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09 June 2010 @ 07:18 am
Ghana, part one.  
I am in Ghana. It's ridiculously hot (for me anyway, I'm not used to this heat) and I can't say that I'm enjoying myself much. Physically it's like I expected - but psychologically, it's been horrible so far.

The orphanage is extremely poor. We bathe by splashing ourselves with water from buckets. There is a toilet, but the stuff goes straight down onto the ground below. The food we're served is pretty much just stuff to make us full - nothing tastes very good (except cocoa, pineapple and other fruits that we're served; those are delicious).

But all in all, it's mostly a matter of it being so very, very different from home. All things put together, with everything from Malaria pills and brushing your teeth out in the open and spitting on the ground, to eating food I can barely stomach, to sleeping in cots that are tiny and hard and where the mosquito net is bare inches from my face...

We have had good times. Yesterday we watched the stars at night and it's so dark here that you can see many, many, many more stars than at home. I cuddled with Bebe, one of our two youngest kids, and tickled her until she was laughing so hard she could barely breathe. And yesterday Carin and I went out for a walk for over an hour and when we got back, we got to eat pineapple, cocoa fruit and their kind of oranges, which are green and not as sweet but still good.

The days are spent like this: We wake at 5.30 or 6am (on our own, because that's when it gets light and since we go to bed at 9 or so, we're done sleeping at six). We get breakfast (this morning oatmeal, yay, which was better than yesterday's rice and spicy soup with tuna...). Then we clean the children (bucket of water, soap, bucket to pour the water over the kids) and then ourselves. After that, they either get breakfast or we start teaching (the order of this depends on when the adults are done with the food). We teach math and English at our own discretion, but it's difficult because the kids, aged 3-10 or so, aren't on the same level and most of all, they barely know English. So trying to teach them English isn't easy, nor is explaining math.

We seem to have the afternoons pretty much off, after serving the kids lunch. Carin and I decided yesterday to go for long walks in the afternoon, because time slows when we have nothing to do, and then we start angsting about wanting to go home. So yesterday we walked for an hour and then got back and we eat some fruit and then dinner a while later. Then it gets dark at about 6pm. By 8.30 or so, we get ready for bed.

And now I'm chatting with a friend from Sweden and suddenly things aren't looking as horrifyingly bleak. I'll take one day at a time. I hope everyone is having a good summer so far, and I'll hopefully get online again in a few days - we're planning on going on a trip, either to Accra or somewhere else, this weekend.
idioticonionidioticonion on June 9th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
wow. This just blows me away. I have nothing but admiration for you honey, that you could do this - be so proactive and give back so much.

The conditions sound frightful - especially the sanitation.

My best wishes for the remainder of your stay. How long are you out there?
grey853: ani_HugsforYou_rainbowgraphicsgrey853 on June 9th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
Yay to you for working for such a good cause. Good luck in all you do there.

I hope you stay safe and healthy both physically and emotionally.
shriker_tamshriker_tam on June 9th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
Aaagh! Jag hade lovat mig själv att jag skulle ringa, eller i alla fall MSNa, innan du åkte...men jag är kass.

Vad häftigt det låter - jobbigt men ändå.
Nikki: NH Hugs Tatty Teddynakeisha on June 10th, 2010 08:48 am (UTC)
Goodness me, you really are in the thick of it.

I have nothing but admiration for you and for what you are doing.

The conditions you are working in sound awful.

Good luck to you for the rest of your time there and I really hope you stay safe and healthy on all levels.
Xanthe: ncis gibbs abby elevator hug sadxanthe on June 10th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
Oh dear. I do admire you because I really would find this tough. I can quite understand how it's hard going! I hope overall it turns out to be a positive experience but I'm sure you'll be glad also when it's time to come home :-)