After years of dreaming, months of planning and fundraising, and days of flying, I am here in Akatsi, Ghana! I will start as a reading specialist at the Human Factor Leadership Academy of Akatsi, Ghana, a private Christian primary school, next week. I am staying here for 10 months with a family from the school, but for now I am staying in a sweet hotel until they are ready for me.
As we were boarding my plane in San Diego, CA, vouchers were offered to anyone who wanted to delay their flight until the end of the day. My ears perked up, but I dismissed the idea. No one seemed to be considering it and I didn’t want to mess with my schedule. Minutes later they upped the voucher amount and I decided to ask about it, and though it delayed my flight 7 hours, I received $1000 to use that will more than cover my return flight. Really showed me that God’s got my back.
Flights were great, was in Paris for two hours. Almost left the airport to go be French but the border security line was too long so I gave up that venture. I however did get in the way of someone that spoke french (“Excusez moi, Mademoiselle”) so I was pretty ecstatic.
Watched 4 movies on the flight. Kind of lost touch with reality for a bit. Also cried in front of the people on the rest of the plane, watching Gifted (aside: IT WAS GREAT).
Arrived, Atsu picked me up with American food. What a great guy. He waited there for hours for me because my flight delayed, customs was slow and my baggage had been put aside. 2 hour bumpy drive to Akatsi from Accra, was reminded that the road markings are merely suggested here as we traveled on both sides of the road, going around slowpokes and potholes. Arrived at hotel– way more accommodating than I expected. AC, fan, desk, locks, shower, screens, curtains. Very comfortable. Weird sleeping alone– accompanied last time by my friend Megan– but I slept sound (despite being woken up by preachers on megaphones at 3am, but I digress).
Next morning, went to an outdoor Presbyterian church of about 30 people with Atsu. It was a great, interactive service. The children most definitely stared me the whole time but that will wear off eventually. I did legit make a kid cry. Also dogs don’t like me so that’s heartbreaking. Later bought a trackfone! It has a really awesome ringtone. I always do a little dance before I answer it.
After that . . . I was alone. Atsu went to Accra for work, and I had no clue what to do. He said it was safe to walk around during the day, so I decided to meet my neighbors and it was pretty uncomfortable. Men would follow me with, “Yavu! Where are you going? Come back! I’d like to be friends!” and children would simply follow me, like little giggling ducklings. I played frisbee with some kids until it got violent/late and I turned back to the hotel for a much needed shower.
I slept 12 hours– I was apparently very tired. Had Milo and it is the BEST. Upon delivering my breakfast, the server said to me, “Madam… there is a man after you.” After a moment of confusion, I realized he was talking about my friend Martin from the HFLA who had come to visit me. They know English here, but it is often composed very interestingly. We met up with Kate, another teacher from the HFLA and we walked around, much more comfortably than I had been previously. Since it is a small village, they knew mostly everyone we passed, doing a cool handshake with their friends and talking about me in Ewe, leaving me confused and smiling. Visited some old friends, bought some cloth and tofi, and we headed back to play cards until lunch. Got the internet working, and here we are!
Excited to start working with the kids, but happy I have some time to adjust, make relationships, and plan. Though a lot of this will be trial and error, I want to be as organized and prepared as possible going in.
Once I know for sure where I will be staying, I will post a P.O. box where I can receive letters and care packages. So far all I desire is sugar, friends, and for my towel to dry faster. You can send me sweets and pray for the friends and towel part. 😉