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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Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Shower, A Funeral, and a Proposal

Yesterday was a strange day. It was kinda my first for a lot of things here, which is strange since I've been here almost a year now. (WOW!)
Nosa, (thank goodness for for Nosa), figured out how to give our water a bit of pressure and rehooked up our water system. For the first time since November, we got to take showers here in Doryum. (Katie, can't believe it happened a week before you left!). It was so nice to actually be able to wash my hair out well! Awesome!

Yesterday was Providence's funeral. If you remember me writing about Providence's death a couple of months ago, it was quite a shock. It was my first time at a Ghanaian funeral. Everyone had to dress in black and red, so I had to go through my wardrobe in hopes of a black shirt. I'm glad I found one (one I hadn't expected). Our staff all went and we left early in the morning to reach Providence's family village before the funeral would begin.

When we arrived, we went to the Father's house first to greet the family. The mourners were outside the house as Providence was about ready to be placed into the coffin. They asked for us to go inside to view the body. I hate that part of funerals, but especially after someone has been in the mortuary for two months, Providence didn't even look like himself. And with the mourners wailing outside the door, I was overwhelmed immediately by the whole situation. People kept ushering me inside to see him clearly, but all I wanted to do was back right out the door and keep on walking until I got to the funeral site. We didn't have to stay long, luckily, as they placed him in the casket not long after we viewed the body. Then, we all headed to the funeral site.

I've never been to a Catholic funeral, so it was a very different experience. A lot of it was standing up and down, and since I didn't understand the language, I didn't get a lot out of what was happening in the service. I do know that our tent that we were sitting under had a lot of ants on it and so they kept dropping down onto laps, heads and shoulders and we kept squishing them and throwing them off of us. Eventually though, the service ended and then, we began the journey to the gravesite. All of the funeral guests walk through the town and follow the casket to the grave, with marching bands leading the walk. The weeping women who follow the casket were just wailing and falling down and I was afraid someone would be hurt! When the casket was brought to the gravesite, everyone followed it down and waved their handkerchiefs and cried. It made me think of some New Orleans funeral down in a bayou or something. It was quite the ordeal.

Afterwards, we all went back to a house in town to eat lunch before meeting with the father's family again and giving him a "gift" to wish him our condolences. It was such a sad, sad, sad day--emotionally exhausting.

When we finally got back to the house, Stacy and I took a walk to a neighbors house. Their little boy was burned awhile back and Stacy and John took him to the hospital. A few days ago, Eugune (the little boy, who is only 3 years old) was walking along our road by himself and a girl brought him to us, so we took him home. Apparently, his dad left him with another little girl and went to work. He got confused when the other little girl ran away and then he was just left to fend for himself. Argg...parents! In any case, we went to check up on him. On our way back, we ran into a couple of guys who were walking into town. They were older, like a grandfather's age. One of them asked how long we'd been living here and then immediately asked if we were married. Stacy said that she was and she lived here with her children. I was honest, and said no. Should have said yes, because the next thing I know was he was asking me to marry him. Seriously, why on earth would that be attractive to any girl? I don't know a single person who would fall for that! I just said, "Oh, sir!" and walked away! Issues!

In any case, yesterday was a day of firsts and now I'm off to bed as tomorrow I meet with the teachers for the beginning of a new term. I can't believe how fast time passes! Our third and final term of the school year is upon us!

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