Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday January 18--In Ghana

[Written Sunday, January 18 at 8pm]

What a day. It feels like I'm finally mentally here now. It took about 12 hours of sleep and a nice long walk in the Ghanaian air, but I'm finally "here."

Today was just the sort of day I needed after the 48 hours it took to get here, and two lost pieces of luggage. After I slept (way!) in, did some stuff on the computer, and ate a piece of bread, I headed out for Eban House.

I'm in a new (to me) hotel and wasn't totally sure how to get a taxi and find my way to Eban House. I walked about a block to the street where you can catch a taxi. [So AAI folks, the transportation is NOT a problem at Bora Bora!] The sun was beating down on me so I didn't want to just stand and wait for a taxi. I thought, "I'll just keep walking and one will stop." Not. Note to self--if you want a taxi you've got to stop and wait for one!

I knew I was headed in the direction of Eban House and I was on a pretty good road (by Ghana standards). So I kept walking. I walked until there really were no more taxis driving by. About a mile into it I stopped to ask a lady if I was going towards Centry Road (my goal). "Oh yes!" she says, "You go straight. You are almost there!" Note to self--"Almost there" in Ghanaian English is not "Almost there" in American English. In American English "Almost there." might mean a few blocks. In Ghanaian English it means oh...about a mile and a half. Eventually I did get to Centry Road and I was perfectly in line with "N.D.C. Junction" (the road I needed for Eban House). It was about a 30 minute walk, I'd estimate.

It was so good to walk into my Ghana "home." The kids absolutely smothered me with affection and attention, which is good for a weary soul. Eban House looks great. It's hard to believe 18 months has gone by since we took custody of the home. It was faded and neglected then. Now it's bright and happy. There are vegetables and fruits growing like wildfire, trying to keep up with the kids!

The big excitement of the day was when a lizard got into Eban House. I was kind of shocked at how creeped out the aunties were about it! It was on a window screen, but inside. They were trying to shoo it out with a broom. When that failed they were going to send for a man. Maybe a lizard is the Ghanaian version of a rat?! I asked if they bit. Nope. So I walked over and got a hold on its tail--which proceeded to break off! ICK! But I was determined. Plus, I could tell I was making big points with the kids and staff. I got the tail again (higher up this time) and pulled that sucker down. He was a nice guy and was helpless once hanging by his tail. I put him outside and the entire house applauded me! LOL!

I think that 5pm is my absolute favorite time of day in Ghana. The sun is down but not out. The breeze is always up. It's just wonderful outside after a blistering day. The kids and staff all went outside to play. I just never get enough of watching them. They played all sorts of traditional games--their version of our Duck Duck Goose and Red Rover, Red Rover. I get the biggest kick out of watching our aunties run around with them, as if they were kids themselves. Of course I know they are on their best behavior for "the boss." I'm sure they don't get out there and run WITH the kids every day. But they do some days. That was evident by the children's responses.

When it started getting dark I headed back towards my hotel. There is a new little grocery right on Eban House road. I stopped and got a pack of Ramen noodles (it was that or sardines), in hopes that my hotel could give me some hot water and a cup. I had just had a granola bar and a piece of bread all day. I caught a taxi (1 cedi) and before I knew it I was right back here at the hotel. It was HEAVEN walking into my air conditioned room! Tonight, the dim light doesn't matter at all. I've eaten my first real meal (Ramen) and that fixes a lot of things. This room is good.

My 1 outfit has been hand washed with a bar of soap and is now drying on various surfaces in the room. I can only hope that they will be dry before I need them tomorrow morning! Hopefully my luggage will arrive tomorrow. I called the airport today and they said to call "tomorrow." The thing Ghana "tomorrow" can mean anything. It can mean 1 day away or 2 weeks. We'll see...

Soon I'm off to bed, a bit chilled because the sun "bit" me a bit today, and a bit itchy because mosquitoes bit me a bit today too. Note to self--always pack sunscreen and mosquito repellant in carry-on!