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, August 17, 2014

Preparing an Apartment in 10 Easy (not so easy) Steps

This week, I have spent at least part of each day working on my new apartment. I have used a lot of time, while working, thinking about how different it is to do things here than it is back in the States. Let's just say, I am learning more and more about manual labor and the muscles that enable me to do manual labor. Every night, I ache, but I also feel strong and productive and proud of what has happened this week!

Let me give you a run down of how one prepares to move to an apartment here in Ghana:

Step 1: Scrape all the concrete walls to take off the rough surface and the big chunks.
Benard, Aaron, and Paul helping me scrape

Step 2: Fill all the holes and cracks in the walls with filler.
I did this room's filling all by myself. Dad, aren't you proud?

Step 3: Sand the walls to make all the surfaces even and smooth.
Rosemary was actually filling in this picture, but she also helped me sand and paint.

Step 4: Paint all the windows and door frames with stain.
This step involved me following along teenage boys with dripping paintbrushes to clean up after all their drips.

Step 5: Paint the walls with a whitewash.
This step involved a similar process as above except it also included lots of paint rollers and so much echoing laughter.

Step 6: FINALLY, begin to paint. This painting process also involves a pointing out of every crack you didn't fill and every spot of filler you didn't sand well.
Ajata and Coach Ben helped paint my kitchen. The color is awesome, right?

Step 7: Clean up the mess made by the paint. Scrape it off of the tiled walls. Scrape it off the tiled floor. Wash and wash again.
I spent 4 hours today working on this step in the kitchen alone today. The kitchen. That's it. I have two more bedrooms, a living room, and two bathrooms...torture.

Step 8: Get electrical fixtures installed.
Requires Uncle Nosa's awesome expertise. He is also painting and preparing his apartment next door to mine. Aunty Lydia and Uncle Nosa and I will be neighbors!

Step 9: Attach drains and toilets to waste water system.
Requires someone that isn't me to do this part!

Step 10: Move in!
It's started in part as I emptied some kitchen boxes today into my only completed and clean room, the kitchen!

Yeah...it's a longer and harder and messier process than I thought it would be, but I am excited. Today, I got my kitchen completely sparkling clean. And I listened to some good music while doing it (got a playlist going of some Jimmy Needham, Gavin DeGraw, Michael Buble, Marc Brussard, and threw in a little Adele to the mix...they kept me going!) And spent a lot of time praying, as my mind has been completely overwhelmed these days with all that has to get done in the next few weeks. And those red Rachel Ray pots and pans that I won two years ago and have since been sitting in a storage box? They came out to see the light of day. That pretty much was the best thing ever.

I have some painting to finish up tomorrow in the living room and the massive scrub down of the bedrooms and bathrooms, but I am drawing closer and closer to step 10!

If you are interested in helping out with some of the needs for my new place, here is the updated list:

1 queen size bed/mattress--$200 using one from on campus
2 twin size beds/mattresses--$175/each need only one
1 living room set (includes long couch, love seat, chair)--$425
1 dining room set (table and chairs)--$420
1 stove--$300 recieved full donation
1 refrigerator--$340
3 mosquito nets--$10/each
1 desk--$150
1 wardrobe--$200 
2 bookshelves--$100/each
1 TV/stand--$200

 If you are interested in helping out, go to our website:www.cityofrefugeoutreach.com and make a donation.  You could also make donations by check to City of Refuge Ministries and sending it to: PO Box 91546, Sioux Falls, SD 57109.  You can label it BIG MOVE.  We'll know what you're talking about then!  If you have a specific item you want to purchase from this list, just write the name of the item in the notes section (e.g. bed, BIG MOVE). If you can, shoot off an email to stacy@cityofrefugeoutreach.com to let us know of your donation towards our BIG MOVE.


  1. Wish you were too Marilyn! Glad you are sending in reinforcements in November!!