Thursday, March 15, 2012

Refueled--Day 5 in Ghana

Thank you for the kind comments after my pity party post last night. Honestly, I was feeling better even before I finished typing my post. Seriously, writing it out makes things so much better for me. Seeing/hearing my words about the day sort of made me laugh at myself. If THESE are the worst of my problems, I suppose I have it pretty good. I know that people are going through so SO much worse. I was just hurting and tired yesterday. That was at the base of it, so everything else felt big as well.

I stopped making much sense while I was talking on the phone with my mom last night so she told me to GO TO SLEEP! That's pretty much the last thing I remember. Next thing I know I wake up half off the bed and the sun has risen. Oh, except it hasn't. It's just that I left the light on! I'm telling you, I needed sleep! =-) The sweet girl who brings my breakfast came an hour early this morning and woke me from sleep. I didn't mean to be but I was so rude to her. I opened the door half asleep and told her breakfast was at 8:30 and she said, "Oh, but I have it now." I said, "Come back at 8:30." and closed the door." Poor girl! I forgot to tell her she could bring the same breakfast (I didn't care) so she brought me a whole new breakfast an hour later.

Today was an "easy" day as far as days here go. I was able to meet the new Director of Social Welfare in Accra, visit Osu Children's Home, and visit a project that is in construction for CompAfriCare. Now, tell me how long you think that should take? I spent 30 minutes AT the orphanage. 3 hours tops, right? WRONG! 8 hours. EIGHT HOURS.

The traffic here is just crazy. It's not that I don't know that, but I forget. Ten months since the last trip, and I forget. You don't just "run to the store" here. You don't do a "quick errand" here. It seems like everything is at least a 2 hour commitment. Even our take out lunch today took 45 minutes. TAKE OUT! In America I can be in and out of a nice restaurant in 45 minutes!

I sometimes wish it was required for all adoptive parents (and adoption coordinators) to shadow an adoption/NGO worker over here for 24 hours to see what their work is like. I think then that we would spend less time complaining about how long it's taking for something on the adoption to be done. After I spend 2 weeks with these folks I'm honestly amazed that anything at all gets done!

I've been doing a small survey to see how many hours of sleep these folks get, on average. Do you know what a GOOD night's sleep is? 5 hours. 3 hours might be "average." Several get up and lose sleep in order that they can be up in the middle of the night to communicate with us online in America. Then, they are up at 4am to start their own day. They may spend 3-4 hours in traffic ONE WAY to get into somewhere like the courthouse or social welfare.

I've gone off on a tangent, but I guess this is my night to give appreciation to the folks over here that make my work possible. Without them I have no program. And when I'm here I am reminded that there's no way I could do the work they do. [They remind me that they would not like to do the work I do either! Ha!] We each one have a part in the whole, which is very cool.


I visited Os* Children's Home today. This home has sort of a bad reputation sometimes, and so they are very leery of visitor's, especially white visitors with cameras. I therefore feel very honored when I'm allowed to go back into the area where the children are to visit them. I am asked only to take photos of the children that I am there to see, which I am happy to respect.

Our focus there are the precious special needs children. What a great honor to be asked to find families for some of them!!! Yes, it's a challenge, but with great rewards. Last year they brought out one little girl for me to see, and she is now home with her family and doing great! We hope that another little one will be home soon, and that more will follow.


Well, the BeachComber Guesthouse is good for what it is--an inexpensive local (aka not western style) hotel by the beach. The people here are BEYOND friendly. I feel safe enough. The room is good enough. Everything is...enough. However, tomorrow I'm heading to tried and true Rye Manor Guesthouse. We have a family coming in tomorrow and they've never been to Ghana. I've gone back and forth about which place would be better. After much deliberation I decided Rye might be the best bet for a first-timer. As luck would have it they have two big rooms open starting tomorrow, so Rye it is. Honestly, I will be glad to be back by First Junction where I can catch a taxi without batting an eye, I can get all kinds of street food right at the corner, and everybody knows how to find the hotel. I will also be happy to be in a room with good lighting, hot water, and a fridge! Still, I think BeachComber might be a nice change of pace for some families.


Thanks again to those of you who lifted me up last night. Today was a much better day. I actually asked K if he read my blog last night because he kept asking if we needed to stop for food. He hadn't. Ha! I had 3 yummy (read, bad for me!) meals today for the first time since being here, and I will be in bed at a decent hour tonight. I was in the hotel room before dark, and all is good in Anita's World. =-)


lea 3:37 PM  

(can I just post that? b/c honestly I cannot put into words what I am feeling, you are just WOW.)(its a good thing ;) )

Molly Courcelle 5:45 PM  

Hooray! So glad for your good day! Keep up the good work...and continue to get the sleep you can to take care of yourself. Such important work you do!