Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Coming in Hot

Warning, a pity party is in session here. I'm sorry. Not normally the way I am here (I don't think) but I have to get this out of my system before I explode all over someone with tears over here.

I am totally sucking this trip. [Please, allow me to self-loath.]

I had the opportunity to introduce an awesome group of American folks to people over here--orphanage directors and kids and such. But I allowed my total love for this country to make me into this weird over-exuberant form of myself. I was putting my nose where it didn't belong. I was offering advice when none was asked for. I was basically being a know-it-all all day long. In the end, I don't think I represented myself, my organization, or this country well at all. I feel so embarrassed. I still just tear up every time I think of it. I just wanted them so much to love everything I love about this place, but I put my foot in my mouth more times than I can count.

I don't like this new "standards" of going to be past midnight that has been going on since I got here. More than that, I don't like getting home way after dark. Ghana after dark isn't my thing. I miss feeling safe and cozy in my room before the sun sets. I miss having time to digest my day. I miss having time when I'm not totally exhausted to post online and privately email people who are waiting on me. I hope that this getting in and to bed late stuff stops at this point. Honestly, that more than anything else has put a damper on this trip so far.

I left this room at 8am and forgot my medication this morning. A whole day driving and visiting various people and places without medication when you have fibromyalgia is NOT a good thing. I just kept silently praying for the Lord to make my first-thing-in-the-morning dose to last as long as possible. By early afternoon it was obvious it was going to be a long day as we were several hours behind "schedule" (whatever "schedule" is in Ghana!). =-) I took a long shot and asked K if he had any pain medicine but he didn't. [I didn't say what it was for.] He immediately offered to take me to a pharmacy but that would have just added another delay to the day so I told him that wouldn't be necessary. I'm thanking Jesus that I did make it through the day and without horrendous pain. Still, I will be VERY happy when the meds kick in, and I pray that there are no residual effects in the coming days.

As soon as I walked into my hotel this evening at well after 9pm I was greeted by the owner of the hotel. I thought it was because I hadn't yet paid (they want me to pay ever 3 days). No, it was because I left my a/c on. Thanks to me, the whole hotel almost burned down today. Literally. All of my row of chalets electricity went out. They caught the meter just before it caught on fire. All because I left my a/c on. Ugly American anyone? Yeah, that's me. I left my a/c on. I admit it. I love that feeling of walking into a cool room after a hot day. It's a bit orgasmic and I kept it on even though I knew most hotels in Ghana would rather you put it off. I didn't know it was a fire hazard to leave it on!

I'm hungry. I'm like constantly hungry. It's not for lack of food, but for lack of time to eat it. Eating a meal is normally a 2 hour commitment here. Who has that much time? We stopped to eat a good meal at around noon today, but my stomach is weird so I felt full and didn't eat it all. I should have. Forgot snack foods in the bag this morning. K was kind to stop on the way home (in ALL the traffic and get a meat pie and fan coco for me. Got back to the hotel too late to order food tonight, so it's granola bar again tonight. They didn't even have any soda left to drink tonight--only an energy drink. No thinks! I want to eat something and then SLEEP! It's not that I don't have food. It's just not normally a proper meal. It's street food and snack foods. But, thank you Lord for foods.

I'm getting bugs in my room. It's my own fault. I'm paranoid about having people clean my room every day (because of valuables) so I don't ask them to come in. After 3 days, they haven't sprayed for bugs, which means they start to invade. That's pretty much any hotel in Ghana (minus luxury). Last night it was a single cockroach, small. Tonight, a line of ants. Gotta break down and ask them to spray tomorrow. Not doing so hot with the mosquitoes either. The stupid buggers decided to attack where the DEET don't go, and I ended up with 22 bites where the sun don't shine--most of them in one bra cup!

The heat is pretty bad right now, but I must admit I've been totally spoiled so far, riding in cars with air conditioning. I'm not so used to this. I guess you could say this might be the highlight of my trip so far.

Sorry to be a downer. Things are being accomplished as planned, and that is no small feat. I am so amazingly humbled by how much work goes into a single day of living here, and something as simple as how short a normal night's sleep is for folks who are working on our adoption cases. I won't take it for granted anymore. As for my attitude, I'm sure it will brighten once I'm not in as much pain, and am feeling less embarrassment about how I acted with the Americans yesterday and with almost burning down the hotel today.

I am feeling quite exhausted so I'm calling it a night. Please forgive me, those who are waiting on updates from me. [Trust me, that knowing you are waiting only adds guilt my heart.] The condition I have (Fibromyalgia) is such that if I don't try to take care of my sleep and pain it will compound and I will end up too sick to go out. Then something really won't get done. I can update later, but if something doesn't get done, I've truly missed the opportunity for months. Thanks for your understanding.


P.S. Today, went to Central Region Social Welfare, visited Efua Green (!), and went to Royal Seed Orphanage Home. Yes, that took 13 hours.


Molly Courcelle 6:40 PM  

Anita, It is so nice to hear all about your is easy to imagine we are there with you! Thank you for all that you do!
As far as your embarrassment over your enthusiasm with the Americans, I am sure you are being overly critical! I bet that they could see your heart for Ghana through every action, even if you put your foot in your mouth, as you said. Don't forget that they probably have done the same thing! It was probably endearing. I glad it is over now, for your sake! I will pray that they have fond memories of their encounters.

DB 7:13 PM  

Hi Anita,
Hope and pray that you get a good night's sleep and that you'll have a better day tomorrow. Please don't be to hard on yourself. When you have a passion for something like you do it is natural to want to express it. Please take time to eat and get the rest that you need. God bless!! Debbie

CarrieT 7:23 PM  

Oh, Anita! I am praying for you right now! I truly believe you are doing God's work there in caring for orphans and families (Ghanaian and American families) and so Satan is trying to hinder you. I know your agency is not a Christian agency, but regardless of that, we know God wants these kids to join loving families through adoption (if appropriate) or be able to stay with their bio families if that is appropriate, and this is what AAI does. Will pray you have stamina through the Holy Spirit to stay firm in what you are doing. Remember, discouragement and guilt comes from Satan too. Even when we do make mistakes (we all do!) God wants us to move on from them, not get hung up on them. Will pray you are able to persevere and have a better day tomorrow!

Carrie T.

Amanda 8:58 AM  

Dear Anita,
You are one amazing human being and respected and loved by so many people. Thanks for all you are sacrificing to be in Ghana right now. Take care of yourself - that is the most important thing you can do. Sending hugs and lotsa love from Kathmandu,

Amanda and family

Mama D’s Dozen 7:22 PM  

You are so NOT a complainer ... you are just sharing with us that it has been a difficult trip.

Updates are good. Honesty is good. Don't worry about us ... we're just glad that we are hearing from you.

:) :) :)