My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Getting it all Done

So, originally, I'd planned on traveling somewhere with Katie, but we just enjoyed hanging out so much (especially Katie with Portia), that we decided to stick around here. I'm excited about the "possibility" of having Katie come back again another time somewhere in the near future when we can travel and enjoy time seeing other parts of the country.

In any case, the past few days, we've just been hanging out at home and loving time together and with the kids. On Thursday, we finished up our camp stuff and now we are almost 100% finished with our summer camp. The only thing Katie will have left to do is some printing and putting together a binder to send back with my mom when she comes in JUNE!!!! So excited!

Yesterday was a really fun day. In the morning, we just hung out, but at lunch time, a taxi came to take us to the Baboon Refuge. We took the kids who didn't go with us before, so it was Katie and I and the little ones. We were led by an awesome guide named Jacob who led us around the baboon forest, up to where we had a good picture of where the baboons go to sleep at night. He had us buy a loaf of bread from a local seller to give to the baboons. They gathered around us and ate the bread straight from our hands. DK was fearless with them, but Katie wasn't too excited to have the baboons that close to us! You'll have to check out the pictures of Facebook. It was so funny! The carride home was another African experience for Katie. We stuffed all 10 of us (11 with the driver) into the car for the bumpy ride home. I think we were all grateful that the ride only took about 10 minutes.

Yesterday night, we had visitors come from CKO, another local orphanage in Teshie, to drop off some supplies and come see the kids. They brought some gifts for Gracie (thank you Sheryl Murphy--we're having Grace share them out between the kids), some bibles for the kids, and some formula for baby John. Katie and I had been planning our movie night, making it like a red-carpet event complete with pipecleaner glasses and popcorn in fancy popcorn cones. We came out all dressed up in our African dresses and our hair tied up and announced them one by one into the room as they walked the red carpet (two red towels we laid on the floor). The kids had a blast! And when we told them that they were watching the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe--they just about fell over. There was so much screaming and hugging that I thought I would pass out from laughing so hard! They love the Chronicles of Narnia! Afterwards, Katie and I ate with the guests and then went and joined the kids for the movie. What a fun night!!!

Today is Katie's last day. I think we've had a kid at our door just about once a minute since 6:30 am. We're finally getting our baths done and then we'll take the trek into town to find some last minute gifts. I can't believe that it's time to go already! It's been so fun to have Katie here and I'm excited about the possibility of the future. I'd have to say that we really did "get it all done" these past two weeks--finished up the camp, hung out with the kids, rested, enjoyed life, laughed, cooked...it's been a blast!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Experiencing Ghana for the first time

It's always fun to see Ghana again through a visitors eyes. For a person who has living in country for 9 months, it has become a very normal place to live. The past couple of days, we've taken Katie out and about here in Ghana to let her experience just a little bit of a "taste" of what life is like here for us.

On Monday, we had a family day with the Omorefe's. We traveled to "America" by stopping by the Accra mall for lunch and a movie. Since the boys were with us, we saw a children's movie, Mars Needs Moms. The movie was a little intense for children and the topic was a little confusing which made me wonder why the "G" rating, but we were really impressed when we saw that it was acted out with all those sensors placed on an actors face and body and then animated from that. I mean, the cartoon characters really did look like the person that acted it out and it was amazing how they did the whole thing!

Afterwards, we went to the Arts Center market where Katie picked out a few things for friends and family back home, but we had to take off early, so shopping will have to be continued later on in the week.

Last night, we watched The Interpreter, a film that Katie had yet to see. I, unfortunately, fell asleep, and knowing Katie, she slept through parts as well. But, I think she made it through til the end!

Today, we went to Tema to stop by the 7 Continents building. They have finished painting the building and now they just need to finish up a couple of things and a carpenter can come in and build tables, shelves, desks, etc. Excited to get things up and running in there!

After that, we went into Community 2 where Katie was able to purchase some fabric. She bought me some too, so I could remember her by (that's what she told me). It was so nice as I love to get clothes made here, but don't get to do it very often! Thank you Katie!! I'm excited to see her dress, though! It was inspired by a dress we sneakily took a picture of yesterday in Wooden (a clothing store here), so I'm excited to see what it will turn out like! So cute!

After that, we hit up a market to get a few things for Mexican food tonight for dinner. We also made a quick stop by the pineapple lady, we picked up some plantain chips along the way, and even got some coconut this afternoon. What a delicious day it was!

Tonight, Stacy, Katie, and I worked on stuff for our Mexican dinner. It was delicious and HIT THE SPOT! Yummmmmm!!! The staff even looks forward to our "Moroccan Delight" (which is what they call it since they can never remember the word "Mexican").

Well, Katie is falling asleep and I need to go set up Edwin's bed, so I'm off! Tomorrow will be another full day of adventure! We should seriously have a TV show with all the adventures we've been creating this week.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Celebration

Easter morning, Katie and I woke up bright and early to get ready for the Easter celebration. I have to tell you that since Katie's arrived, we've gotten into the habit of sleeping in until 8 am which is seriously unheard of in this house!! I think I haven't slept in past 6:30 since I arrived here. But, it's break time and that means I can do whatever I want for the time being!

Anyway, after waking up, we ate a quick breakfast before coming together for our Easter church service here at the house. I led worship and John spoke about the meaning of Resurrection. Such a sweet time together as a family. At the end, we prayed together and then we all went around and gave each other Easter hugs.

After our service, it was time to begin preparing the food, but the first step to food preparation is to have animals to prepare. We had six chickens ready and we'd purchased a goat from the village for the big day. Katie was really nervous to see the slaughter happen, but we both stood at a distance while the boys did the job! The boys all thought we were hilarious by standing at the edge instead of right up close. I grew up on a farm and don't really mind the concept, but it's more the blood that grosses me out. In any case, they had a few good laughs chasing Katie around with the dead chicken. DK made it a point throughout the day to run his finger across his neck while Katie was eating any kind of meat (she gave up vegetarianism only recently). Too funny!

We hung out a lot in the morning, just waiting for the food to be ready. After awhile, the pepper soup was handed out as a little appetizer. Too bad it wasn't that appetizing (shhhhh...don't tell anyone here!!). The broth tasted great! It was just the random goat parts that I couldn't really handle. But, I'm grateful for Edwin, Portia, JJ, and DK who sneaked the parts out of my bowl before anyone saw and hungrily devoured...well, I'm not quite sure what part of the goat it was, but they were parts I couldn't really stomach.

Somewhere along the way, Anna and Emily, an NYU volunteer and another study abroad student who have been volunteering with us, came out for the Easter celebration. They enjoyed the morning hanging out with Baby John, playing with Portia, chasing the kids, just enjoying the Easter festivities!

Katie and I rested a bit in the early afternoon before the real food was served up, but by 3:00, the food was ready and so were we. We had fufu and light soup (which I humbly passed on based on my experience with the pepper soup), and jallof rice (one of my favorites). We also had fried chicken and goat. It was a yummy meal! Afterwards, we all ate some of the jello squares that I made (thank you Mama!). I mixed three packages of the jello together when I was making it and then added a cream to the top. Needless to say, my hello squares turned out gray and looked disgusting, BUT they tasted delicious! I also made chocolate chip cookies (thank you to Stacy's mom for sending the mixes over) and everyone enjoyed the chocolate chip cookies after their big meal (especially JJ--he LOVES sweets)!

After lunch, Katie, Stacy, Anna, Emily, and I all played a couple rounds of beans. It was so fun to teach the girls a new game and to whip them all soundly in the first round (second round went to Stacy and Anna).

After beans, all of us girls gathered in my room for some beading to send home with Katie to sell (Bristol--I'll be sending you an email with some info about 7 Continents really soon!). We beaded, and beaded, I took Edwin out of the room, then we beaded some more, Edwin came back in and had to be taken out again, we beaded and beaded. We watched Pride and Prejudice (Katie got to explain all the little parts that we love about the movie) and we watched The Wedding Planner (who doesn't love J-Lo?). We got quite a few necklaces done and hope it will bring in some moolah for more beads so we can get our 7 Continents project started.

I also got to chat with my mom for a little bit yesterday. That was fun! The family had ham for Easter--jealous. I mean, I love experiencing life here in Ghana, but HAM just sounds really good!

Our Easter was very blessed and I'm so happy that Katie got to be a part of our celebration. What a beautiful day! Christ is Risen...He is Risen INDEED!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Yesterday, Katie and I worked on summer camp stuff in the morning. It was fun to crack open all of the things that she's been working on for our summer. We decided that we'd like to open the camp to the village kids from 8-12 and then after lunch, we would do the rest of the project only for our own children here. I think that will really work well. My hope is that we can get some more interns and volunteers to come and help! We really need more people so that it won't just be crowd control, but will be fun!

Halfway through our meeting about the summer, the group from YYAM came. It made me realize our incredible NEED for a volunteer coordinator. With Stacy and John gone, I would go from my room (where Katie and I were meeting) to the living room (where YYAM was hanging with the kids) all morning. Back and forth, back and forth. They're a cool group though and we have loved having them with us. Katie and I need a couple more days, though, to wrap up the summer camp stuff so that we will be all set! We'll start working on it again maybe tomorrow.

In the afternoon yesterday, the YYAM group wanted to make jewelery again with the beads. So, we set it all up and even the kids joined in this time. Afterwards, we had to go through which peices would actually be good enough to sell and we ended up taking apart a few that just didn't make the cut, but they helped us come up with some great concepts and color combinations. It was fun to have them work on that for us! We'll be giving the necklaces to an adoptive family today to send back to Kristy at Feeding the Orphans to sell for mother's day.

Last night, Katie and I (and Edwin until he fell asleep) watched Pride and Prejudice before we went to sleep. It's a favorite of both of ours and it was so nice to watch it together. Afterwards, we laughed and laughed about...well, it doesn't even make sense today, but last night it was funny. Needless to say, rap songs about Pride and Prejudice are just extremely funny late at night!

Today, we'll be feeding some of the kids in Doryumu thanks to Katie and all the people who helped bring her here. She raised enough to do a feeding, so we'll be bringing the kids out here to the house and dishing up food for them around noon. Excited about that!

I can't believe it's Friday already! It's going TOOOOOOO FAST! Katie just needs to stay for a couple weeks longer! I don't think I'll be able to talk her into that though!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Life with Katie

It's been so much fun having Katie here. It sometimes seems surreal to have her here and a part of my everyday life, and then again, sometimes it feels very normal, like she's just supposed to be here.

Sunday, when she came in, we headed back to the house after picking her up. On the way, we saw Daddy Joseph (our house father) who had been in Krache (the Volta region) for the past week at a funeral and working on some stuff for our water project. Since our van was broken down (I'm writing this in past tense as it already happened, but our van is STILL broken down), we had taken a taxi to pick up Katie and we were already full, but in typical African style, Katie climbed on my lap and we began the bumpy ride into Doryum in a very squished, and cozy taxi. Katie even stuck her head out of the window for some of the way...Ace Ventura style.

When we reached the house, they were preparing dinner, and after we ate, we saw the clouds were really rolling in. Lately, the rain hasn't been falling, even if the sky is gray and the lightening starts. Needless to say, Sunday night...the rain began to fall! And it fell...and fell...and fell. Our power went out shortly into the storm, the wind blew through the house and even caused some leaks in our roof (one that led to water dripping in on my bed and on my floor). What a night for the memory books for Katie's first night here. The kids were going crazy with the lights out, Edwin was whimpering on my lap for the better part of an hour before he fell asleep, and the generator wasn't working, so we were powerless with no way to lean on our alternative power source. Out came the candles and everyone headed to bed. Katie took her first bucket bath by candlelight (as did I--I haven't had to take one by candle before!) and we headed to bed without power. Poor girl was so tired, she went right to sleep. In the middle of the night, Edwin got up and thinking that Katie was me, pulled on her toe. That's usually his sign for "I'm awake...what are you going to do about it?" So, I heard Katie say, "Something pulled my toe" and I knew it was Edwin. She was up for a couple of hours in the night, just not really tired and adjusting to the time zone, but I think for her first night here, she definitely had something to write home about!

Yesterday was Monday and we started out the day pretty easy going. Edwin always is funny to wake up to, with his big grin, and even bigger mischief. He was curious about the new guest in "his room", but gave her an atuu (hug) right away! I think he's in love!

We taught class in the morning--I taught JJ, Miracle, and Micheal and Katie worked with Caleb and Portia. After classtime, I took Katie to the school building that we are using and showed her around. In the afternoon, Stacy, Katie, and I headed to Pram Pram to meet up with Angie to learn some beading techniques. I was pretty excited for another day out and I've heard so much about her beautiful view of the ocean and her lovely house, I was excited to explore! It's all true...her view is amazing and her house in lovely. It was fun to sit and chat and learn how to do some beads. We definitely chose a difficult pattern for our first necklace, but what can you do?! They cooked a very nice chicken soup for dinner and we had a nice time just chatting and beading together. Her girls (twin 3 year olds) are very cute as well! It was a fun evening!

Today, we had a busy day. I am probably going to wear Katie out, but there is so much to show her and so many things to do! Today, we taught class again in the morning, after some quiet time. Then, we had lunch and started to set up the beads in my room. The kids helped us find containers, though we'll have to keep looking for ones with lids. Stacy, Katie, and I brought out the easter candy that Katie brought for us and we chowed down on candy, and beaded necklaces. It was a fun (and productive) afternoon.

Eventually, the group from YYAM showed up. We'd been waiting for a YYAM group doing their DTS outreach here from LA to show up. They're spending the next week with us and we were excited for them to come. Finally, they arrived, we made our introductions and then took them out to our land. It was fun to show Katie around and for her to see what we've been working on and so excited about here. I think she was surprised and the SIZE of the vision. It's so fun to have people really get a picture of what we're trying to do here--bringing KINGDOM culture here on earth in a big way! It was so fun with the YYAM group because they really saw the spiritual taking place in the physical. They prayed over our school and houses and prophesied different things over the land and school.

One of their leaders is originally from Ghana, but moved to the States awhile ago when he got married. He totally lost his accent, but he SO REMINDED me of Tony Gapastione. (Tony if you're reading this, we need to connect you two. He's the Ghanaian YOU!) In any case, he said that a few days ago on a prayer walk, he felt like God was telling him that He was going to start raising up dreamers like Joseph. That people have lost their dream, but God was going to be raising them up again. He felt, when he saw the school, that God was speaking about this place. That God would be raising up children that dreamed big dreams and pursued those dreams and were given a chance to foster those dreams. The funny thing is...the Australian team (who is sponsoring the building of the school) named each wing of the school. One wing is Achieve (for our older students), one is Harvest (for our middle level students) and one wing is Dreamtime (for our primary students). When I told them that, it was just like God was confirming the things that Benji had heard from God. So so so cool! It was a really rich, and encouraging time with them yesterday. It just felt like I was home again, with Mark in my living room and the Young Adults around praying for each other and over the land, and prophesying into the lives of the children that will come. Rich, rich time!

Tonight, I set up the projector in my room and Stacy, Katie, and I finished up our beadwork. I did ONE necklace today. Next time, maybe I won't pick such a difficult pattern!

I'm loving having Katie here...and so are the kids! Portia is permanently attached to her and Edwin already is calling her Katie! Love it!

Tomorrow, we'll be going to the land with the YYAM team to help plant trees. Ready to get my muscles moving! And life continues here in Ghana!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Texting while Sleeping

This post was previously written--Sunday, April 17.

So, I have been so excited waiting for Katie to come in. All day yesterday, I was texting her and praying for her journeys across the country and over the ocean.

Last night, Katie was texting me when she arrived at the airport in Washington, DC. It was really late for me, like 1 something in the morning. And I would wake up to the text and try to respond, but I kept dozing off while texting. When she would text, I would wake up for a short enough time to read her message and then start to text her back, but I'd doze off mid-text and would wake up to realize that my thumb had still been pushing buttons and my texts looked more like "asdfoosdfoshosddf" than anything comprehensible. I kept laughing at myself and telling myself to concentrate, but then, I'd just go to sleep once more. I think I ended up sending her a few random ones, but hopefully was able to concentrate for long enough to make some sort of sense.

Can't wait for her to arrive. Just a couple more hours...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Beads, Beads, and More Beads

Thursday was girls day out. Stacy and I took a taxi into Tema where we met up with one of Stacy's friends, Angie. Angie married a Ghanaian five years ago and they are missionaries here. She has been learning how to make bead jewelery and told us that she could show us the ropes and help give us designs for our jewelery that our 7 Continents ladies will be making.

Before we left, Stacy and I sat down and brainstormed ideas for the jewelery. We came up with specific words for each design and a color that matches that design. Each necklace will probably differ a bit in the beads that we use, but for the most part, each necklace will be given a design name, like our Strength necklace will use red beads, and our Empower necklace will be turquoise. Those are just a few of the ideas that we came up with. We were also talking about putting together a 7 Continents bracelet that included a prayer guide of how one could pray for single women, human trafficking, and orphans in our 7 continents (well...minus Antarctica--we don't think we will find many facts about a continent where no body lives!).

In any case, with our ideas swirling around in our heads, we headed out to Accra. Angie has lived here for a long time and it was fun talking to her. She has a serious Ghanaian accent! It's kind of funny to hear such a strong accent on a white girl! In any case, the taxi driver that we took had said she knew where the market was, but really, he only knew the general location. We had to stop and ask and ask and ask and finally, we found the place. Apparently, in November, the market had burned down, so there weren't as many beads as there used to be. All of the sellers had to start over. So crazy! But in any case, there were a lot more beads than I knew about before!

We first started with our small beads. There were bags and bags of these small beads with so many different colors. We chose a bunch of different bags and hope that we can use them to liven up our jewelery and really make them come to life. The beads that we picked next were the bigger beads, some that we'd use to really accent our pieces. This was harder because we didn't really have a picture of what we wanted to do, we only had some colors in mind. So, we went around picking pieces that matched our colors and in the end, some of them, we're really happy with, and some--not so much. But we chose a lot of beads and we'll see what comes out of them!

After the market, we went to Champs at the Paloma Hotel there in Accra. We learned about this place from the Australian bike riders. They serve MEXICAN food there! Yummmmmmm!! I had enchiladas and though they're not exactly the same as when I get the authentic version in Cali, they were pretty delicious!

Yesterday, Stacy and I brought out the beads again to look over them all. We were pretty happy with our purchases. We'll see what we can do with them all. It was fun to just sit and chat about life, about memories, about beads, and possibilities! Loved it!

This break, so far, has turned out to be a little busy, but I'm loving getting to rest a little in the mornings (I'm up by 6 or 6:30 with Edwin--but then, I don't have to be outside at any time to get my breakfast, so I just take it easy, do my quiet time, read, all kinds of things!). And Katie will come in TOMORROW, so then, I get to show her around my life here.

Next week, I want to take some of the kids to the school in the morning to work on different things. Some of them are pretty behind in their curriculum, so I want to get them caught up on things before our next term. We'll see how much actually happens. And then, I'll spend the afternoons with Katie, working on stuff for the summer camp. The second week that she's here, we're planning on doing a feed here in Doryumu and we'll maybe go tour around a bit. We'll see what happens! Can't wait for her to come!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Our School Program...a success!!

Our school program was Wednesday afternoon. It was kind of a stressful week getting the kids ready for it. Without structure at school and just practicing the program over and over, they didn't want to just sit and wait for their turn to perform. But, today, they did so well. We rehearsed this morning and then the kids all had their chance at the kind cash box. Finally, we all headed home to celebrate our last day at school.

Lucy cooked up some fried rice and chicken and we all got a soda to drink. What a celebration. The music was pumping and every was dancing in their seats and chowing down on some good food. It was quite the afternoon.

After lunch, the kids danced for a bit before it was time to head inside to change and get ready for the program. Once we were all ready, John drove us down to the town and we waited for everything to be set up. The problem with Africa time is that even when you're ready at 2, no one else is. So, we ended up waiting and waiting and waiting. But, finally at 3:00, the program got started. We had a small audience at first, but after awhile, all the seats were filled, mostly with village kids, but I think they enjoyed the program in the end.

The kids had been working and working and it all paid off...songs, poems, memory verses, dances, and dramas were all included. An hour long program. I was so proud of each one of them. Even Portia and Caleb joined in for something small.

So, now school is finished for another three weeks. I'm excited for the break and am looking forward to getting some other things done during the break--and hanging out with Katie who is arriving on Sunday! Wahoooo!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Putting on my Productive Pants

I realized, more than ever, today, how much kids crave structure. Today at school was just CRAZY as it wasn't our normal structure and we were rehearsing for our program on Wednesday. Talk about an opportunity for bad behavior...we kinda had it all today. But, I just keep saying to my self. . .2 more days. . .2 more days. . .Then, it'll be time for vacation and we can all take a bit of a break!

Anyway, when we got home from school, I put on my productive pants and got to work. Evelyn and Abigail helped me do my laundry after school. Portia even helped get the socks clean (thank you little one!).

I put Micheal and Miracle to work (as they are a constant source of energy and sometimes that gets them into trouble). They started picking up tiles that had been thrown out underneath the clothesline and we're constantly tripping on them. They worked hard all afternoon and will be back out there tomorrow working on getting them finished. All for a little bribe of encante burger (like a peanut in fried dough).

After finishing up my laundry, I was sitting chatting with one of our awesome NYU volunteers when Gracie told me that I should come and make the banku. So, I got up and decided to try my hand at stirring the banku in the pot. It's tough work, that banku. You have to stir it just right so that it doesn't burn and also work on getting it thick enough to put in little balls. Everyone thought it was awesome that I was making the banku and kept making comments about eating my "obruni banku" tonight. Too funny! Anyway, eventually, I got it to where it was just right and then I put them into the little balls. They sure did get a kick out of it and it was fun to give it a try (even if I didn't eat it--not my favorite food--unless it's paired with fresh peppers and tomatoes and onions all crushed together).

After that, I made it to my room in time to catch a call from Katie and got to chat a bit about the project and sending Nosa and Lucy there. They started finishing up their applications tonight so that they can get those sent off. Excited for them to experience my home while I get to experience theirs!

Tonight, I need to finish up report cards so I can meet with the kids tomorrow, though I feel like it's about time to take off my productive pants and take a bath. Whew! This getting work done business sure does make one sweat a lot!

Friday, April 8, 2011

In awe

So, lately, I've realized some things that have made me in awe of my life at the moment and the adventure that I get the opportunity to live. Here are some things that I am in awe of: *We got a new baby. Three week old Baby John Divine. He was abandoned on the street in a plastic bag, the hospital called us, we got a sponsor, and now he's staying with us. He's adorable and tiny and a joy. Keep watching facebook. Pictures soon! *Edwin has slept fully through the night for over a week. Sometimes the going to sleep part isn't very fun, but I'm learning that if he falls asleep on his own, he stays asleep. If I help him, he wakes up in the middle of the night. So, we've been trying the hands off method and though the crying sometimes requires a little help from Johnbull, we are having full nights of sleep. Praise the Maker! *We went to see the Omorefe house yesterday afternoon. Would you believe that the walls are almost completely up for their house? Crazy how fast things move around here! And pillars are going in over at the school to set up for the roofing. Wow! *We finished exams with only one day of crazy copying by hand. The rest of the exams, we were able to copy in Tema (thank you Vodafone and John's cedis!). *I'm so lucky to have caught Yona on the phone the other day. They were at SeaWorld with Isabella. So nice to get to hear her voice! I miss my friends!!!! (and my little nieces) *I got to have a day away today to go visit a friend's school in Larteh (Letitia's school--you might have read about it before). It was nice to get away on my own for a day! *I am just so humbled by how blessed I am to be here--how others have sacrificed their dollars for me to come--that others pray for me so I can be more fruitful here--I'm just incredibly blessed. Thank you God!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I am super frustrated right now and it is all because of TECHNOLOGY!! Usually, I am pretty good when it comes to all things computers and ipods and projectors and the like. I can figure out a problem and seem to be pretty handy with all that stuff. Today, NO SUCH LUCK. We got new ink for our printer so that I could print out our final exams and I put it in the printer--it didn't load. It printed about 10 pages and after that--NOTHING. Error...Error...Error. So, I'm stuck. I have about 50 pages to print off and no way to do it. Sometimes, I hate my dependency on all things technological. But in so many ways, it makes my life easier. Until I come to situations like this where it just makes my life miserable. And then I thought, "Oh wait, I can just post the test up on the wall with our projector", before remembering that we have no power at the school and our generator isn't working. No such luck there either. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I think I'll start with a prayer--a prayer for me not to throw this printer off the table-- and then a prayer for it to miraculously work! Come on Lord! Help me out!

Monday, April 4, 2011

What a week!

Last week was a crazy week, so I'm sorry that I didn't write. On the way home from Cape Coast last weekend, I started to feel like I was coming down with something. My throat was getting sore and my head was pounding. I knew something was happening. The next day, when I woke up, I was pretty sick. Fever, chills, headache, body aches, sore throat, all that jazz. Yeah, it was pretty miserable. But, since I'd had it before, I knew what it was and was able to start my anti-malaria treatment right away. I was sick for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. By Wednesday, I was feeling about 95% back to normal. Praise God! It was definitely not fun, but the anti-malaria treatment and an antibiotic put me back on the road to health. Whew! Wednesday was John's birthday. So, we took all the kids to the beach. It was such a fun day. We played in the water, some of the kids played a little football, and we just relaxed. It was a blast. I can tell you though...bucket baths don't work very well for removing sand from every inch of your body! It required a LOT of water and I think I was still getting sand out the next day! Thursday night, I left with John and Stacy and a group from NYU to go to the Volta. I'm learning that traveling to the Volta gets easier with each trip. The 10 hours crammed in a car is not fun, but if you can figure out how to spread your legs out a bit and if you can get a window seat, the journey isn't too hard. You can get enough sleep to manage the day ahead! When we arrived in Benjamse, we all hung out for a bit, ate some breakfast, chatted about the plan for the weekend and the purpose behind City of Refuge Ministries. Then, we all took a little nap. In the afternoon, we all got in a boat and headed across the lake to the Outer Bank and a new community called HousaCope. This was the first time we had visited this community, but had heard that there were a lot of trafficked children in the area and wanted to do some community entry to see if they'd be willing to work with us to release their children. The community entry went really well. The chief was very happy to work with us, we got to see their school, and we chatted with a few families and slave children. Man, that village was FULL of slave kids. Some of them were in pretty bad condition. It definitely needs some help. We'll plan on doing a feeding, deworming, and registration of children next time we come through. On Saturday, the NYU students had planned a children's program, so Daddy Jo was able to get together a group of kids at the local school in Benjamse and the NYU students split up into 3 groups and they all worked with the kids on something different. One group had the kids draw on fabric squares that will be made into a wall hanging for our Research and Rescue Facility we want to build in Benjamse at some point. One group did dances with the kids. And another group sang songs and played theater games. It was really successful. We started with a very small group of kids, but by the end, we had hundreds of kids in the classes. They loved it! In fact, when it was time to be done, they all followed us back to our house. The lady who owns the house wasn't very happy about that and finally, she got some water and threw it on them, yelling at them to go home. But, I'm glad that they enjoyed their day. After that, we worked on putting together a boxes of food for a village that we work in called Gruby. Everytime we do a feed, we get better and better at it. In Gruby, we planned to register, deworm, and feed 300 kids. We set it up at a school building. We had the kids stand in a line and Stacy went through and numbered hands until they got to 300. If the kids didn't have a number on their hands, then they weren't registered and were told to go to the back of the line. It was really efficient and we were able to get through the line quickly and efficiently and we were able to register 300 kids with relative ease. It was quite a success! That night, we brought the group together and did some debriefing (YGAP would be proud--we did a lot of communicating with this group of students!). The students all had excellent questions and had some really good feedback comments for us. It was really good. All in all, it was an excellent trip! Glad I was feeling up to going! This week is busy, busy, busy with final exams in the classes and rehearsals going on in the afternoon. I'm looking forward to finishing up this week because after that, I'd only have ONE MORE WEEK until Katie comes. So excited for her to be here! Well, gotta get ready for school.