Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ghana Recap - Day Three

Got a good night's sleep and awoke for our first full day in Ghana. Breakfast consisted of toast with spreadable individually wrapped cheese, and some excellent omelettes that would have passed muster in any American restaurant. 

After breakfast we got back on our bus to head out to our work site. I quickly noticed that many businesses had Christian names. For example "Jesus is Lord Drinking and Chop Bar" or "God is Good Block Makers". It wasn't just a few businesses, it was almost all of them. There was one area we went through that almost felt like a Christian theme park. Very strange. We quickly got off the paved road onto the dirt road and through some fairly primitive villages. Chickens and goats roamed free, children waved to us.

Our worksite is to be a school and church for a small village. The children currently walk about 6 miles to school, so there is a great need. Upon our arrival the site consisted of the foundation for much of the building, with most rooms having at least a few layers of bricks. One room had a small big-top like tent over it and we were shepherded in there for a little ceremony with the pastors of the Kaneshie Presbyterian Church (who is sponsoring our visit here), as well as the village chief and religious leader. They had agendas printed up and everything. I ashamedly dozed a bit, though it wasn't too long. 

After the little ceremony, we headed out to work, which started slowly. There were already a large number of locals on the job, and it was pretty clear that we were inessential to the whole operation. Lest we really insert ourselves into the work, we are not called upon to do much. It is mostly mixing cement and laying blocks, and there are only a few shovels and a few trowels, so our scope is limited. The building work is exactly what I spent the summer doing in Tanzania in 1991 with Teen Missions, so this trip is really taking me back. Last night I dreamt of people from that summer.

We were also swarmed by adorable children at the worksite. Kids were held, games were played, balloons were passed out, songs were sung. 

Upon the urgings of the church leaders, we took a short day and headed back to the hotel for lunch and rest. I napped. We had a short Vespers service before dinner, then I read a bit and went to bed. I've been pretty tired.

Some general observations - most people here speak excellent English, and most of the signs around are in English. It is very easy to be a tourist here. The weather is gorgeous. Humid, but breezy, a bit rainy now and then, but not often. The church people have been wonderful, taking great care of us and attending to our every need.

At the end of day three, Katie still has no luggage but has not complained. I loaned her a shirt which I'm not sure she wanted, but she wore anyway.

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