Sunday, November 13, 2011

GHANA—Day 13

Is it bad that I’m anxious to be home?  I worry about my emotional and mental fortitude and feel like a big fat baby for being so desperate to be home.  If I can’t even handle two and a half weeks in Africa, how am I ever going to raise two children from Ghana?  I suppose it all comes back to the answers we got to the prayers we offered when this whole thing began.  It was clear then that this is the will of the Lord, and if I am going to live what I believe, then I will just have to trust that I’ll be able to do this.  Take a deep breath, Jenny…

I catch myself subconsciously becoming detached from the kids, probably as a defense for having to leave them in 2 days (less, actually, since we’ll have to leave at about 6:00 on Monday evening.)  But, then they go and do something cute and the distance goes away and all is well again.  They don’t seem to be acting too distraught about what will happen in 36 hours, but I know they are cognizant of it.  We talk about it pretty frankly and have even been making plans for what they need to do while we wait to bring them home.  I wonder what Monday will be like.  (We will leave here at about 11 o’clock a.m. Nampa time on Monday.  Please say a little prayer that everything is going okay and the tears and goodbyes aren’t more than we can bear.  That might be wishful thinking, huh?)


We were able to find some hardbound books that have 96 sheets of blank notebook paper inside.  We got 4 for Delight and 2 for Courage.  I told them that the books were for them to use to practice writing the words we made on the flash cards.  (Mommy said “flash,” he he he). I knew Delight was excited and got to work straight away.  She wrote the word once and then copied it 4 more times, saying it as she wrote.  Courage was a surprise to me, though.  I figured that based on his not being able to read, he’d just use the books to draw pictures.  Not so…

John and Delight went to First Junction to get some apples for her to take to the girls in her room before bed.  Courage stayed in the hotel with me.  I thought he’d play with his car or etch-a-sketch, but he immediately grabbed his book, opened it and put it on my lap.  Then he handed me the flash cards and we got to work.  He copied 26 words 4-5 times each.  He didn’t know how to read/say most of them, but we sounded them out and well, it’s progress.  After the words, he wanted to work on his letters.  I think he practiced writing each letter at least 10 times; some of the narrower ones were able to fit about 15 letters per line.  It was so amazing to me to see him sit there concentrating so intently on his writings.  I had mistakenly not spent as much time with him on the letters and words.  My bad.  He wants to learn and that was clear to me tonight.  A few times he’d get up, wiggle around for a bit and then get right back to it.  He’s got a tough road ahead to be where he needs to be academically.  But from what I saw tonight, he has tenacity and desire.  I am NOT going to set a date or give myself unrealistic expectations.  But right then, I promised myself that I will not let-up until that boy is fluent at his grade level and has developed a love for the ability to read.  Any of my friends in the profession of education who have suggestions or advice on this, please don’t hesitate to pass it along.  I need all the help I can get on this one!

We went to the market today for a few last minute items since tomorrow is Sunday.  We endured the most unbearable heat yet.  I think it was because we were in this dank, cramped enclave of enclosed wooden rooms and there was no hope of getting the vast, sprawling expanse ventilated.  We were literally soaked when we were finished (and I know this because after two hours back in the hotel, our shirts were still damp…ick!)  Nevertheless, the kids never made a peep.  I could tell they were NOT having fun; heck, I was wanting to fork MY own eyes out, I can’t imagine how bored, annoyed and hot THEY were.  Plus, we found out that they’d not eaten any breakfast and it was nearly one o’clock before we finished.  Why they didn’t eat is a mystery to me.  Still, to act like that and do it on an empty stomach?  Good kids!

My favorite part of today was praying with them tonight, kneeling by the side of the bed.  Courage was a little fidgety, but Delight said something to him in Ewe and he froze with his eyes squeezed tight, head bowed and arms folded.  I had to hide my face so they couldn’t see me laugh.  Sometimes she is quite the little drill sergeant!  It was wonderful to speak to Heavenly Father with them.  The only thing that would’ve made it better would have been if Emily, Abby and Colt could have been with us, too.  Soon…

Tomorrow is our last full day with them for the next many months.  I will hearken back to my “I Can Do Hard Things” mantra many times throughout the day, I am sure.  One day in the not-too-distant-future, I’ll look back on the next 90-120 days and they’ll be part of the past.  It is hard to be on this end of it looking ahead, though.  But I have a gazillion projects to keep me crazy-busy for the next 4 months (7 Ghanaian quilts to be made, housekeeping to-do’s that have been neglected too long, bedrooms to prepare, 2 wardrobes to make/borrow/buy, a 9, 11, and almost 13-year-old to love and dote on, and a future to prepare for that will be even more of an adventure than we’ve already had).  I think I have plenty to do to keep me busy and sidetracked.

Plus, we found out today that the orphanage hired a teacher, so school will begin again on Monday for the kids.  That is an enormous relief to me because it will be a worthwhile, engaging diversion to them and allow for more academic strides to be made while we are apart.  I think that one might just have a Divine Signature stamp on it, since it has been a troubling concern to my mind and heart.

It is very late and although there are people drunk and partying all over this place, I need to at least try to get some sleep.  It was a joke last night (the windows don’t close all the way and they don’t try to whisper); they seem to still be going strong tonight, as well.  I’m learning some very colorful African terms and expressions.  The language is about as good as the food tonight.  Yikes!  Now I’m hungry AND feeling slightly violated.

Incidentally, John won’t be writing anything tonight.  He is exhausted.  I think it is because he sacrificed his precious Spanish Novellas (heinous Mexican soap operas) for Barbie Fairytopia, and the excitement was way too much for him to handle.  Or, maybe he’s got Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from watching those gnarly flying gnome things on that movie.  They were kinda disturbing, if you ask me…  Either way, he’s tapped out for tonight.  Nighty night, my favorite Father of Five!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, We will be praying for you for your transition home. I was feeling super selfish today when I found a whole huge pile of copy paper Kjari had drawn a total of a few inches on each paper, because she didn't "like" how it looked. I thought about how hard it was for you guys to track down paper, we need to remember these simple things.
    Thanks, Love you guys!!