Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ghana Recap - Day Four

Today began a bit earlier than the previous day. Breakfast was some type of french toast, some tiny sausages, and rice porridge. The french toast was okay with some strawberry jelly. I don't care much for white rice so I don't touch the porridge, and I took one bite of the sausage but didn't care for it. We were encouraged to bring lots of snacks on the trip, and these come in handy this morning. Coffee here is what I expected - powdered Nescafe, which is what passes for coffee in much of the world. I had a cup yesterday, and it is passable if I think of it as a wholly different beverage than coffee, but this morning I didn't see any value to it. I had considered brining my french press and some ground coffee, but though better of it.

We drove to the work site again and were immediately diverted to walk down to the village, where the chief gave us a tour. Everyone had their cameras ready and it felt very voyeuristic to me, like we were being toured around some kind of oddity that was there for our amazement. It is odd to us, and it is essential that we see how the people were are working for and with live (something many tourists to Africa may never really get to experience), but something about it still feels unsettling to me. I took a few select pictures (I'm not of the "oooh, it's a kitty, in Africa, I better take a picture" type). We were shown an idol they used to worship, which was strange and not what I expected. It was human size carved in stone, seated, dressed, face drawn on, smoking a pipe. Apparently there are others, but we didn't see them.  A young boy was sent up a very tall coconut tree to shake down large green coconuts for us. We were offered sips of the milk, which was sweet and light, and slimy pieces of the flesh, which were good. Pastor J warned us though that it was somewhat of a laxative, so most of us partook cautiously. 

Work this morning was about the same as the previous day. I moved a few bricks then migrated back towards the kids activities. They sang beautifully for us and were led in a craft and a lively soccer game.

Katie got the good news that her luggage was finally at the airport and, as it was actually checked in my name, she and I left for the airport before lunch. We were first driven to the hotel in a jeep with a few Ghanian young adults. We chatted with two young ladies who were journalists of some sort (and connected to the church somehow). A song about Obama came on the radio and they spoke of how much they like him and how Ghana is very in favor of him. The conversation turned to the naming of babies and we were "interviewed" on tape about American customs. Apparently in Ghana the man gets the naming rights and a naming ceremony is held on the 8th day after the birth. These ladies were not real happy about this situation and were fascinated by the more democratic method by which most children are named in the U.S. 

The trip to the airport was long through much very slow traffic. Vendors were all along the rode, coming up to our car to hawk their goods. We saw people selling bread, eggs, peanuts, water (it is common here for purified water to come in plastic pouches), and some things we didn't recognize. We passed some areas where there were very nice looking homes. We got to the airport and fairly easily got the luggage. Upon returning to the hotel, another nap, then dinner.

After dinner AC was in charge of the Vespers service. Katie led an activity, AC read a verse, I initiated a discussion of the days events. We ended by singing the doxology. I then played some Euchre for the first time in ages.

Tomorrow we will go to the "work" site in the morning, then to the large Presbyterian church that is hosting us for the first time.

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