Monday, March 3, 2008

Cape Coast

Hi All,
Sorry for the delay in posting. I am continuing my adventures here in Ghana and I am having a great time! This past week Sheryl and I went to Takoradi--that is the other sight where the other two girls are working. It was a great little town, small and on the ocean--so different from the busy crazy city of Kumasi. We all took a Tro Tro to Cape Coast, it used to be the capital of Ghana and it is full of history from the slave trade. We took a tour through the Cape Coast castle and saw where they held the slaves before they were shipped off, it was fascinating. We spent the day there and met a really interesting man who makes silver jewelry and got a great deal on some earings! He invited us to a show that night and we were able to watch native drumming and dancing, it was really cool. It was especially nice to feel the cool ocean breeze as it has been so hot here.
The next day we went to a national park called Kakum. It is all part of a rainforest and they have some suspension bridges that are taller than the trees--we took the canopy walk around the forest. It was so beautiful! I didn't mind the height, but I really didn't like the way the bridges (about 8inches across) swayed as I walked, that was kind of scary.
Since Sheryl and I didn't have to teach until Friday we decided to go to a "resort" that the jewelry guy couldn't stop bragging about. He said that it was the most beautiful place in Ghana. So we rented a taxi and drove and drove and drove . It was clear in the middle of nowhere on really bad dirt roads. We got there and it was incredibly beautiful, but it was not a resort! We stayed in a hut with 4 other people, and they were pretty proud of the fact that each bed had its own mosquito net! It was a really cool place though, just sit outside all day with nothing to do but watch the ocean and read. It was pretty incredible, and not bad for $4 a night!
The next day we walked down the beach to a little village to catch a Tro tro out of there, we were pretty lucky as we were the last two people on the tro tro. As we were getting ready to go all the men surrounded the tro tro and pushed it down a hill--it was to help it start. But it didn't start, so they all pushed it back up the hill and tried again. This time it managed to start! Then a bunch of the guys all ran up to it and climbed on top to ride into town, it was pretty funny to watch the legs dangling out my window.
2 tro tros, 1 taxi, and a 6 hour bus ride later we made it back to Kumasi. Home sweet home. This week we taught a great group of people. I really grew close to one woman, her name is Patience and she has the sweetest spirit. She said that her greatest dream is to educate herself (she only made it to jr . high) and to be a secretary. She wants it so badly, but she said it is hard because she has 3 children. I told her I had faith in her and I knew her dreams could come true. I shared with her the story of my own mother who went back to school when she had three little girls. It seemed to give her some confidence. She loves to read, it helps her with English, I am going to take her a Sheri Dew book that I brought with me. I pray that her dreams can come true.
Kumasi is great, Ghana is wonderful. I hope to hear from you all soon!

Monday, February 11, 2008

In a house!

Alright I have not updated in awhile, sorry about that, things have been a little crazy. But the best news thus far is we finally have a place to live! After looking at a few places that made us want to cry (because they were so bad, lots of critters living in them), and a couple of places that we could make do if we had to, we finally found an amazing house! A church member called in a favor and a family who lives in Canada but has a house here is letting us rent a couple of rooms in the house.
It is a pretty amazing set-up, better than we could have ever hoped for. The house is huge, our rooms even have air conditioners! And there is even a washer and dryer--that is unheard of. There are only two catches, 1. it is in the middle of nowhere and 2. there is no water. So we get to walk 20 minutes down a dirt road everyday to get to the main road (which isn't bad except for the dust, heat, humidity, and all the little kids who run after us calling us obrunies--white ladies), and we get to bucket bath. I don't really mind bucket bathing I did it for a year in the Philippines and it brings back fond memories.
The other day as I was looking at my pile of dirty clothes decided I would "make" the washer work. So I figured out a way to pour buckets of water into it through the soap drawer and. . . I did it! I had clean clothes! It was an amazing momentous day, I can't remember a happier time than right then when I realized that I was not going to have to wash 15 sets of underwear by hand. It was amazing, to say the least.
Our classes have been going great, in fact this last week we had so many people that we had to divide it into two groups--that is pretty incredible. I have to run now but I will update in a day or two with pictures! Love you all. . .

Sunday, January 27, 2008


So we went to the game and it was one of the craziest things I have ever experienced! It was packed and you have never seen fans until you have seen these. There were people who never stopped they would do laps around the stadium cheering and blowing their horns for 3 hours! It was incredible. But the thing is they buy noise makers like horns and stuff and they do not stop blowing on them for the entire match, seriously. It would be right in your ear--it was louder than any concert I have ever been to. But it was tons of fun and we won!

Alright, so Friday Sheryl and I headed to Kumasi--we knew the bus ride would take awhile but little did we know the adventure that was ahead of us! We got to the bus station, with bags in hand (two large ones each) and tickets for the 10:00AM bus. We were able to board the bus around 2 PM, it was running on Ghanaian time. . . We then proceeded to spread out because it was not completely full, but we did not know that there was another stop. So the bus picked up a bunch more people until it was full, and a very nice lady with a 10 month old baby came to sit next to me. Which was very nice until I realized the little kid was sick and he puked the entire 5 hours! Needless to say the smell was pretty bad, but I felt so sorry for the little guy!
Well, we were pretty ready to arrive in Kumasi, except for the fact that when we were about 30 KM outside of the city the bus broke down on the side of the road! So we had to get out with all of our stuff and ride in a tro tro to the city. Luckily a really nice guy called the lady who was supposed to pick us up and told her where to go. The only problem was he didn't tell us where to get off! So we road along until some lady started banging on the window at one of the stops telling us to get off. We then loaded all of our luggage into her Toyota Corolla, including the three of us and her 8 month son--in his car seat. We were going along fine until Sheryl looked at the baby and scared him to death because he had never seen a white lady before. So he scrame and Paulina told us to give him to her and we proceeded to drive to the house with him asleep in her arms. . .
Then we got to the place we were supposed to be staying and realized that the guy who was getting our accommodations didn't understand the rules very well and simply rented us two rooms in Paulinas house (we are supposed to have our own apartment). So there were men and women all over the place, we didn't know who they were and they could see right in our bedrooms. So the next day we got to explain to everybody that this was not a suitable arrangement and we proceeded to spend all of yesterday looking for an apartment. So right now we are in a very nice hotel looking for a more permanent place. The adventure never ends!
But we did go to a great ward today and I was so impressed with the people. I understood very little of what they were saying because they did almost everything in a mixture of Fante and Twi (the two local lanugages). But the spirit was so strong and it was such a witness to me of the faithfulness of these people. I talked to Priesthood holders who had been members for 20-25 years, as long as the church has been in Ghana. And there were so many families! It really made my heart melt as I watched how seriously they took the church. It is so impressive. I think one of the best things was hearing the Primary kids sing Book of Mormon Stories and other Primary songs. It made me realize once again how the gospel of Jesus Christ has no borders. It is a great experience here and the people are amazing. Please send out a few prayers though for us to find an apartment! The hotel is nice, but. . .
Love you all! Thanks for your posts please keep them up! They make my day!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Accra. . .the Beginning

   It is now Thursday and tonight will mark my first week in Ghana and it has been quite an adventure! I think the thing that has stood out the most to me since I have been here is how incredibly kind all the people are, they are so amazing! The four Ghana girls have spent the week in Accra to get adjusted and to teach a workshop at the Employment Resource Center here. It is very well organized and the people that are over it are amazing. Our workshop was terrific and we had such a love for the people we taught, they were so great. We also did a session in the Accra temple, it was incredibly and so humbling. Marcee and I were the only white people in the whole place. 
  One of the most exciting things that is going on is that Ghana is hosting the Africa Cup of Nations--it is a giant soccer match where all the African countries vie for the position to go to the world cup. Everybody here is so patriotic! You see yellow, green, and red flags everywhere and Ghana has already won their first match! We are going to the second match tonight Ghana vs. Namibia--it should be pretty exciting and a little crazy. Everybody here is completely caught up in soccer fever!
  We have met quite a few friends here, everybody is so friendly. One of good friends that visits us at the hostel everyday is Isaac, he is 13 and he took me on a very long walk yesterday looking for a bandana to wear to the game today. He is quite the little ladies man and held my hand the entire time! It was pretty funny. 
  Last night a couple of our friends took us to watch a movie. We went to this place and you rent out a room and sit and watch a movie, it was pretty hilarious. The furniture was completely hard and uncomfortable and the best part was the movie was pirated! They had stolen it and were using it in their business! You gotta love 3rd world countries. 
  We haven't tried a whole lot of food yet, we aren't eating a lot--that is good for my losing weight goal. But today I was talking to one of the servers at the hostel and he wanted me to try some of the food so I had Red Red for lunch. It was a plate of sauted goat meat, grilled plantains (hard bananas) and this bean mixture. The food had pretty good flavoring, the plantains were my favorite. But I will admit it isn't the greatest ever. I have been living on beef jerkey and fruit leather---Thanks mom!
  All in all I love it here, the people are absolutely amazing. It is so great to be able to experience so much of the culture while helping the people. Sheryl and I leave for Kumasi tomorrow (Friday) and then we will really be getting to work. That is where we will be staying for the rest of our time here. Should be a great 5 hour bus ride tomorrow, they tell us the road is pretty rough, woohoo! But I can't wait to teach the people there, I already have such a love for them. Please send me emails I love to hear from everybody and I will try to post again soon! 

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Adventure Begins. . .Almost

Hi All!
I am excited to begin a blog that will go through my adventures in Ghana. I think that this will be the easiest way for me to stay in contact with all the people I love the most. Please please send me posts and give me updates on what is happening in your lives.
I am not yet in Ghana, I leave on Wednesday and will be gone until May 15. I just want to share a little about what I will be doing and why I am doing it.
I am going to be in Kumasi Ghana, a city about three hours inland from Accra (the capital). I will be an intern with the Church Employment Services teaching workshops on how to get a job, keep a job, and build small businesses. This is such an important program because it teaches people how to be self sufficient. Not only that but the workshops are incredible! They have already changed my life, if you ever get a chance--no matter what your station in life--take the career workshop. It is free and the principles taught are absolutely amazing.
12 of us interns just spent a week in SLC getting trained by people from the Church Office Building, it was an amazing experience and I have gained such a testimony of the love Heavenly Father has for us. He not only cares about our spiritual nature, but our temporal as well this is truly an inspired plan.
Kumasi, Ghana has some amazing sights. I can't wait to see them. I have found a few pics online to show a little of what I can possibly expect. (It will probably be totally different than all that though!)
As soon as I find out more and have more pics I promise to post them. Please keep in contact and remember everything we do in life affects the individuals--how many people are you going to influence?