It's been awhile since I've come to blog and I figured, "It's about time"! As usual, I hit the ground running! My time back in Ghana has been as busy as ever.
I loved my time at home, but it felt good to be ready to come back here to Ghana. I was missing the kids and feeling like I needed to get back into the life I was leading here.
When I was stepping off the plane, a man in front of me asked if I was visiting or coming home. I love that I was given that option. . .most people just look at the color of my skin and assume that I'm just visiting. But, it was fun to say, "Nope, I'm coming home. I live here in Ghana."
My time coming back has been pretty busy. The day that I arrived, John and Stacy's pastor from Sioux Falls also arrived. She's here to do a crusade in Larteh, a village up the mountain from us. Unfortunately, her flight was delayed 2 1/2 hours, so we hung out at the airport until 11 pm and then didn't make it home until 1 am. I was so tired, but was just glad to be home. When we pulled up, the van woke up some of the kids (or they just waited up to see me) because some of them came out of their rooms to say hello. I told them I'd see them in the morning, and it's a good thing I locked my bedroom door because Caleb and Portia tried to come in by 7 am that morning!
My welcome back was pretty awesome. A bunch of the kids practically tackled me and Edwin came running shouting "Auntie Autumn, Auntie Autumn" (which sounds more like dada dada).
My first day back, we headed out the land and got to see all that they have been working on since I've been away. They don't have machines to put a foundation here, so it's all being dug by hand and the cement is being mixed and poured by hand. Pretty amazing. Our fifteen classrooms are dug and and they're working on putting in the foundation. So amazing! They also are started on the first safe house (which they are building by faith as funds haven't come in for that building yet) and the Omorefe's house (which is made possible by one generous donor!!). So awesome.
That night, I got to hand out the gifts to the kids. We started with the photo books and the kids were seriously IN AWE of them! They all traded them around and loved looking through all the pages. One of the girls, Gracie, came up to me with tears in her eyes. There was a picture of her with her Madam (the school teacher that was taking care of her before she came here) and she said that she was so glad she got to see a picture of her and that she misses her so much! For all the work those books took to put together, the outcome was so worth it. The kids LOVED them! For those of you who donated towards the cost of the books, thank you thank you thank you!
I also got to hand out watches to the kids, sports bras to the girls, the little computers to Caleb and Portia, stuffed animals to the babies, and gifts for the staff. They just loved it. (We saved some of the gifts for later and some, I was not able to fit in my bags--another trip!) I was also able to bring some things for our school to be used in this next term. So awesome! And seriously, the kids check their watches like every minute and make sure that it's still set correctly. I have at least three kids a day who want me to check and make sure their watch is set correctly. So funny! For those of you who donated items for the kids or the school, thank you thank you thank you!
Besides that, we've been busy with Pastor Judy, John and Stacy's pastor from back in the States. We are doing a crusade in Larteh with her on Tuesday and Wednesday. Yesterday, we went to church up near Larteh to introduce ourselves and to tell others about the crusade. I sang a song too and it looks like they want me to sing more at the crusade. I still have a cough, so I hope that it goes away before all this begins!
Edwin came back in my room just a couple nights ago. The first night was perfect. No problems at all, but last night, now that was another story. He woke up in the middle of the night crying and didn't go back to sleep until almost 5 am. I was seriously SO EXHAUSTED trying to put him back to sleep. I've learned a bit about sleeping patterns of babies when I was home (thank you T, Yona, and Debbie), but it's so different here. When you're in a house with 30 people, if a baby is crying for 4 hours, it keeps everyone else up too. I thought about letting him just cry himself back to sleep, but then his cries turned to screams and that just can't happen. So, then it was lights on and reading books. Nope, that didn't work either. Lights off and quiet music. Nope. I finally got him down with some rocking, but the second I laid him down, he'd wake up and cry again. So, I finally laid down next to him and gradually went to sleep. Wow! A crazy night of sleeping!
This morning, I'm getting caught up on my emails and facebook and blog. And hopefully, will be getting this messy room picked up too. My bags are still not fully unpacked (as I've hardly been home to unpack them) and I think that after such a crazy night of sleep, I just need a day to chill!
School was supposed to start up tomorrow, but we postponed it until next Monday (I love Africa!). We'll come back to do training on Thursday and Friday and then Monday, we'll be back to school. That will give me some time to get some of the prep done that I wanted to do too.
A busy week lies ahead and I guess I better get started on it. Will try to get back into blogging as time goes on.
OH, I got a new phone since I've been back too. If anyone wants to get a hold of me that way, just let me know and I'll send you the number!