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Published: December 27th 2013
(I am having to write these at night and post the following day. This one isn't finished. I'll try to add more to it when I can.)
Frank and I went to midnight mass on Tuesday evening, as is tradition for his family. That also meant we were up very late Christmas morning.
Tato woke me up with some sort of singing toy and told me it was time to do Christmas. He’s older now, so it’s fewer gifts that are much more expensive. Dad made breakfast, and he and I headed to Frank’s house. Frank wasn’t quite ready, but we got to the airport in time anyway.
We sat in the last row of the small plane and went to Seattle. While waiting at the terminal, I asked for a picture of the two of us. He didn’t want to, but soon, other people around us said he should. He wasn’t a fan of the attention, but I think I got one. I honestly haven’t looked yet. Also, while on our way to the airport, his phone went kaput. That means all the messages and addresses and phone numbers
he’d been saving were gone. It also meant that he’d have no phone for while we’re in Ghana. More on that later.
In Seattle, we got lunch, (I got my last hamburger for a while), and he made phone calls to people asking for phone numbers in Ghana. Good thing I had been making friends with his friends and saving their numbers!
The flight to Amsterdam was nearly 10 hours. It was super long. We watched movies and tried to sleep, but that didn’t really work out unfortunately. I may have slept an hour, and Frank didn’t sleep at all. About 30 minutes before we landed, I started feeling pretty sick. The combination of not sleeping, weird food, too much pop and not enough water, Louie, and stress made wicked soup. Frank was more worried than he cared to admit. He didn’t know what exactly to do, but he took great care of me nonetheless. Once in Amsterdam, he helped me find some ice and a place to lay down. He guarded our luggage while I tried to sleep. Fortunately, the airport has sort of lounge chairs, so we both caught a few zzzzs.
I was really grateful for him in that moment as he did his best to care for me despite not knowing how. I started to feel better at the end of our 5+ hour layover.
We left Seattle at 130 local time, watch the sun set very quickly by 3, then saw it rising again around 11 pm, Seattle time. My brain and body were not sure what to do.
While waiting in line to board our flight to Ghana, the crowd we were with changed. While it had been mostly white people to this point, the queue was nearly all black folks. (There were fewer than 10 white people that I counted, plus a few from India and other places.) I stepped out of line to through something away and quickly realized that Frank is much harder to spot in a crowd now.
The nearly-7 hour trip to Accra seemed almost as long as the second flight. Both of us slept, though. I actually slept 2 or 3 hours. I didn’t eat anything and tried to let my stomach settle down. By then, I mostly needed sleep. Rank kept checking on me, seeing if I needed anything, and asking how I was feeling. He’s so sweet.
We reached Accra around 830 local time, so 1230 Thursday afternoon at home. As soon as we landed, the windows fogged up on the outside from the humidity. Gross. We climbed out of the plane and were hit by a wall of humidity. Frank was sweating before we got off the plane. My curls, as expected, went crazy. He laughed at me. From the tarmac, we loaded on to an over-crowded shuttle bus, where we sweated on strangers and sleepily tried to stand upright to the baggage claim.
After customs, which went pretty smoothly, we tried to find our bags. There were over 650 pieces of luggage (according to the PA), so it took us almost an hour to get our stuff.
Frank has a Ghanaian friend in Spokane, who I have also met, and she had arranged for her daughter and driver to pick us up from the airport. They graciously leant us a car for our time here. We hit the road. The first step was to find gas, but there is a shortage in Ghana, so we stopped at about 6 gas stations before we found some.
(I'll add more to this tonight and hopefully post it tomorrow!)
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