(I began writing this post 10 days ago when in a surprising turn of events I got on a plane to return to the States for minor surgery.)
Well, I am on a plane back to America (that’s how the U.S is commonly referred to in Ghana). It’s a bit of an unexpected trip for medical reasons so I do not come bearing gifts or even for that matter many clothes that fit the cold, wet California winter (for goodness sakes it is a temperature of 102 where we now live EVERYDAY! ). But what what I am finding is that these moments away, this time of transition is a good time to share some thoughts on the past 7 weeks of our life in Ghana. If you see me, the first question you will probably ask is, “how is life in Ghana? What is it like?”
Here is what I might say,
1. It is fascinating! Each time I step out my front door and walk down the road to hail a taxi – we watch as women walk by carrying enormous bowls on their heads filled with everything from donuts to water bottles to soda to clothes washing detergent. The roads are lined either with carpenters selling their furniture or gardners selling their plants or artisans their pots or Ghanian fast food of grilled plantains, or fresh coconut. There is always something new to see and ponder – while we wait in a lot of traffic.
2. Speaking of traffic, I marvel at the patience of the Ghanians. There is so much about life here that my American-ness might scream, “but wait that is not efficient”, “isn’t there a better, different way?”. Why is there a tunnel that is only one lane wide and cars must take turns and it creates an all-the-time huge traffic jam? But yet, what I find in Ghanians is a deep peace in the waiting – they are deeply patient and rest in the waiting. They are comfortable saying, “tomorrow is ok”. (I generally have functioned under the motto of – let’s get it done right now.) There is something freeing and surprising and admirable about their patience.
3. I am struck by my own growth. This has not been an easy process. And yet I am finding growth only happens when I am pushed out of my comfort zone and forced to deal with more than we already know. Matt and I have successfully set up a home for our family to live in and God-willing to thrive in. There was so much involved in that! We rented a house, successfully paid the rent (with a lot of help States side to get the money to correct account), found a welder and hired him to build burglar proofing on doors and windows, found a carpenter and hired him to build a dining room table, homeschool table, cabinet, and more, figured out how to get clean water to drink, where to buy dishes, how to wash them (clue – no hot water heater in the kitchen), how to wash fruits and veggies so we don’t get sick and more than I can think of right now. I am struck by how commonplace and overcome-able all these things have become for me. It is simply amazing.
Tomorrow, I go in to the hospital to have surgery here in California. And then I begin the couple weeks of recovery to fly back to Ghana. And I must tell you how much I miss is it.
I miss Matt and the kids TERRIBLY . I miss their hugs, their smiles, their silliness and laughter, their questions, their prayers and their presence.
I also miss Ghana, the place that has become home to me.
I look forward to my return.
If you want to get a better sense of what we see on a daily basis in Ghana, here are some video clips I took from the window of a taxi: