A little bit of everything

Tomorrow marks exactly ten weeks of being on African soil. At times it has seemed to pass by slowly; and other days, it passes like the wind, and I fear before I know it I will be stepping out of the airplane into the brisk, cool winter air.

Concentration during a test! Look at those eyes!

School is keeping me busy and on my toes! Last weekend I spent quite a few hours marking midterm reports for my students. Since it’s something I have never done before, I jokingly remarked to Kylie and Lauren that I felt like I was twelve again playing teacher! But I spent a lot of time going through the kids’ marks and really trying to look for not just negatives but positives about each student too. As difficult as it is to sometimes teach, these kids are beautiful creations in all of their crazy-ness. I find myself caught up in the little moments of the day, like when one student, Mardiatu, always somehow finds herself in my office, asking if she can have her examinations today (because that means of course, a sticker!). Or when I, exhausted by two students who would just not stop wrestling, grabbed both of them and playfully joined in, and then the whole class noticed madame on the floor, and all of a sudden we had twenty students and a teacher in a pile up! Or the moments I am in awe of a few of my students’ eagerness to help clean up the books, or wipe off the white board, or sweep after lunch. Even amidst a crazy class I find rest in these moments, and I am acutely aware that when we have eyes to see, we can see God anywhere.

One day the girls and I decided to dance in the rain with the kids.

Saturday night we took a break and invited two of the ladies we work with at the school, Rytha and Dora, and Belinda to join the three of us girls out for supper at the one restaurant in town, First Stop. It marked a very important night for us in recognizing a Ghanian custom, that when you invite someone out for dinner, you are expected to pay! Luckily between the three of us we had just enough cash to cover the bill and our taxi ride! But even despite that awkwardness, we had a great time, got to have some Western food, and dance to some African music. I am in awe that everyone here has some sort of ability to dance – I wish it was that easy for me! 🙂 But it was still a lot of fun.

Right now I am sitting outside, under a beautiful night sky, and the crickets are chirping loudly. Just moments ago a church service was loudly announcing its presence to the community, with prayers and songs and cheers being heard for the past few hours. It is never quiet here. Although there are times when I long for the quietness of home, the sounds and noises have become familiar and almost comforting here. You are always reminded that you are never alone, the community around you a constant presence.

Ghana has been a place where I have learned so much in the short time that I have been here, and my heart swells with the stories I have heard and the smiles that I have felt touch deep within me. I am amazed at the laughter that we share in our small little home even amidst times of homesickness. I’ve fallen in love with our rooftop that overlooks Asamankese, where I have gathered in my batik fabric (the only ‘blanket’ here in Africa I suppose) with my Bible and journal in my lap, and found that God doesn’t just listen when we pray, but He loves to talk with us, too. And how, when we come to know God, He never restricts us, but shapes us more into the person we were always meant to be (and isn’t that flipping amazing?!).

Well, it is getting late here for this exhausted Kindergarten teacher, so I must head to bed soon. But know that I miss and love you all and you are all in my thoughts tonight.

With love,