Monday, March 26, 2007
Now we're down to 11 more Sundays. Nuncio wasn't there yesterday so it's only 11 more Sundays with him!
Everything is falling into place with our move. The current family that's in the house we've been assigned has a nanny who they think is great. We've asked to hire her and they've said yes, but I haven't heard anything new. She was supposed to get our email address. My old job is currently open and I asked HR and they say that I can apply even though I am not there. And I don't have to fill out the application! Yes!
Two of three boys woke up at 5 this morning. Toby and Blaise are still sick (see my things I won't miss about Ghana). After a week of them being sick we started treating the symptoms and now after 2 weeks, I don't know what we'll be doing.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
But now as time draws nearer, I am sadder and sadder. I know what we are getting into going to Warsaw, sort of. But some things have changed. The prices have gone up. They used to have just about whatever you wanted for pretty cheap, but now it sounds like stateside prices. I mean that's not bad, and it's cheaper food wise than it is here. I don't really know why I am having such a hard time with leaving. Did I already post that it's like identifying with your captors? Not that I am captive here, but I don't really want to go. I finally made peace with the fact that I am incredibly "rich" in this country and there's not much I can do to help the "poor". I feel like the boys and I should spend every day at the pool until we leave. There were no free pools in Warsaw. But I don't go to the pool because 2 of the boys are sick and have been for a week. Must've been something that they ate (haha).
I did lose a lot of my faith here for various reasons, not all of which were Ghana, but a lot of them I cannot post here. On my birthday I told Dylan that I think I do believe there is a God, but I don't think that he cares much about us. After reviewing a lot of the "evidence" of how the world began, it's hard to believe that it "just happened". It's very believable that someone put it in motion. But how do you believe that he cares when there are people out there who are suffering tremendously - many of whom believe in God and pray to Him - and nothing helps them. Ghana is not bad, some bad things happen like they do in any large city anywhere. But you hear the stories of neighboring countries where genocides are still taking place - STILL, 60 years after the holocaust in Europe that the whole world vowed would never happen again.
Sorry, today I am waxing philosophical.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
- THE POWER! We are often on generator power, but that's not the worst. We have lost or damaged more electronics here due to power problems than I care to count.
- THE DRY SEASON! During the dry season we are without city water, which means that we have no water coming to our house at all. We have to have the water truck deliver water every other day and that's only what we use for drinking and cleaning. There is no water alloted for watering plants/lawn/or car washing during the dry season. It's only fair as there's lots of people who have no water at all.
- INSECTS! I am tired of fighting off ants that don't die. They don't bite either or at least none of them stings like a fire ant. But ants that crawl across the living room floor and are large enough to carry off small children - a bit unnerving.
- Never really getting the "real" price. The price you are quoted is always way on the high side and because you are obviously foreign, the price will not come down very low for you.
- Western groceries are VERY expensive. If you can live like a Ghanaian you can (maybe, see #3) save money, but if you want to have "luxuries" like milk and eggs and fruits and vegetables other than cassava root and the fruits mentioned in "what I will miss..." you will not be able to save money here.
- Perpetual summer. Sometimes you need an excuse to just stay in. And my kids are really wanting to see snow.
- The secrets! There's a secretive nature to this society (at least in Accra, it's probably less so in villages). If you try to learn any of the local languauge you will just be laughed at, because of your pronounciation (something that happens in all societies, not to blame Ghanaians) but there will be no help. "Oh, you're pronouncing it wrong." "Well, how do I pronounce it?" then laughter ensues.
- The double standard. We sold our bikes and were harrassed incessantly about the price we wanted. Dylan told people who mocked (not just asked the price and decided they didn't want it) that if he went down to where they sell bikes here and tried to buy a used bike (most of which are donated to Western aid organizations and wind up being sold on the street here for a profit) they would charge him AT LEAST $100 for a bike like the one he's trying to sell for $75. We wound up selling his bike to a Ghanaian who was going to spend $100 on a used bike for $40.
- The faith lost in people/God/the world in general. It's a hard lesson to learn that much of the money and goods that are donated from the West - from our homes - to the aid of Africa never wind up aiding Africa. The money doesn't go where it's supposed to and the goods that you donate to Goodwill wind up being sold on the streets here and destroying the local economy because free stuff can be sold more cheaply than the goods that are made here. So it puts all those farmers/tailors/bicycle manufacterers out of business.
- Malaria and all the other horrible tropical diseases. Worrying about whether or not you or the children have malaria/dengue fever/cholera sucks. Taking malaria prophylaxis is not fun either. Larium makes people psychotic and is disruptive of sleep. I'm not sure if it's the Larium or the lack of sleep that it produces that makes people psychotic though.
I am happy to say that it took me some time to come up with this list and the first list of what I will miss took me a lot less time. I have a more positive outlook on all of Ghana. Tomorrow, I'll list what I have learned.
Monday, March 12, 2007
- The people we greet on our morning and/or evening walks. The chop bar ladies, the barber, all of the guards and the vendors selling their goods. And the people at Needle Talk:).
- Rose. We have finally gotten to a friendship status and now our time is short.
- The Monday morning playgroup at the Grasscutter's. Being that there are no nannies there it makes me feel like I am in a "normal" place, where everyone doesn't have a nanny and people actually have to spend time with their children.
- The impromptu traffic cops. A person crossing the street will see there is a need for traffic direction (the lights are out or just aren't timed correctly or just aren't there at all - that happened to me this morning) and will just take it upon himself to direct traffic. These are usually people who have never driven a car and they usually do a much better job than the actual traffic cops.
- Perpetual summer!
- Greenwich Mean Time! It makes life so much easier. We're on GMT, and GMT doesn't change so we don't either.
- The fabrics! The colors are so beautiful and look so wonderful on dark skin.
- Mangoes, Pineapple, Bananas and Papaya! Once you have had them here, you cannot eat and enjoy them anywhere else. The negative is that there are only so many you can eat before you get bored.
- I should say the beach, but we didn't go that often. Turns out I don't care much for the beach. But I will miss the ability to go if I wanted to. Being able to swim all year 'round though even not at the beach.
- The wet season! Accra is lush and green during the wet season and looks like what one expects a tropical paradise to look like, provided you don't look too closely.
I'll try to continue to add. I know there is more. Tomorrow is what I won't miss.