Thursday, April 26, 2007

Travel Journal: 3-25-07, Sunday

Late night here in Accra--9:44pm and B isn't even asleep yet! [More on why later.] The day started by getting ready for church. The plan was for Bright and I to wear the matching Ghanaian outfits Edward's wife made for us, but I wimped out. It's a dense cotton material and the shirt was just to hot for me to wear!! So I wore the skirt with one of my shirts and Bright wore his matching outfit. Church was good.

You know you're charismatic go to church in West Africa and it's pretty much like home! LOL!
The Hands of Mercy kids sang their two songs very well. Unlike Edward's church the service was in local language so I really have no idea what the message was about!

After church Bright and I were taken to a room where the pastor prayed over us (no vegetable oil this week). It was an excellent and spirit-filled prayer. I cried.

From church we came home for a quick snack before heading to the one internet cafe open on Sundays (in this area). From there we headed home to gather Paul's family and the 3 eldest girls to go and visit Lawrencia's family about 1 hour 15 minutes away.

As an American with a small bladder I find that it's almost an obsession for me here to think about where or IF there is a "washroom" (bathroom) at the places we visit. Paul assured me that his brother-in-law had built his own house and of course it had a washroom! Knowing that a toilet doesn't equal toilet paper here, I brought my travel role.

During the visit with Lawrencia's family we were first served a bag of water (15 oz) then everybody was given a soft drink. I tried to politely decline (full of water) but it was no use. Paul and I were served the most special drinks--"Malta by Guiness." No alcohol. I reluctantly tried it only to have my suspicions confirmed--NASTY! LOL! I felt awful having been given the special drink only to trade for a Coke--but I had to. Paul said that he hasn't met an American yet who liked it. ;-)

So then I had a long neck bottle of Coke to drink when I really felt like it would make me sick (don't usually drink caffeine and especially not if I have a car ride ahead of me). So I did the unthinkable (for me, if I were in America) and I took a few sips and let Bright drink basically the whole Coke!!! He LOVED it and had it down i no time!!

So it was time to leave and Paul, knowing by now that I always go to the "washroom" before leaving, suggested I go. I stood up, expecting to walk into the house (we sat outside during the visit) only to be pointed to the "washroom" 5 feet behind where we were all sitting!
The "washroom" was a 5 foot tall by maybe 4X4 feet across cement bloke enclosure which had been adorned with a cloth across the door, just for me. Ahh! So off I went, thankful that I brought the toilet paper but a but turned off by the thought that it would be riding home in my bag since PT isn't used during pee here and the "washroom" was literally a cement slab with a drain pipe leading out to the puddle I had noticed earlier. Ahh! Life in Ghana!

Lawrencia's brother had no electricity, no running water, and no indoor toilet facilities. But he had a concrete block home 1/2 finished, and screens on his windows, and his kids go to school. He is a middle class Ghanaian man. Think about it. Leaving, I realized how high class I have it here at Hands of Mercy in my usually electrified room with my fan and my toilet with running water. Take it a step further and think about how good I have it as a middle class American citizen with my safe running water, washing machine, dishwasher, air conditioning, and car with NO holes in the floorboard. Wow.
So remember how Bright drank the whole Coke? Man! The kid is flyin' high! He is normally fighting it to make it past 7pm before he sleeps, but tonight he is totally buzzing and it's past 10pm! He's currently standing up and then trowing himself over my legs over and over and over again while chanting nonsense words with bugged out eyes! This is why my kids don't drink caffeine! A minute ago he hit his head HARD on the headboard and he just bounced up and laughed hysterically! NO MORE COKES FOR BRIGHT!!!

Bright did have a first today! While on his Coke high he went from laying down on his back to sitting up without assistance! That is so huge! Since receiving him two weeks ago he has gone from only being able to sit (if sat down) and stand (if stood up) to walking while only holding one hand; cruising along walls and furniture; going from sitting on someone's lap to standing without assistance; pulling up from sitting to standing; being immobile on the floor to doing a modified crawl; and now going from laying to sitting! Go baby go!

Bright has finally fallen asleep. My last night in bed with him has started. Tomorrow I will sleep without my baby. Sometimes it feels like I'll do fine when I'm home without him--because Taevy and Samren will keep me busy. Other times I think I will collapse at the thought of going home without him. I just don't know what the reality will be. I only have peace that whatever the reality, it is truly how God planned it.


Anonymous 10:50 AM  

Bright is just amazing and beautiful and wonderful. I so enjoy reading your blog.
I had to laugh at the coke story - S. was given coke all.the.time by his foster family in Cambodia. Oh my, we couldn't even keep the stuff in the house because he would freak out and want some. You don't want to have to get that monkey off a toddler's back ;-) ;-)

I think of your whole family often, and hope that Bright will soon be united with you. Keep fighting the good fight - don't let the agency same ol same ol get you down. This chapter will soon be over and the rest of your life will begin!
Jennifer S.