Monday, August 27, 2012

Dog Baths and Play-Dates

This weekend we decided it was high time to give the dogs their baths.  We treat their coats with flea and tick meds so we don't want to wash too often. That means when it's time - it's REALLY time.  I don't have pictures of the event but I'm sure it was funny to watch.  Dave and I donned our swimsuits, hooked up our hose, and went to work.  Jeremiah was our first victim and didn't mind being wet at all.  Did I mention that we have large showers here and Jeremiah has walked right in while I have been showering Joshua a time or two?  Great fun - not!

Jeremiah posing for a picture in the shower (sorry for the red eye)

Tate was next and was also surprisingly tame - once we caught him.  You know those events at the county fair where the kids chase around the greased pigs?  Yeah well, picture that only add me and Dave in swimsuits.

We enjoyed a weekend of play with Joshua's friend Elian.  She is a bit over 2 and they like playing together.  I also enjoy her family so it's a nice match.  We spent Saturday morning in the kids play room and Saturday afternoon playing in a sand trap on the golf course.  (We only had to move the kids once for actual golfers.)  Yesterday was a swim date at the Sunday afternoon BBQ. 

Kids in the playroom at the "Lower Bar".  Notice the Santa hat?  Joshua has lost his and his friend let him borrow hers for the morning.

Other highlights of the weekend include building a toy box and Joshua's bed (the smell is gone from his room), baking banana bread, talking on the phone with family, watching a couple episodes of "The Muppets" and making a shopping list for our trip to Accra.


Friday, August 24, 2012

I found out yesterday that we have orange trees.  Yummy, yummy!  I hope they will produce a ton of fruit. 
Earnest, our gardener, with the orange trees.

We also have some newly planted pineapple (Dave's all-time favorite fruit).  Sometimes we can get them at the commissary but it will be nice to have our own.

The baby pineapples
While I'm on the topic of fruit, we eat a lot of bananas now.  The "Banana Lady" or her son come around to our door a couple times a week selling bunches very cheap and we never say no.  Once they turn I make bread or cookies and I have tried to dry them to make banana chips (epic fail). Feel free to email me your favorite recipes and I will give them a try!  Joshua likes to spy the banana trees around the campus.  For some reason he has decided to call the big purple part of the flower that hangs down "joshua".  I have no idea why and think it's a strange thing to do especially since I think it looks phallic.
Banana tree
We spy the "joshuas" on our daily walks when without fail Joshua collects sticks.  They become his drum major batons or a magic wands or walking sticks or swords. Eventually, all walkers (even the dogs) must have a stick or two or three and we play follow the leader.  Once we are home, they land in a pile outside our back door in the fenced part of the yard so that no one will throw them away. (We do anyway - parents are evil that way.)
Singing in the rain

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Birthdays and Brownies

Today is Jennifer's 21st birthday.  Who is Jennifer?  She is my right (and sometimes left) hand here.  She helps me keep my house in order and is an absolute God-send.  Joshua and I made her a card, cooked a special lunch, sang Happy Birthday numerous times and gave her some cash.  I think she was a bit overwhelmed by our American birthday traditions.

Jennifer and a goof-ball Joshua (he wouldn't let me take his picture).

Today I also baked our favorite brownies. This was a test run of baking them in our new home because I am taking them to a pot-luck on Thursday. 

Baking brownies. Ghana is a the world’s second-biggest cocoa producer so I feel like I am cheating on my new home a bit by having the Hershey's Cocoa. However, it is hard to buy here.

The brownies have to be just perfect because I am trying to lure an early education teacher to Bogoso.  She and her husband are thinking about coming here and will be on site conducting their "looksie". If they move, she has talked about running a preschool for the little ones.  I am aware that I am perfectly able, prepared and willing to teach Joshua myself.

Our play room / dinning area

However, Joshua loved his school (St. Phillps Early Learning Center) so very much and I would love him to have a fun outside-the-home learning experience with his friends in addition to what I plan on teaching him.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Crate Has Arrived

We got news yesterday that the crate had cleared customs and was on the way.  At 7:30 this morning the dogs started barking and it was because the movers had arrived.  Hooray!

It was a long and rewarding day of unpacking.  We have our living room almost put together and most of the supplies stacked on shelves.

Joshua was very glad to see his bike and to have sooooooooo many toys to play with.

I was glad to see our supplies, couch and mattress!!!!

The dogs are just happy.  It smells like home now. (Well aside from Joshua's room because some creature has died somewhere in there and it stinks! Hopefully that will be taken care of soon and until then, we keep out and the door closed at all times.)

AND just because you need to see it.  Here is a random picture of the back of our house from our backyard ...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


The guidebooks and travel blogs claim it and now I attest it is true - Ghanians are hands down the friendliest people on earth. Seriously folks, I don't believe the word "stranger" exists here. Joshua and I walk the dogs every day and pass by 25 or so locals. (There are small villages located on the outskirts of the company housing so there is local pedestrian traffic.) Every single person smiles, waves and says hello!  If we've met before, they address Joshua by name and often start up a conversation. This is doubly astounding because, in general, Ghanians are afraid of dogs. If our 80 pound Golden Retriever tries to insert himself in the mix, there may be screeches involved. The hospitality is different than anything I have experienced and I welcome it. It is hard to feel lonely when all we have to do is take a few steps out our door to meet someone who wants to know us. (We still miss you bunches!!! )

Monday, August 13, 2012

Time Stands Still

My, but it is easy to forget time here.  I get up and get busy puttering around the house for what seems hours to look at a clock and see only one has passed. Or we are out with friends enjoying the pool or a walk with the dogs and all the sudden the sun is setting.  Sundays, though, Sundays will be my favorite.  It is a day for family and since there are no distractions, it is truly a Sabbath day.  What a gift.
While I'm talking about time I should tell you how we have spent it so far.  During the weekdays Joshua and I do the things we typically did at home in Colorado minus the play dates and television.  We play a lot of pretend games, read books, collect sticks and rocks, sing songs and generally have a good time.  The morning is a good time to walk the dogs and the late afternoon is a good time for the pool. Friday night is a happy hour of sorts at the restaurant they call the "Lower Bar".  There is a kids room set up with balls and tunnels and toys and crafts for the children to use while the adults chat.   Saturday morning is a work day and the moms gather the kids at the kids room for a big playdate.  We skipped out this week because I am still healing but I am sure it will soon be a favorite part of the week.  Instead, I downloaded a Scooby Doo movie for Joshua on the ipad and we did the traditional American Saturday morning cartoon thing in our PJ's.
Sunday was a busy day with walks, pool time, bar-b-q and board games. We were able to Skype with family and call my folks the old-fashioned way. We made pizza for supper and I think that will becaome a Sunday night tradition.
Once our crate is here and I have a computer I will post pictures. It's in Ghana but still needs to clear customs.
Have a fabulous week!!!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Topsy turvry, upside down and sideways

Two weeks ago Joshua and I left for our home in Ghana. I am finally here. Yep, you read correctly. Instead of two days of travel, it took me two weeks.

The first time I arrived, I began having trouble seeing out of my right eye. I was in no pain but I was going blind. The doctors did not want to risk my health and promptly sent me to Paris for diagnosis and 
I underwent treatment and was released back to Ghana on Sunday. I stayed a bit longer in France because my Dad was a true hero and flew over from The States to be with me. I stayed until he flew home.

To say it was an ordeal or adventure or any classification really, does the experience no justice. I am sure I will flush out the story and repeat it for life but for now know that we are all safe, together and I am on the mend. The words "home sweet
Home" are my favorite words today. Well
That and "I love you Mommy,
Mommy you're the best!"

"I thank God for this most
amazing day;
for the leaping greenly
spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything
which is natural, which is
infinite, which is yes."
e. e. cummings