Thursday, July 26, 2012

Random and a wedding...

We've had a few random moments this last week that seemed like good photo opportunities. Then, we were guests at the Wedding of the Year. It.. Was.. a.. .Happening. Huge. We knew it was going to be a memory and a cultural experience, so we were so excited to be invited. Take a look--
First, on our drive to and from our office, some things start to look very ordinary and familiar, since we see them twice a day. But, when traffic comes to a standstill, and I come out of my reverie long enough to focus, I catch myself thinking, "What IS that?" For whatever reason, someone thought this place, alongside the highway, would be an excellent repository for old, dead motorcycles. So, here they rest. No signs of "no dumping here," or, "put old motorcycles here," they just appear out of nowhere, to reside forever more. No one is in charge, no one is watching, but the more I look at them, they look like a Modern Art display. When I think of all the people who rode them, the roads/paths they have traveled, there is a story connected with each one. Kind of cool...and many shapes to study.
Our Thursday night BYU-Idaho college English class has come to an end. This is just half of the class - but oh, they were fun, just sharp kids and quick wits. Our next class will begin in September and we are looking forward to teaching again. Ghana is getting a bargain in us...we're free. The class is already structured, and we just come in to do the grammar/writing part.
lean to the left...lean to the right...
The Wedding Speaker (me) with my friend Jocelyn Sowa. Our friend, Doreen was getting married, and in Ghana, they have a program with speakers. I'm not sure how I got on the list, but this is my 2nd experience as a speaker. Jocelyn also had a part on the program, so we were sitting on the stand together; she kept me giggling... for the 2 hours we waited for the ceremony to begin! Ghanaians don't always adhere to a strict schedule.
David had the camera and gave this lady "The Best Hat Award."
Waiting for the bride to walk the aisle...
David got a picture of Doreen before she headed down the aisle, and she seemed a little stressed with the lateness of the wedding. But, she was beautiful, and everything turned out wonderfully.
After the ceremony and pictures, the wedding party was invited to a gorgeous hotel for a buffet dinner and dancing. There were African dishes as well as continental food -- and it was delicious!
At the end of the dinner, the glow of the candle seemed symbolic of the love and romance in the room.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Over Half-Way....

We are over half-way through our mission..incredible. At first, the time seemed to go by s-o-o-o slowly, mostly because there were so many cultural differences to take in. Living in a different country is massively different than a 2-week visit, where you know you will be home in a short while. Cultural shock is real, but treatable, and you do recover. You arrive at the point that you embrace what was foreign before. Now that we feel more and more accustomed, we are scheduled to do a bit of driving to outlying areas to train/teach the districts how to implement the Perpetual Education Fund. We have our spiel down to a system and feel lot more confident in this second half.
Ben Gibbah and David. Ben is one of our best supporters. He is in the Finance Dept., a wizard,...and a very good friend.
This last weekend we were to visit two different areas: Swedru, then Kpong. The names sound like sneezes to me --- but the countryside is spectacular. Just beautiful.
These tall, straight trees are common.. but that doesn't mean that they become ordinary. I want to stop and take a picture of every single one. Their silhouette against the background is commanding.
On our way to Swedru, we passed this church, I believe it was Methodist, and it resembles a 19th century building with Gothic spires and windows. It almost looked like a page from my Art History book, so I was smitten.
This is the quiet, little Swedru building. We stepped out of the car to hear tropical-sounding birds, feel a soft breeze blowing, and see flowers like waiting bouquets.
On our way to Kpong, we must pass by the Shai Hills Preserve, which is one of the smaller preserves around. Baboons are plentiful inside, but they apparently can hop the fence and wave at the passersby. We stopped to snap pictures, and David was confident I could get out of the car and get closer shots. Uh,...don't think so. I'm good in the car.
We had time before the Kpong meeting to drive 30 minutes further and see the Volta Dam. This blocks up the Volta River to make the largest man-made the world! We drove up a windy road and came out at the mountain lake.
A view of the lake.
A view of the water. the dam
The dam.
We see everything on people's head. Everything. Puppies. Sewing machines. Patio furniture, and now a garden. There ya go. Everything.
Here is the Kpong church. I loved the drive there. It was simply breath-taking and gorgeous. We had a dvd to watch, but it just isn't worth watching one and missing the scenery right outside.
These wonderful,darling people had given up a Saturday to be trained in many different church procedures. We were only part of the meeting, but we were scheduled to teach after lunch, and here they are just starting to gather back together again.
We are all set up to start PEF. It takes us about an hour, then we allow time for questions and answers, which takes up almost another 30 minutes.
Mangoes are my absolute favorite fruit. I love how the road-side vendors display them; they are a work of art. Knowing we are on the "downhill" slide of things, our experiences are becoming a little more precious, note-worthy, profound, memorable. I'm thinking we won't be passing this way again.