Saturday, June 19, 2010

Email Home- "Once Upon A Time"

Hello Everyone!

This keyboard is terrible, so forgive the spelling and lack of spacing
when it comes up.  This week has been another good one.  Let me just
fill you in on the high lights.  Before that, I am feeling much better
now.  I think the parasite is gone or whatever it was, and thus far no
one else has been struck with Malaria, so that is happy for everyone.

I had my first eating a dinner I hated experience.  For Danielle's
Birthday Akua made her dinner.  It was banko in groundnut soup, but
the catch is the fish.  She gave me a bowl of this stuff that had the
consistency of play dough with the taste of sour milk, and the object
is to dip the dough into the sauce with the floating fish (eye balls
and bones included), and then swallow it without chewing.  Needless to
say, it was a struggle.  I tried to pretend it was a pot pie,cookie
dough, chicken noodle.... anything.  I think I now have a confirmation
that God never wanted me to serve a mission.  I threw up and had to
swallow it back down.  The natives kept telling us to "Eat,EAT!" and
"Finish it all!"  The World Cup saved us though.  Since Ghana was
playing, Rachel Morris made a run for it with our bowls and dumped the
rest of it over the fence. It was a miracle.  I told the group that if
anyone mentions that my birthday is next month I will kill them.

Another thing I am loving this week is the rainy season.  I have never
seen so much rain in my life.  It just dumps like a lake without
warning.  We filled up two 50 gallon barrels of water in half an hour,
which was good,because our water was shut off for a week, and without
rain water we have to haul buckets in from the next town.  Even though
I am getting much better at carrying things on my head, it was a
blessing.  You cannot even hear each other when you are talking across
the table in one of these storms.  No one complains though, it is a
sanctuary from the constant heat.

I'm getting better at laundry as well.  Even though some of the
romance is going away when I keep cutting my own hands with my finger
nails, and have to take a break so I don't get blood in the whites, I
am working up a great endurance for ringing out the clothes.  Me and
Rachel Morrison did everyone's laundry in three hours,which is pretty
impressive considering how long it took before.

I also had the opportunity to attend another part of a funeral
celebration.  This time we went to Mampong (which is where Craig was,
was it not?) for a seventh day party after the death to raise money
for the actual funeral.  We met a man named Jones there who helped us
get around, and with him was a colorful man who claimed to be his
"brother."  Everyone is everyones brother,so I"mnot sure of the actual
relationship, but I was a little surprised to find that as we were
greeting the elders I was holding his hand and not Jones.  Hand
holding is what you do to show friendship here, even boys hold hands
with each other, but I didn't even notice that I picked up a new one.
Then, out of nowhere, he kissed me!  It was about an inch miss of my
lips, and when I had a minute to recover he kissed my ear.  I grabbed
Rachel's hand and we all sat down to wait for the Fanta rounds.  I
turned to Maggie.

"Maggie, is this a kissing culture?"
"Um.. No."
"Did he kiss you!?"
"I don't know....."

And then we sat like that for forty five minutes.  I dodged his
marriage proposals with my language barrier excuse by replying, "oh
yes, yes, I love Ghana!  It is very beautiful here."  It seemed to
work.  We are supposed to go hiking with Jones on Wednesday, but if I
see his friend again that is not going to happen.  Anyways, that was
an adventure.  We all laughed and laughed the whole way home.

As far as my project goes, it is going.  Talking to Okasan made me
realize that I need to build relationships first with people before I
jump to the research part of it.  I remember learning about building
rapport, but doing it is another matter.  I have met a few groups of
girls at the secondary school just talking, and I think I am going to
go to their church tomorrow (except they make me sing and dance?
Yikes!), and I will hopefully see them today when I try to have
another focus group.  I feel better about things, but I am trying to
work on my expectations.

Thanks again for all the love and support, and for all the fathers out
there, have a happy fathers day!  I'm excited to call home.

Loves Rach

Favorite Marriage Proposal of the Week (not mine, but my favorite):
"You are Mormon?  That is perfect.  I am Muslim.  We are the same.  We
have the same people.  We can marry."
Favorite Business Name:  "Blood of Jesus Electricals"

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