Thankful day eight

I am thankful today is almost at it’s end. Two of my children didn’t finish their homeschool work until 4pm! We started at 10am and trust me there was nowhere near enough work for them to spend 6 hours on it. (Enough said). It was one of those Mom-wants-to-pull-out-her-hair sort of days.

I am grateful for the walk I took by myself before dinner to cool off (both physically and emotionally) from the day. There is something about a cooler breeze and the sun going down that is quieting and comforting and relaxing. Thank you Lord for that.

Thankful day seven

Our kids are thankful they got the opportunity to dress up for Halloween. We had a festive time doing some trunk or treating and trick or treating with friends at the US Embassy.

It was a taste of normalcy. And our kids loved planning out their costumes and anticipating it! (In fact, Hannah made her costume and made the braid for Abigail’s!)

*cultural note: Ghanians do not celebrate Halloween.

Thankful day six

Today I am thankful I found somewhere to buy safety pins. It’s often the simplest, smallest things that I have the most difficulty locating here. (Matt said last week that not a day goes by where he doesn’t think, “Target would make this all easier.”)

I am thankful we found this shop.

And I’m thankful that the woman was kind, hospitable and reasonable. (Not every one is.)

Abby didn’t want to leave because the woman had a small tv playing cartoons in the back corner.

Don’t worry we are invited back!

Thankful Day 5: Dennis

We are thankful for Dennis, the IJM driver who is also a mechanic (and also a friend). We would be lost without him. First, he helped me buy our car: test driving cars with me, doing background investigation to protect me from fraudsters (who sell cars they don’t own), walking me through the purchase process safely (how to pay money so I don’t get mugged or cheated), teaching me how to get a government roadworthy sticker (so I’m street legal), finding car parts, and doing all sorts of repairs to keep us safe and moving.

This week an oil hose sprang a leak and I lost ALL my oil. It was literally shooting out of the car. Dennis advised me on the phone, then gave up his whole Sunday afternoon and evening to find parts in a local market and repair the car – all with a smile on his face and pleasant conversation as he, with grit and determination, worked his magic. We love Dennis. and we are grateful to God (and to Dennis) for all his help and friendship!

Thankful day four

Today I am thankful for my favorite fruit seller, Nana Ama. I drive up to her roadside stand every Tuesday and she greets me so warmly, “My Fah-muh-leee!!!” We ask about each other’s families and maybe speak some small Twi (the most common local language spoken in Accra other than English).

Then my children roll down the window and greet her also and give high fives. And she slips them some gifts – some free bananas, or oranges or apples. Friends, she does this EVERY week.

The generosity of Ghanians blows me away.

I ask her for what I want -one pineapple for today, two cucumbers, 1 paw-paw (papaya) for tomorrow, 5 cedis of bananas….

She bags and gives it to me, I pay her and then with another wave we are on our way.

And my heart is always a little lighter and there is a smile on my face.

cutural note: In Ghana, I’ve learned you never pick up the produce for yourself and choose – you tell the seller what you would like, how many and whether you would like it for today (ripe and ready to eat) or tomorrow (will ripen in one or two days – don’t let it go any longer or it will ferment, trust me). . Everything is priced by amount and not weight.

Thankful day three

Today I am SO thankful for the opportunity for my children to learn from Ghanaians. They are definitely learning some mad football (soccer) skills.

They are learning to enjoy (ok for some it’s more to tolerate) spicy foods, to dance freely in church and every so often I round a corner and see a precious moment of learning a worship song or rhyme.

I hope this learning carries with them throughout their lives.

Thankful day two

Today I am thankful for the slower pace of life in Ghana. I am grateful for a Sunday afternoon spent enjoying an impromptu 4 hour visit to my neighbor’s house. (Same friend whose party we were at yesterday.) I am thankful for the hours of sharing about our lives with each other, snuggling her baby, and my children playing with her boys and nieces and nephews. I am thankful neither of us had anything else to rush off to. I am thankful that most nights my husband is home by 6:15pm and doesn’t have to go back out again. I am thankful that we are in a season where I do not have to wake up and rush my children out the door.

It’s nice to be slow and present.

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spending time with said baby

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\Walking in our neighborhood

Thankful day one

I am going to begin a series of post of things that I am thankful for in our lives here in Ghana. Please follow along for the journey.

Today I am thankful for a quiet morning at an “Exploring Meditative Arts” retreat (that was conveniently located just down the street from my house).

It was a beautiful time to connect with other women and seek our creator God through His creation.  I was reminded that like this bud He is at work in me.

And we got a chance to use our creativeness that reflects Him.

Then the kids & I had a rip-roaring good time at a Ghanian 2 year olds birthday party – that included cotton candy, popcorn, trampoline, bounce house, face painting, sparklers and lots of dancing. (I can’t say for sure but I don’t think this was a typical birthday party.)

My friend Nadia.  (it was her son’s party)

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Also some of the women who attended the party.  They wanted to take a selfie with me so I reciprocated (they thought it was hilarious! and I was proud that I’ve finally figured out what to do in these situations).

I’m glad Ghanians love to dance because so do I!

-joy