As Things Wind Down

We are winding down to our last days here in Ghana. In some ways, it feels like time has flown by and I can remember everything about the first day I arrived on African soil. Then there are other days, when I am anxious to be home, to see my family and friends, and feel the cool winter air. A friend wrote me an email a few days ago, and she encouraged me, “Take pictures of your room. Breathe in the African air. Bask in the colours. Enjoy every minute you have left.” And so even though I am excited to see my family and friends in just a couple of weeks, I am doing my best to keep my eyes here and now and to feel the blessing in every moment. Even today, as we are having a scheduled power outage for fourteen hours, I’m paying closer attention to the roosters crowing outside, the rain falling on the tin roof, and the quiet and silence that a dark night and no computer will bring.

As the girls prepare to leave this Saturday, we are cherishing every moment we have here, from our prayer times on the roof to ‘Parenthood’ marathons to our walks around town. Yesterday was the women’s literacy class’ graduation, and so all three of us dressed in our African cabahs and celebrated the accomplishment of the women in their classes. It was a long day for me, having had kindergarten all day, and then the graduation until 5:30 that evening, so we made a pot of soup and climbed onto the roof to enjoy our last African full moon. Tonight the Mormon missionaries we’ve become friends with are joining us for a last visit before we go home, and I can already smell the jelof rice that Belinda is preparing in the kitchen! I’m hoping to get a crash course in her cooking before I go home so I can attempt at recreating her amazing meals.

Things are winding down at school, and I’m trying to finish report cards and prepare for the intern who will take my place … I’m jotting down things we need, organizing files and students’ work, and trying to stay sane. Some days the kids are wilder than others, and yesterday we spent a good chunk of time learning what a detention was, but we do have a lot of fun and the kids are slowly stealing my heart. I will miss them when I am gone – not the crazy time-outs, detentions and suspensions – but those beautiful children’s faces and laughs!

Last weekend I had my first ever PTA meeting, in which I had to address and read my first principal’s report! Although I was nervous, I heard great feedback from the staff which was incredibly encouraging. It was a great moment for me to look back and see that even through our challenges, we’ve improved so much as a class.

As night falls and the rain continues, I should probably end for now. Your prayers are all coveted as I prepare to head home, and as I spend the last two weeks here without the girls. Please continue to pray for protection that we would all end strong, and that our hearts would be prepared as we come home at one of the most consumeristic times of the year.

I miss you all and am so looking forward to sharing my heart and my journey with you when I’m home. You are loved even from across the ocean.

At Smart’s 6 am soccer game.