Sunday, April 29, 2007

Travel Journal: 3-26-07, Monday Part I

It's 8:45pm, which doesn't seem so late now that I'm in air conditioning at the DutcHotel! It's so quiet. I'm used to big trucks passing by, and dogs fighting, and cars honking, and kids chattering. Now I only hear the hum of my AC and ceiling fan.

I think, probably because it's not "home" (Hands of Mercy) I have a poor impression of DutcHotel so far. The room is fine, the bed is big, and it's a clean room. I have hot water and cool air. But the prices for extra services seem ridiculous to me after living in "real" Ghana the past two weeks. Internet is 2000 cedis (.20) per minute here vs. 6000 cedis per HOUR outside of these walls! I had to buy a bottle of water since we didn't stop by the store as planned. 27,000 ($3) for 1.5 liters to be delivered to my room! I could by the same amount of water for 1200 cedis (.12) on the street in bags! Oh well. I'm here. I'll be back in America within the week so I might as well get acclimated to the taste of America I have here at the hotel.

Today was a slow day. Bright and I slept in and didn't come out of the room until 8:15am. So late! LOL! I was tired from a bad night of sleep so I was counting the minutes until Bright's nap so that I could rest with him. In the 11 o'clock hour the sky darkened and I noticed various preparations taking place around the house. Clothes off the lines...pots being set outside...the front door closed. Before long it was so dark we had to put the lights on and the wind was so strong the metal gate outside was making a fearsome racket. Even the new puppy, Jack, got to come in.

Then the rain started. It POURED! Only a few times in my life have I seen rain like this in Oklahoma. It was so hard and so dense. The temperature outside dropped about 30 degrees. It was WONDERFUL! [After all, all good Okies love a hum-dinger of a storm!]

Bright's nap time came about and we both slept for 3 hours in the cool air, with the sound of the rain lulling us into dreams.
After I woke Bright was still asleep so I used the time to pack--sifting between what would stay (for Bright or the kids) and what would go. I left almost everything I brought for Bright--taking only a few more sentimental things and items I know they won't use here. My two suitcases have become one for the trip home.
After rest time there were a few hours to play with Bright and the children (who were let out of school early because of the rain). I brought out the crochet hat I made for Bright (which all of the kids adore) and all of the sudden there was a huge interest in ho to "do it like dat." Before long this lefty was trying to teach several righties how to do a slip knot and simple crochet chain. The children were quite diligent. Two boys and one girl had successfully made a chain before I left. I gave them a large skein of yarn I brought and 3 crochet hoots to practice with--along with the promise that I will bring a crochet book next time I come and that I will make them all hats. =-)
7:30 came along quickly and before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye to Bright. By that time he was ready to go to bed (no coke today!) so he was adamantly crying for me and only me. It was very hard leaving him as he cried for me to cuddle him so he could go to sleep. I know he's in very good hands. They just aren't mine, so I feel empty.

We made the 15 minute drive to the hotel and everybody said their goodbyes after checking out the room (and making sure the TV worked--this is always the first thing done when you walk in). Paul led us in a prayer of protection before leaving. He's so worried that something will happen to me if he's not here to watch over me. Honestly, I will miss being under his knowledgeable guidance as well. As soon as an obruni leaves the care of a Ghanaian friend people try to take advantage and get the money they assume you have by charging at least double (if not triple) the normal price.

The first night I got here I sat on my bed at Hands of Mercy and cried because everything was so foreign and I felt lonely. Now I sit here in a comfortable hotel room--my own slice of America--missing the surroundings of my Ghana home--Hands of Mercy.