Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Africa was amazing!!!

i got back yesterday from 10 days in Africa. the experience changed my life.
i had never before been out of the country (other than vacations in mexico, and we all know mexico doesnt count when you live in texas), and to see such a different culture and lifestyle so different from ours here in america was humbling and eye opening.
the people of Ghana are the friendliest i've ever met. they live in what we would consider poverty (even though the area we were in is quite developed and 'westernized' compared to many other parts of Africa), and yet they're happy and thankful for what they have. it's all they know so they just take each day as it comes and are happy to be alive.
i loved driving down the dirt roads, and passing hundreds of people walking with buckets on their heads and babies strapped to their backs, yelling "obruni!!" at us. yelling obruni is like saying 'hey, you're white!' as if we don't already know that. it's like telling someone they're sunburned. we'd wave and yell hello back at them, which was always met with a huge, beautiful smile. they have great teeth in Ghana.
my days were spent playing with the preschoolers for a couple of hours in the mornings, followed by some admin work at the school. after lunch i did scrapbooking with the mammas. this concept and activity was completely foreign to most of them, and although their pages looked like, well, nothing you would see here, they loved it and were asking madam libbie when they would get to do it again. i tutored some of the 1st and 2nd graders with their reading in the afternoons and had an hour with my dad after school every day to do rec with the 3rd thru 6th graders.
friday night i was able to spend some time with the 8 JSS students (jr. high, mostly 7th grade level, although most of them are approx 16 years old). i fed them till they were about to bust. they helped chop up all the veggies and stir the pots, and then were able to experience, for the first time, quesedillas, enchilada stew, and chicken fried rice. that was one of the best things i got to do while i was there!!
on the weekends we went into town and did some sightseeing and shopping. the last saturday we were there, we drove about 3 & 1/2 hours to Cape Coast. it's a fishing village and theres a slave castle there dating back to the 1200's i believe. we got a tour and learned about the history of Ghana. very interesting stuff. then we got to go to the beach--the prettiest one i've ever seen. the same one where allen almost died (really) on his trip with the youth. you can ask me (or him) about that later.
i collected real seashells, not the kind you see on the gulf coast in Texas. these are big and beautiful and amazing. i brought about 30 home with me and they're already in a bowl in my living room. now i have to keep my kids away from them! :)
i have attached a ridiculous amount of pictures, although these don't even make a dent in the over 600 pictures i took. seriously.

the Kotoku walk. every friday the kids are allowed to leave the Rafiki village for 1 hour. the nearest village is Kotoku, and most of them usually walk there and back (about 1 mile round trip). we were on our way back to Rafiki when this picture was taken. yes, that's a road we're walking on. a road for cars. that one is actually pretty nice.
atarabono getting her enchilada stew.

cooking 101. building quesadillas.

mamma fausty let me play the bamboo sticks with them.

they loved doing my hair.

these are some women we met on the road. so friendly!

REAL seashells!!!!

on the beach. isn't it beautiful!?!?

swimsuit not required.

this is the beach right outside the slave castle.

this is the fishing village at Cape Coast. i took this picture from one of the balconies at the castle.

yes, thats fish on his head. yummy.

no one ever carried anything in their hands-only on their heads. they could run, bend down and
pick something up, turn to look at something, and never drop it. i tried. i couldn't do it.

all the women carried their babies on their backs. everytime i saw a baby, it was strapped to someone's back. incredible.

this is the side of the highway. people set up their kiosks and sell vegetables, fruit, shoes, handkerchiefs, whatever they have to sell.


The Day's said... all the pictures. It looks like you had a blast and were really able to love on the people there. What a life changing experience.

Audrey and Company said...

Wow! I want to see and hear more! Glad you had such a wonderful time loving on God's people, but I am sure glad you are home too.

sara said...

Wow, the pictures were awesome. sounds like a life changing trip. I will come back to hear more! I was able to go to romania this summer and work with orphans there, it was amazing.

I saw a comment you left about traditions on bring in the rain and just wanted to tell you that you can match your kids PJs even as they get older! go here to see my kids matching even as young adults!!:

wishing you a speedy recovery back into your own time zone!!!



Dawn said...

Awesome! I can't wait to hear more stories of your visit.