other things that I am not sure what they are, they look like breakfast pastries.

Looking forward to being home in 14 to 18 hours depending on the JFK connection. I was able to Facetime with Cindy for a few minutes yesterday and Maddie knows I am coming home. She heard my voice and she looked right at the iPad screen that Cindy was holding. She was so cute. I cannot wait to kiss the girls. Morgan is going to the vet this morning, appears she has a bladder infection of sorts.

Sent from my iPad