I am going to bed tonight with a full tummy. Thank Heaven for small favors! We were at the Accra mall today and found a restaurant in the food court that served Chinese food.
John and I split some curry chicken and chicken fried rice. I was so happy to have that full feeling and haven’t needed to eat anything since then. We had a few Cedis left out of our daily budget and joked on our walk back to the hotel tonight that we should splurge and go get some Yogurt Court. Then we looked at each other as if to say, “why do we do this to ourselves? We can’t have any yogurt, so why joke about it?” You’d think we’d learn…
There was a huge Muslim holiday here today, so the mall was sheer insanity. People absolutely everywhere; it was really hard to keep track of the kids. Luckily there were three of us and two of them, and they are pretty good about holding one of our hands. In all the chaos, I had a moment of deep gratitude. So many times, I’d get pushed out of the way by men, I’d open a door and a couple of men would walk in before me. “Ladies first” is not a way of life here. It made me sad for the women in Ghana. At the same time, I left that mall with so much gratitude to my husband for the way he treats me. We joke around and mess with each other quite a bit; sarcasm is a way of life in our marriage. But when it comes right down to it, he is very respectful of my feelings, my input and especially my womanhood. I love that about him. It also made me think about the way Colt treats me. He is very chivalrous for a 9 year old boy. Opens my door, always makes sure he speaks to me with tenderness and respect. I missed him and appreciated him so much today. I love my Wingnut!
Finally, you’ve heard the story about a group of men needing to move a grand piano up onto a stage for a big musical production, right? They tried everything they could think of to get it up there, but finally they were just stumped. Then, one man had an idea: “Everyone get around the piano and LIFT WHERE YOU STAND.” The piano was moved successfully and the show went off without a hitch. I had a ‘lift where you stand’ moment today. Jen Dunning, who works in the office at Abby and Colt’s school, emailed me today to give a little update on the kids and offer a happy, encouraging greeting. I was so filled with appreciation to her for how good she has been to me and my kids and our family, (especially while we’ve been here in Ghana and they are there at home) I had to blink back the tears. Then I thought of all the rest of you. We see that you’ve read the blog, maybe even commented, and our hearts smile. It may not seem like much to you, but I feel like the piano right now, and you are all lifting where you stand. Thank you! I pray each morning and night that you’ll all be blessed for being so good to us.
Thoughts from “John White”
We did enjoy our trip to the Accra Mall this morning. We went with our friend Emily, and had a great day. The plan was to go and let the kids play in the big playground located in the center of the mall. However, with the holiday and the crowd we didn’t feel good about letting them go out and play. We didn’t want to lose them. The second reason was so that we could get an “American” type meal. We ended up going to a “Chinese” type restaurant that was very similar to what we would expect back home at a Chinese restaurant.
Jenny already told you about the meal, but I just want to add that it was very delicious. Not only was the food good, but the AC felt great and the company was delightful. The kids were in great moods, Emily was a lot of fun, and we just had a great time.
There was also an American style grocery store there, and we walked through it. It felt really neat to walk through the store holding Delight’s hand and look at things like “steak” (something they don’t eat here) and walk down the toy aisle. She looked at all the toys with awe. I got really excited to see a nice display of Pringles. But when I calculated the conversion I thought against them. They cost 8 Cedis, which would be like $5.29. I didn’t want Pringles that much. Where is a Wal-Mart when you need one?
While we were at the store I found a crescent wrench. I have been looking at Godwin’s bike; it has a flat front tire. I brought a small patch kit from home, but needed a wrench to take off the front tire. There is a young guy here named Daniel. He says that he is 11, but I would guess about 13. We’ve talked quite a bit the past couple days. I told him that I would look for a wrench at the mall. He was happy when I came back with one. I showed him how to take the tire off the bike, dismount the tire and tube and patch the tube. We put it back to together and were feeling pretty impressed with ourselves. Then when he hopped on to try it out, we realized that the rear axle was shot and all our work was in vain.
As I look back on it now, though, it was totally worthwhile. It was a good way to spend some time with Daniel, work with him and talk to him. He knows he is probably too old to ever be adopted but he still has dreams and aspirations. He says that he wants to be a professional footballer (soccer); he said that his backup plan is to be an accountant. I hope that God will provide him a sponsor so that he can go to college and make it happen. I see so much potential in these kids. Potential is great and very important, but the opportunity still has to be made available. I have spoken with many of the kids that leave the orphanage during the day and go to a “real” school. I found out that it is because they have a “Sponsor” that they are able to attend this school. I also discovered that if you sponsor a child to go to this school, it only costs about $35 a month. That’s a pizza and a half at Chicago Connection! You have to pay for the semester all at once but I have seen firsthand how much farther ahead the kids are that get a formal education during the day. I’m not trying to be an advertisement for the orphanage. I am just learning about it myself, but find it fascinating that for so little, so much good can come out of it. I will get more information on this before we come home. If you want me to share some with you just let me know.
Tomorrow morning is our court appointment. I pray that this time the Judge is “feeling well” and decides to come to work. I don’t think Delight would take it very well this time. I called our AAI contact tonight and she told me that she confirmed everything tonight and all looked well. But that doesn’t mean much down here. The judge could still wake up with a head ache.
Oh speaking of that, we saw the funniest thing today. After lunch, we decided to take the kids to their first Ice-cream parlor (well, the closest thing Ghana has to one). Courage eats very quickly and doesn’t stop until his plate in cleaned, or his glass had been emptied. When he got the ice cream, he loved it. I saw him eating quickly but didn’t give it a second thought. After half of it was eaten he stopped and grabbed his forehead. He was experiencing his first, “Pig Pain”, of “Brain Freeze” as some call it. I couldn’t help but to laugh, but it wasn’t funny for him. He hadn’t ever felt something like that and didn’t like it one bit.
Well, the kids are all tucked into their beds and are waiting for court tomorrow. It has been another great day. I pray that I can report the same thing tomorrow evening. J