Another culture shock
While going out for dinner at Red Lobster. Our dinner took about 30 minutes to get out to us and when it did everyone got their food at the same time. No waiting and hoping your food would be first.
In Ghana we would wait about an average of 2 hours for our food (always remember to bring a pack of playing cards) and then when the food started to come it would only be a few dishes at a time. I think I had some sort of curse because I always managed to be one of the last people to receive my meal.
My first big culture shock
It’s been a while. Too long. I miss Ghana and everything and everyone that comes with. I am planning on writing a much longer entry soon but right now I thought I would share one observation.
I live in Spring Lake, Michigan which is right by Grand Haven and the beach. On one of my first nights back my mom and I drove by the beach and there were a shocking number of small sailboats in the lake.
Without really thinking about it I said to my mom, “It’s crazy, here people use boats for entertainment and relaxation, but in Ghana boats are used only for work and for survival.”
It was such a little observation but it just describes the two cultures perfectly.
Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.
Fitzhugh Mullan (hard to forget about all those potholes in Ghana!)
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
At the National Theatre in Accra, Ghana. Saw the play called “Araba’s Song:A Slave’s Story”.
My favorite quote really explains my feelings for today:
"Life is hard, but oh so beautiful."
The past few days I have been in shock about us leaving. But today it finally hit: we are leaving our home in Winneba. I have said many goodbyes and they are all hitting me right now. A lot of the people I have met here in Ghana I will probably never meet again. That makes me incredibly sad. But I also know that God puts people in our lives for a reason and each one of the people I met have impacted me for the rest of my life. Even now that I have to leave them I will never regret meeting them because of how much them mean to me and my life. I feel so blessed to have known these people for even a short time.
There are so many things I am going to miss about our home here. I am going to miss fresh cooked meals by our host Manuel. I will miss children always greeting us on the road, running up to us, hugging us, high fiving us, and saying, “Obruni, how are you?” I will miss the roosters, goats, and chickens. I will miss our pets: Chubby, Sammy, and Cat. I will miss fresh pineapple, bread, milo, fanice, alvero, and redred. I will miss Ghanaian dance parties. I will miss Manuel and his beautiful family who has also become my own. I will miss the children at Challenging Heights and especially the ones at Hovde. I will miss showers under the stars. I will miss custom made clothing made out of beautiful cloth. I will miss marriage proposals (not really, mom). I will miss taxi and tro-tro rides. And finally I will miss my friends that I made here and the family I brought with me. I am so blessed by all of these things and many things I have forgotten.
"Life is beautiful, but oh do hard." How very true that is today.
I said goodbye to the children at the Hovde House and Challenging Heights today. Such an incredibly hard day. I have been so changed by all of these kids. Each one is so special and important to me. I will never regret meeting any of these beautiful souls. Thank you God for this opportunity!
Last day at Challenging Heights. I am not ready.
Last night at Frimps. Keelson’s family restaurant. So good.
Church at the Hovde House
Today my faith has been restored. Today my faith in God has returned because of the wonderful children at the Hovde House.
I have been struggling with my faith for 8 years now. 8 years ago was the worst day of my life. My father died and I have been having a real hard time forgiving God.
But today I realized that if these children, who have gone through far worse than I could ever imagine, can forgive God. Then why can’t I? My struggles seem so small compared to theirs. If they can be strong, so can I.
The first part of the church service they spent praying and singing. The whole time they kept their eyes closed. Each person prayed out loud to themselves. It was the most beautiful sounds. The singing also got to me. I couldn’t help but cry from sadness and happiness.
The children either stood up or sat down bent over onto the next bench to pray. They really did seem to be talking to God. One of the first times I have ever seen people praying not to be seen but to have an actual conversation with God. It was so refreshing.
After that groups came up and sang. Our GV group was second to last. We ended up singing “This Little Light of Mine” and “You Are My Sunshine”. The children and the house mothers were loving it. They stood up and clapped and danced with us.
Then we all got Bibles and learned about the story of King David. This whole part was in Twi but they had a PowerPoint with the story in English.
This was by far the best church service I have ever gone to. It was the most beautiful, spiritual, hopeful, and empowering moments of this trip and my life.
Those kids are so important to me. I don’t know how we are ever going to say goodbye.