Monday, October 09, 2006

Ghanaian Life

This Saturday, we went to Cape Coast, the town that holds the main tourism of Ghana. It was our first venture outside the Rafiki gates during daylight.
What a revelation of African life. Driving through village after village. Seeing the mothers with babies strapped to their backs carrying food or wash or water on their heads (we really under-utilize our heads in the States). Seeing the funeral processions that only happen on Saturdays with everyone dressed in black and red and ready for the party that accompanies the ceremony. Seeing the "God's Favour Bakery" or "Christ Will Calm the Storm Store", named as such because of their superstitions that these names will keep away the bad. We are just beginning to understand the cultural rituals of the "Fetish Priests" who promise to cure your ills if you bring them virgin girls and pay them money. There are so many kiosks for "Space Phones"- you know, the kind that don't require land lines and are thus, mobile (aka, cell phones). Watching the sheep and goats wander through the throngs of people looking for scraps or rubbing their heads against something to scratch that itch. So many sights.
Our first stop was the Kukam National Park- Ghana's rainforest with a bridge over the canopy of the rainforest with its highest point at 40 meters. It was so fun to walk that high through a rainforest! The next stop was more sobering. We went to the Slave Castle of Cape Coast- A horrific remnant of the transatlantic slave trade that was heavy for over 200 years. Understanding even the tiniest morsel of that tragedy is just starting to sink in. So many human lives robbed forever, with conditions of squalor for the body and an ultimate theft of heart, home and freedom. The lasting implications of slave trade around the world, and especially the ones we are most familiar with in the US are shocking and saddening. And, Ghanaians sold other Ghanaians into slavery. A crime perpertrated against itself. John and I left talking about the insights into the human condition that we glimpsed. It is amazing to see what humans are capable of and know that, but for the grace of God, that could be us.
After the slave castle, which was beautiful, despite its heinous past, we went to eat at a resort on the beach that had American food. This was a welcome change, especially for Carol, because we eat African food for lunch and dinner. They joke around that it is always the same, some variation of "red over white."
We have started back into our normal routine today, Monday, where John and I split straw and then roll it for baskets. Then we have lunch at the Girls Center with the teenage girls. We then have various asundry tasks in the afternoon. John has been staining doors, and I have been making tablecloths with batik cloth for the dining hall. We then do work for 45 minutes with the kids, then play with them, then have dinner, where we try to make conversation, while they try to eat as much as possible with the end result that there is no food left on the table at the end of meals.
We have a good life here, and God's blessings are new every morning. It is wonderful to see the way He works in and through us to accomplish His work.

Ghanaian women bathing her child in a basin by the road

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey it looks exciting. I know the walk in the rain forest was great. I want to see a basket Carol hs made. The kids are so cute. John you "hang in there" with the termites. God bless you and use you wonderfully Sylvia

Anonymous said...

so the muffin says..."Ahh, were baking in an oven..."

Keep on glorifyin' on...

Steadfast Sable, LC
Clayton Clark

Scott & Jo said...

Love the pictures! We are printing some to share with the team. Your posts are making us want to be there with you - we continue to pray daily for you. Did I tell you Arkansas beat #2 Auburn at Auburn? 27 - 10 Thought your new Ghanaian's friends might be interested. May God bless you and keep you safe as you serve His wonderful people. Love, Scott and Jo

Angelalala said...

Hey, kids! I miss you. It sounds like you are definitely getting the adventure you were ready for. We are up over 24% for the month so far at good old CFA. Scott got his information about ordering the car. Currently he wants a rust colored pick-up of some sort. David and I are great. He misses you too. . . . I love you both and can't wait to keep reading your updates.

Ellen Ruth said...

Sounds like things are going swimmingly. I still don't have a boyfriend just in case you were wondering. You know why? Because I'm engaged... I have a fiance!! I'm also a horrible liar... sorry!! I love you guys so so so much! And my laundry isn't the same without you. Jeran and Sarah love you too!! Jeran also says to be looking for those headwraps.

Jeran said...

Hey Guys,
I just wanted to also let you know that I am praying for you guys!!! Ellen forgot to mention that part. We miss you lots! Keep living for Jesus!

Anonymous said...

Hi dear friends! It is so good to hear about how you're doing and really fun to see the pictures! Thanks for sharing them. I finally got on facebook and asked Ellen for your blog address bc I had misplaced it. Anyway, you guys are in my prayers every day. I love you!!

Susan Kemp

Angela said...

Just wanted you guys to know we are thinking about you and we check your webpage at work. :o)

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