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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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Family Fun

Oh, it has been CRAZY busy since my family has arrived in Ghana and we have been having so much fun. Here's a little outline of the family fun that we've had so far:

Wednesday: I had the chance to meet up with a group (thank you Stephanie from Finding Refuge) from Azusa Pacific who were working at a school in Accra and they had some books to donate for us. So, we made the trip into Medina early on Wednesday to pick up the books they had for us. Come to find out, they had BOXES UPON BOXES of books for us. So exciting! Curriculum and supplies and Stacy said I looked like a kid in a candy shop. So fun! But, it did create a bit of a luggage problem for getting things home. But, we got to the airport, met up with the family and Daddy Joe met us at the airport to bring all the stuff home in taxis. Wow! The things that my mom had donated were amazing. SIX BOXES of supplies, food, gifts, just amazing! (Thank you to all of those who gave toward City of Refuge through my mom!) After sending our stuff home, we took them to the bead market in Accra (called Aglaboushi or something like that) to get more beads for seven continents. Then, back to the airport to pick up more guests coming in to spend a couple of weeks with us! It was a FULL day and we didn't make it back home until late at night.

Thursday: My mom, Chris, and Bri all came to school with me. That was fun! We played review games and got ready for exams that we're having this week. My family got to meet all the kids and my mom was just loving all the kiddos.

Friday: My mom and Chris came to share at morning meeting and then they went out to the children's village site to help finish painting the basketball court. Bri stayed behind to visit with Adjoa and the rest of Letitia's girls. She's been emailing Adjoa for months now and they were so excited to get to hang out! She had a blast...especially when they got to make different clay figures as our art project that day. So fun!

Saturday: At 1 am, we left for Krache. Poor Bri got a stomach flu on the bus ride up (it's been going around here amoung our visitors) and so we had to stop a few times to throw up. Poor girl. But she sure was a trooper and eventually just got a bag. Chris hardly slept at all on the 10 hour journey. Not fun! But, we made it up to Dambai in time to cross on the ferry and then got to rest once we got up to Benjamase. That afternoon, we went across the lake to Ada Cope. Unfortunately, due to some arrests of fishermen earlier last month, some of the fishermen we regularly meet with "went out" for the day since they knew we were coming. Frustrating working in this "relationship building" rescuing business. But, if we want to change the culture...it takes time...love...and lots of understanding. We'll try again next time. That night, we played a mega game of spoons, only with toilet paper rolls instead. Let's just say that Nosa and Chris were definitely feeling competitive and Bri and I were definitely on the losing side! That night it rained like crazy, but at least it cooled the night air down a bit.

Sunday: We prepped for a feed of 300 in Brafrey and met with the village chief there in Benjamase. He's been bugging us about becoming a little more settled in the village there, so he gave us an acre of land to put up our Research and Rescue Facility. Now we just need the funding to do that! After getting the food prepped, we at lunch and headed out to Brafrey. When we got there, we were expecting 200-300 people and we saw probably 1,200 people. Wow! It was overwhelming. We all had to stay in the car so that a few people could set up the line for the feeding and deworming. My mom worked with a lab tech that came from the West Africa Aids Foundation to test Hepatitis with the single women. She was BUSY! Let me tell you...it was a crazy feed and we saw lots of hungry, hungry kids and lots of moms, but it was a good feed. When we returned, we were all tired and just showered and went to sleep.

Monday: We left early to head back to Doryum. It was a pretty easy ride until we were about halfway there and our AC belt broke and we had to open windows instead. It was quite a hot journey, but we made it back in one piece.

Tuesday: I went to school today while my family all went with John and Stacy into Tema. It was quite a day for them running errands and just kinda hanging out in the car, but it sounds like my mom had a few good conversations with some of our volunteers which was really great! The made it back tonight and hung with the kids until another bug infestation came along and sent them running to the room (well, the kids kept putting the bugs on them...so that sent them running). School went well for me today and it began to rain right near the end of the day so the walk home was literally through a river on the road. Wow! But, I finished printing all our exams and I'll look forward to Thursday and Friday when we can take a little break!

There's a bit of what we've been up to so far...pictures on facebook to come!


  1. I do so enjoy your blogs! I check every day and miss them when a new one hasn't been posted...but do understand why! No guilt intended!!!!! What wonderful work you and your team are doing! I know that your efforts bless you too and will continue to do so for the rest of your life! How is the postal system? Have you had any problems receiving boxes sent to you? Let me know, because I would love to get some things together to send. BTW, I am a host home provider for MDS and my name is Valerie. Look forward to meeting you face to face some day. :0)

  2. Hey Valerie! So glad that you follow my blog. I used to blog almost everyday, but with shady internet lately, it's a little harder to get it going! Our postal system is terrible and corrupt, but we have worked out a way to get mail and supplies. If you email me (autumnbuzzell@gmail.com), I can send you an address of a lady in the States who frequently sends visitors and adoptive parents through her non-profit called Feeding the Orphans. We work with them a lot and are able to get mail and supplies through them about once a month. Pretty reliable system. I'd love to meet you one of these days. I'll be home this summer for a week or two, so I might pop in down at MDS to say hello. I'll make sure my mom lets you know!

  3. Autumn -

    You are doing great work in Ghana. A long lost cousin Steve thinks of you often. Tell the rest of the family Hi!

    With Love,