Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving in Ghana.

For our Thanksgiving, the senior missionaries (that's us!) and employees were invited to the Dickson's for the afternoon. Everyone brought a dish, and we literally had a feast. There are a few people who are at the end of their calling, so we used this time to say our official good-byes, which is sad, because we've grown to really love and enjoy all of them. Sister Ngoran will go back to the Ivory Coast. She has been my "coach" as I try to learn French.

There were 40 of us for dinner - and the place settings were really lovely. Someone had accumulated yards of African patterns to serve as the tablecloths.

Each table had some kind of African centerpiece and this doll was my favorite.

We sometimes have to hunt for ingredients (it becomes kind of a game!), but each of the dishes tasted so good. It's fun to share recipes and then also share which market carries the needed items. These ladies have such ingenuity...

We sang a group song before dinner - David was right next to me so he is the easiest to hear. I wanted to capture the song, but also pan around the interior of the house.

Each person who is leaving Ghana had a turn to share his/her feelings. We've been here almost 6 weeks, and I can't believe how close we feel to everyone; even though we are sad at the changes, we are really excited for these friends to return to their families.

The rest of Ghana carried on with their normal work day, after all it was a regular Thursday for them. But for us, it felt like we had transported a little parcel of America to Africa. It was fun to eat, laugh, and hug. We all miss our families, but in a few years after this is all over, we realize we will look back at this time and miss these cute people with whom we have made such fast friendships.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This is Africa...

Our trip to Cape Coast! It takes 3 hours to get there from Accra, with areas of condensed traffic, so it is best to get a hotel and spend some time. We had such a good time, enjoyed the area and enjoyed our training meeting with our good friend, Frederick.
Mankessim. This is a fishing village with a large slave castle was just to the right.

The beach in front of our hotel. The water has to be 80 degrees.

Handsome local..

Not so handsome locals! These huge vultures hung out in the palm trees, and we couldn't ever see what they were feeding on.

We had a wonderful buffet breakfast on the patio, where we could hear every wave crash on the beach.

Our golf course. It was so fun to play here...and even more fun not to keep score. Who's going to keep score in Africa? We were able to avoid the Crocodile Pond, and managed to not lose any balls. (Balls here are a bit expensive and you have to bring your own range balls. Tees are $5.00 a bag, and a small bag at that.) The horses are allowed to graze on the course until golfers show up...and we counted 4 in the 2 days we were here.

Our car while we are here. Air conditioning and horn work, which are the 2 most important items. To be a successful driver, you must be very aggressive, so David does most all of the driving. (I've driven 3 times and getting better - haven't used the horn yet.)

Yes, I know this picture is already on here...I just can't get if off.

The youngest of the school children. All schools require uniforms..and these were the cutest little uniformed bodies!

Recess in the school yard. Right prior to this the children were playing a game lined up in front of a wall, clapping their hands and doing some kind of a rhythm problems here. Cutest little moves ever.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

We are Explorers!

Last weekend we wanted to see an area to the north of us, which is noted for its fabulous beaches. It should have only taken 2
hours.....but, there is a construction area in the way that has traffic blocked in all directions. After muscling our way through there, we took a break at "Frimps" (the name of the outdoor restaurant) for some lunch. It was the only place to stop within miles - and the sandwiches were quite good...then we remembered we weren't supposed to eat the lettuce :(

Outside the city, we saw the lush, tropical areas that we'd been wanting to see. The growth is
thick, and there are small villages along the road. Frequently, there were stands filled with bananas, coconuts, huge yams, and one small boy was holding up
some 4-legged animal, debatable what that was.

We did take a wrong turn at one point, which took us right into the middle of the street vendors. A mess. The street is hardly bigger
than the car, and we probably could have just reached out and helped ourselves to any item. It would have been more fun if it weren't so hot, crowded, and again, without rules. Once we decided we couldn't go anywhere, it got a little funny. (Well, I thought it was a little funny, but I wasn't driving...)

This is the outside of the Cape Coast Mission Home, which we found entirely by mistake.

This is a darling little family whom we've gotten to know through PEF: Portia and Prince Agyei and their little one. Such a cute family! I got to hold this baby, who was dressed so cute. (It was just so hot and the sun was so bright - I couldn't keep my eyes open for the picture.) it is, the beach. Absolutely gorgeous water. There is an LDS church right across the street, so we parked there to walk over to the water,(which was warm and inviting, just like we imagined.) It as a full day of exploring, but we are feeling more confident about the region, and there are many places we're excited to go see.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Best Looking Missionary Companion Ever!

(Grandpa again!)

For me, anyway. This is not to slam my buddies from my South Africa/Zimbabwe days from 40 years ago, but I have to say--this is a lot more fun. She is a wonderful navigator and has helped us avoid several auto smacks, she is a wonderful cook, and perhaps most importantly she can massage the dickens out of a leg cramp in the middle of the night. Right now she is sitting on the MVC award (most valuable companion). Perhaps the only annoyance I find is that I seem to have replaced Sparky in her life and she walks me around the temple morning and night! She says that it is the anti-muscle cramp program, but I am not totally convinced.

Missy asked if we spend 24/7 together, and our answer was "Pretty much. We're companions!"

And yes, I got my suit back. They put it right on my own "hunger."