Gone to Ghana: My African Adventures

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August 20th 2014
Published: August 20th 2014
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August 20, 2014

I’ve been in Ghana for over 10 weeks now. I’ve seen so many people come and go, and I’ve made friends from all around the world. There have been so many different languages spoken in the house. Most recently the house has been filled with Spanish since there have been so many volunteers from Spain. Even when it’s just English being spoken the accents tell the representation of the different nationalities. The Americans especially like to tease the British about the different terms for things. One of the strangest terms for me is that they call their evening meal tea. However, because of hearing all of those terms I’ve started to use terms like cutlery instead of silverware or half three instead of three thirty. Most importantly though is that I call soccer football……Oh, I miss baseball so much! Especially since the Seattle Mariners have been doing so well recently. Dad, you better be keeping your promise to me and following them more for me. But back to the languages: I’ve been learning some Ga terms. I’ve learned a couple of curse words, but that’s typical when you learn a new language. You always want to learn how to curse in a different language so that people don’t know what you’re saying. I’m trying to work with my little Ema (short for Emmanuel) on not hitting other kids. Therefore I’ve been trying to learn how to say “stop hitting.” Ga is a very hard language; Jacob if I had your linguistic gift I would study African languages. I have learned how to say no, which I use all the time now with the kids, specifically Ema. When he hits I hold his hand and say “Dabi, no.”

Of course I love all of the kids, but little Ema has become so special to me. He’s 3 years old and so adorable! He always runs to me and calls me mama. He cries a lot, especially when we’re holding him and we have to put him down. It always breaks my heart when I have to leave and I hear him crying. The aunties that live and work at the orphanage call him my son. I’m going to miss him so much when I go up north.

I’m planning to go up north in September when the schools start back
The New OrphangeThe New OrphangeThe New Orphange

This is outside of the living quarters. The building behind the playground is where the classrooms are.
up again. The schools are currently on vacation. The place up north is called Larabanga. There’s no internet access up there, so I’ll post all if those adventures when I get back. The region where I’ll be is where Jamal’s family is from and rules. Everyone who goes up there always talks about how amazing it is. It’s 15 minutes away from the Mole National Park where there is lots of wildlife, including elephants. I’m looking forward to going. However, the living is much more rustic, including bathing out of buckets. One thing that was recommended was to get my hair braided before going, so I don’t have to worry about washing my hair. I will definitely get pictures of that for you to see.

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20th August 2014

Great writing; great photos.
Laurel -- I love your writing and all your photos. What a difference you are making in these kids' lives! Yes, I've been paying a little more attention to the Mariners, even think I helped them survive a rough 9th inning last night. Now they are starting to talk like they're going for the division title and not just the wild card. Shades of 1995. Keep up all the good work. Love -- Dad
20th August 2014
Covered with kids

You with all the children
Hi Laura, When I saw this photo with all of the children piled around you, I thought of the clay story teller dolls that the pueblo Indians make. You look just like one!

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