July 4th Picnic
Sitting on the bench (L-R) Ophilia, Cynthia, Abigail. Grace is in the background. Praise and his buddy Nana Kwame are roasting hotdogs and marshmellows.
Wow, before we know it July will be over! Lisa will return to her family in the US and Ghanaian children will be on “summer holiday” for a month. Time just keeps moving on doesn’t it.
It seems Kirk and I have an every growing household. In the family, we have the two boys that many of you know. In addition there are three girls who are former students from Apebouso. In the past months we have added Abigail. This was a temporary arrangement until her parents could meet and sort themselves out. It's looking more permanent as each day passes.
Kirk and I have known Abigail since she was a little girl. She and her brother Kwame would visit us when they spent school holidays with family in our village of Fenaso. Abigail is now somewhere around that most difficult age of 13yrs. Her parents divorced many years ago. She and Kwame have been tossed from house to house ever since. Fortunately for him, Kwame has found a stable environment with an Aunt in a far away town. Abigail has not been so fortunate.
Her situation is not uncommon to many American teens. In the past few
Just a Peek
A peek into the courtyard of the neighbors house. Often times houses are built with single rooms completing a square. The center is left open and roofless. The courtyard is were they wash and hang clothes, bath babies and live life. This style adds privacy during the day and security at night.
months she has run away from home two times and contemplated suicide. Unwanted by her own parents, in desperation she made some risky, even dangerous decisions. At each turn we can see the hand of God protecting and providing for her. She is a very sweet girl, helpful and respectful. She is verbally thankful for a corner of our storeroom to keep her small bag of clothes. She is verbally thankful for a space on the dining room floor to sleep at night. She can’t read or even write her a,b,c’s yet she is in 6th grade (we’re working on that). Kirk and I are disgusted with her parents. Her living with us is the arrangement they want. But it is as if they have dropped their baby at our door step, rung the bell and ran away. At the same time, how can we NOT let Abby meld into the family? What’s not to like?
Christine & (and an ever growing) Co.
Another interesting week in the village (June 28-July 2). Tuesday night I excitedly got ready and walked down to the school for night studies. I turned the light on - it went off. I
This is the typical condition of houses in town. Wooden shudders are the norm. If people have glass it will be the louvered type you might see in an old style trailer house.
tried the light in the other classroom with the same result. Then my trusty flashlight burned out! At 6pm the sun sets and by 7:00 it is DARK! The village is not dangerous to walk in but has very bumpy and uneven ground. At 49 I have no night vision left in my eyes. Freda (5th grade student) took my basket and my hand and led the way in total blackness.
This culture is so different from America. In the US, the adults carry everything. Here the children carry everything you have in your arms. When we arrive to the village on Monday evening, the children are the ones who unload the whole car.
During this past week we stayed in Dunkwa. I spent a few days in limbo with a bad knee (still in limbo with that one). One particular day, I spent time with Abigail. She asked if I had pictures of my family, which I showed her. Then she wanted to see the pictures that I had taken so far during my time in Africa. It reminded me of the day a couple weeks earlier. She and I walked to a pharmacy. While we walked she asked me many questions about America. She talked about some things she has seen on TV. She said the American children are so beautiful. She also commented about how beautiful the windows and doors of the houses are. This sounded so strange to me so I asked her what she meant. She said the clear glass looked so beautiful and all the houses had nice doors. Christine then filled me in, that’s not the “norm” you see here. This new idea once again slaps me into the reality that, some things in America go unnoticed by us Americans but they stand out to people in other countries.
21 more days of heat!
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