Query

So…some people have the blogs they follow listed on their page…and some people have a blurb about them..and I can’t find even where my title is anymore….thoughts? ūüôā

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Week 2

I was counting – my hubby and I have managed to work out 12 out of the past 30 days – well, …he’s worked out more than me ūüėȬ† Each time we BOTH work out, I draw a nice smiley face on the dry erase board ūüėÄ

I’ve managed to..not conquer..but push myself to try and overcome my irrational fear of putting my face in the water. Although I breath every time (to the right) – I’m showing signs of improvement ūüėȬ† I tried breathing to the left – not as glamorous.¬† I did a “mini” tri in the gym yesterday – 50..or 44..it’s hard to keep track sometimes – but that many laps, one mile around the indoor track (run-walking), and 5 miles on a stationary bike.¬† I think this was over the course of 2 hours.¬† I need to add a mile running and biking and mini tri complete ūüėČ

I was joking with my husband that he’s training for an IRONman¬†and I’m training for a MINIman – it’s ok, you can laugh!

http://www.hfpracing.com/events/2011/tri-for-the-cure-series-2011

oops – add 2 miles to the bike.

ANYWAY – on the Ghana front – Auntie Baaba¬†put me in touch with one of GNDCS’s recent volunteers. It’s been fun reading his blog and reliving some of the same experiences.¬† Makes me want to go¬† back 1000 times more this summer. http://jump-matty.blogspot.com/¬† Matt is volunteering through One World http://www.oneworlded.com/ghana.html¬†a long and intense-ish program.¬† I don’t know if I ever posted this..Auntie Baaba – one of her sons WAS living in New York and he recently (maybe early Nov/late Oct) moved to Columbus.¬† Small world, folks.¬† Although I’m a patriot I’m also a citizen of a global village – it rings truer and truer as each day continues on.

To get all churchy¬†on ya, I find myself torn between that patriotism and the knowledge that we are all brothers and sisters – whether your in¬†Ghana, Zimbabwe, Ukraine, Japan, the US, or Canada.¬† We promise to be¬†law abiding¬†citizens – but there is a huge wedge in my soulful ponderings¬†about the many people of the world who could use my help because even the poorest of the poor in my country have more than the average in another country.¬† Try not thinking about that as you play your Wii..even as I think about paying entry fees for a race for “fun”¬†– makes me feel somewhat guilty for all that I have – but more of a reason to be¬†thankful for all that I am blessed with.¬† The people I met in Ghana were so grateful – SO grateful for every little thing they had.¬† I need to feel the same attitude of gratitude.

Week one in review

This isn’t as interesting as when I was in a far away land….I went back the next day and did a repeat workout of day 1 – I was a little more tired, but still got it in ūüôā¬† I’m writing smiley faces on our dry erase calendar on days when we BOTH work out, that’s kind of fun.¬† Saturday Scott ran 6 miles…our gym track is small so it was 72..I don’t remember how many laps – it was a horrendous amount!

I did daydream about us both going to Kona though – one of us makes it there by qualifying, the other by a lottery – then John Tesh¬†says something about me beating Scott..or Scott beating me..whatever way ūüėČ Then at the end of it – “remember the couple that was competing against each other? Amanda – YOU ARE AN IRONMAN…SCOTT YOU ARE AN IRONMAN..MR and MRS KAISER – YOU DID IT – YOU’RE BOTH IRONMEN” – I’m a nerd – and considering you have to be crazy in love to do that sport – I’m not there.¬† With my husband, yes – with¬†near drowning..biking from here to Grandma’s..and running who knows…to Marysville – not in love with that!¬† ¬†I did do a mile with Scott on Saturday then headed to the elliptical (has a tv attached..better entertainment than random traffic!) Which is ironic, I’m always teasing Scott about not being alone with his thoughts cuz he likes to always have the TV on..and in something where you should, and ultimately have to, be alone with your thoughts – I’m the one who has issues with it!

Anyway – my bear’s on his way to being an Ironman – Rev 3 is the series he’ll compete with this upcoming September. Me on the other hand, HFP..or HPF..some racing organization down here – girls only triathlons. They’re dinks – but that’s ok ūüôā 250 yd (why not in meters like they do the guys, don’t know) swim, something bike, 2 mile run.¬† The little “Cub” I interpret for as my “job” – she wants to do a tri too – she read about it in the kids Sports Illustrated – so, you should join us – it’ll be a good year ūüėÄ

http://www.rev3tri.com/

http://www.hfpracing.com/

…and…Athlete..??

For those of you who were just¬†alerted that there was a new posting on my blog – my apologies. It isn’t Ghana related.¬† I don’t think it’s feasible¬†for me to return this summer – although, I would LOVE to. After visiting there once and having a better sense of what the children need – I think I would be better able to prepare lesson plans and bring appropriate¬†supplies.¬† BUT….. ūüė¶ unless some random foundation is started¬†and finds my cause worthy…it’s out of the realm of possibilities for this year – don’t think I’m giving up – I’m NOT!¬† I have some ideas on how to solicit funds..though it doesn’t feel entirely right…to ask for money for my own¬†causes.¬† However, if someone wants to throw money at me, I won’t stop them ūüėČ

Anyway, this new category¬†is me following after my husband.¬† See, for the past two years he’s enjoyed, if you can call it that, the loveliness¬†of competing in triathlons.¬† Why should I let him have all the fun?¬† First, I need to find one that’s on a Saturday – after that – the goal will be set.¬† I’ve made it to the gym a few times this past week – and I’ve started my “training.” You must understand – my husband is training for¬† a full length Ironman equivalent (a different organization, so it’s not called “Ironman”) so..my training..his training…HA!

I can report, on this 18th day of January – I was able to do the elliptical for an hour – 4.33 miles, and follow it up with a 1000m swim.¬† I did take a break every 100m because – well, I’m not an athlete!¬† A few years ago – I forget where..maybe the YMCA where we used to live, I couldn’t swim one lap to save my life.¬† Although I used one of those foamy weights between my thighs, I swam the entire 40. The goal was 40 lengths in whatever way I could.¬† Although MY freestyle is in no comparison equal to Mikey’s (Mr. Phelps to those unacquainted with him ūüėČ ) I still did it.

If you’re willing, I invite you to travel this journey with me – as a 211lb¬†(+ or -),¬†31.5ish year old journeys¬†into the world of triathlons. ūüôā Well..triathlon. Don’t plan on making a career of it – come on! I’m a band nerd, not a ..sporty lass ūüėČ

Working with OSD

This was sent¬†to me by one of my contacts at OSD¬†– amazing stuff that a team can accomplish.¬† Makes me even more motivated to keep on trucking with my international idea.¬† I second Melissa’s sentiments – TY to everyone who made and continue to make all of this possible!!
As many of you may remember, we hosted a students vs. staff basketball game to collect donations to send to a deaf school in Accra, Ghana.¬† We had Jessica Wynn, a student from¬†Wright State University, come and talk about her experiences volunteering at the school in Accra.¬† She showed us pictures and explained about the academic and residential conditions of the school in Accra.¬† OSD¬†IVDL¬†students also collected items and brought donations to our IVDL¬†Immerision¬†Experience last year.¬† The donations were plentiful and we were excited¬†to get them where they needed to go, but we experienced a couple of roadblocks:¬† it would cost us approximately $800 per box to ship the items (combined we had more than 12 boxes of donations); and African customs could charge a hefty tax to the recipients (ie school for the deaf in Accra) on each box, which they of course couldn’t afford. What could we do?¬† We had to get this stuff to the schools/students who needed it so badly!¬†

With the help of Joyce Cain-McGraw, we got in contact with our security guard, Amad¬†Fontie, and asked him if he knew how we could get these items to Africa.¬† If you don’t know Amad, he is from Sierra Leone and is constantly figuring out ways to get needed items to his family overseas.¬† He also has family members who attended school at the Sierra Leone School for the Deaf and Blind.¬† He helped us by including many of our items with the items he sends over to his family members.¬† He also had two family members come in town and they took donations back with them in their carry-ons.¬† If you see Amad, please shake his hand and thank him for helping us help some very deserving students!

With the help of Jean Parmir, we met Amanda Kaiser who is an interpreter in the Bexley School system.  She planned a trip to Ghana to volunteer at a deaf school this past summer.  We touched base and I asked her if she would be willing to take some of our donations.  At first she planned to take just enough to fit in one suitcase but before I knew it, she was making arrangements to take extra duffle bags full of supplies.  Here is an article that Amanda wrote for the local Bexley newspaper about her trip:

“This summer, I traveled to Cape Coast, Ghana, Africa to work with Ghana National Deaf Children’s Society (GNDCS), an organization that teaches, advocates, and coordinates¬†services for deaf children.¬† I initially learned about a separate organization called Friends of Cape Deaf through the RID publication VIEWS.¬† It was through Friends that I was able to contact GNDCS.

I knew it was a trip meant to be¬†when I learned that a student from¬†Wright State University, Jessica Wynn, had recently done a presentation at Ohio School for the Deaf (OSD) about her experiences in Accra, Ghana – the capital.¬† She inspired the student body and the staff to such a huge degree that they decided to hold a school supply drive at one of their basketball games.¬† In all, they collected over 100 pounds of school supplies!! (I know this because I had to follow the airline’s strict weight guidelines.)¬† I was able to take almost every single thing that was collected for our deaf friends in Ghana!

Initially, before I started researching Ghana, I pictured the Disney movie, The Lion King. After reading several travel books focused on Ghana, I felt somewhat prepared and ready for anything – just flying by the seat of my pants!

The friendliness of the people also made things easier.¬† Ghanaians help each other without a second thought.¬† If there’s a stalled car in the middle of the road, everyone around will stop and get out to push it out of the way.

In Ghana, my role was to advise GNDCS personnel about how they can better fulfill their mission of providing for and supporting deaf children in Ghana.  The challenges the organization faces are numerous:  late diagnosis of hearing impairment, poverty, lack of technology, cultural stigmas about hearing aids, and lack of information about deafness.

I experienced many memorable moments during my time in Ghana — from students checking for my immunization scar to the time I was “tasted.”¬† On many occasions, I was inspired by resourcefulness of the Ghanaians.¬† For example, in a situation where we would use rope or bungee cords to tie down pallets, they reused plastic bags and tied them together to make a long piece of “rope”; then using that, they tied down their cargo.¬† Amazing.

I was particularly aware of the vast differences among educational systems.¬† In Ghana, it isn’t uncommon for a teacher to have another commitment or have a last minute¬†something pop up and leave the students on their own for the day.¬† I happened to be¬†in such a classroom one day and have the opportunity¬†act as a substitute teacher.¬† I wrote the fill-in-the blank exercise on the board that the head teacher had left for the students to complete.¬† As they turned in their work, I graded each one and was surprised at the low marks.¬† I was heartbroken about the lack of book knowledge these students have, or rather, what they haven’t been provided.

It really hit me hard and made me appreciate, more than I ever have in my 31 years, that I live and work here in the United States where there are standards and specific practices for teaching.¬† I was grateful also that, although there are still major hurdles to overcome, in the U.S., “disability” is handled more constructively than in many places.

I gained a great deal of humility while serving in Ghana and I hope to share that this year with Cassingham students.¬† The Ghanaian people are grateful for every ounce of anything they have.¬† Whether it’s a pencil or a pair of unbroken sandals to wear to church, the “make do with what you’ve got” attitude is definitely prevalent there.

The other thing that I hope will seep into my work is a never-ending drive to better myself and my surroundings.¬† Although much of the area I visited is extremely impoverished, those who have had the opportunity¬†to receive an education aren’t merely satisfied with basic levels – they want to go as far as they can.¬† I expect to model that attitude for those I encounter.¬† I also hope to spearhead a movement that will be able to connect schools internationally to serve as teaching models, resource sharing opportunities, and provide the opportunity for cultural enrichment across the miles.¬† As I share my newfound knowledge of Africa with students here, I hope that they in turn will gain an appreciation for all that they have and all the opportunities that await them in their future.

Amanda Kaiser is an ASL interpreter at Cassingham Elementary School in Bexley.”

This entire project began with a letter from a college student…and became something so much bigger than we ever could imagine!¬† Donations were given to at least 5 different deaf schools in at least 3 different areas of Africa.¬† I can’t begin to thank all of the people involved in making this happen.¬† What an amazing effort from such a small community of people!

Thank you…
         Amad Fontie and his brother and sister-in-law
        Joyce Cain-McGraw
        Jessica Wynn
        Amanda Kaiser
        Jean Parmir
        Kristin Saxon, Julie Stewart and their IVDL students
        OSD Students and Staff
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† …for helping us, help others!

Thank you,
Melissa Lago-Jones

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”¬† Gandhi

Bexley Discrict News :D

This was a fun little “ego booster” that appeared on my school’s website D:

Teacher Serves in Africa

This summer was extraordinary:¬† as an educator and interpreter, I traveled to Cape Coast, Ghana, Africa to work with Ghana National Deaf Children’s Society (GNDCS), an organization that teaches, advocates, and coordinates services for deaf children.

Initially, before I started researching Ghana, I pictured the Disney movie, The Lion King. After reading several travel books focused on Ghana, I felt somewhat prepared and ready for anything ‚Äď just flying by the seat of my pants!¬†

The friendliness of the people made things go pretty smoothly.¬† Ghanaians help each other without a second thought.¬† If there’s a stalled car in the middle of the road, everyone around will stop and get out to push it out of the way.

In Ghana, my role was to advise GNDCS personnel about how they can better fulfill their mission of providing for and supporting deaf children in Ghana.  The challenges the organization faces are numerous:  late diagnosis of hearing impairment, poverty, lack of technology, cultural stigmas about hearing aids, and lack of information about deafness.

I experienced several memorable moments during my time in Ghana — from students checking for my immunization scar to the time I was “tasted.‚Ä̬† On many occasions, I was inspired by resourcefulness of the Ghanaians.¬† For example, in a situation where we would use rope or bungee cords to tie down pallets, they reused plastic bags and tied them together to make a long piece of “rope”; then using that, they tied down their cargo.¬† Amazing.

I was particularly aware of the vast differences among educational systems.¬† In Ghana, it isn’t uncommon for a teacher to have another commitment or have a last minute¬†something pop up and leave the students on their own for the day.¬† I happened to be¬†in such a classroom one day and have the opportunity¬†act as a substitute teacher.¬† I wrote on the board the fill-in-the blank exercise that the head teacher had left for the students to complete.¬† As they turned in their work, I graded each one and was surprised at the low marks.¬† I was heartbroken about the lack of book knowledge these students have, or rather, all that they have not been provided.¬† ¬†

It really hit me hard and made me appreciate, more than I ever have in my 31 years, that I live and work here in the United States where there are standards and specific practices for teaching.¬† I was grateful also that, although there are still major hurdles to overcome, in the U.S., ‚Äúdisability‚ÄĚ is handled more constructively than in many places.¬†

I gained a great deal of humility while serving in Ghana and I hope to share that this year with Cassingham students.¬† The Ghanaian people are grateful for every ounce of anything they have.¬† Whether it’s a pencil or a pair of unbroken sandals to wear to church, the “make do with what you’ve got” attitude is definitely prevalent there.¬†

The other thing that will seep into my work here in Bexley is a never-ending drive to better myself and my surroundings.¬† Although much of the area I visited is extremely impoverished, those who have had the opportunity to receive an education aren’t merely satisfied with basic levels – they want to go as far as they can.¬† I expect to model that attitude for my Bexley students.¬† As I share my newfound knowledge of Africa with students here, I hope that they in turn will gain an appreciation for all that they have and all the opportunities that await them in their future.

This piece by Amanda Kaiser, ASL interpreter at Cassingham Elementary School in Bexley, was originally published in This Week in Bexley.

Butterflies

I’m not a highly credentialed human being.¬† I’m not the best in my field.¬† I’m not the most knowledgeable.¬† What I do have is a passion for people.¬† I’m intrigued by the inner workings of people’s minds.¬† I try not to be¬†quick to judge and try to be¬†the quickest at seeing other perspectives and understanding you and why you do what you do.¬† I may not agree with you, but I want to understand.¬† I love figuring out why people do what they do – the psychological intrigue of human behavior, if you will.

I love the elderly and children.¬† I narrow that down by focusing on children because, ultimately – when working with the grandmas and the grandpas¬†of the world, there is a changing of the guard.¬† My heart isn’t equipped to handle many changes in that regard, so I have children as my focus.¬† Granted, occasionally one of the children is called¬†to heaven prematurely, by our standards, but it’s less frequent and I handle occasions better than frequencies.¬† Specifically within that realm of serving children, incorporating my knowledge base of interpreting – I, for now, am choosing to serve deaf children.

After my visit to Ghana I’m determined to make a change in the world.¬† I never much agreed with globalization and becoming one entity because we all have our own identity; to me our individuality is a sacred thing.¬† Recently, a tid¬†bit of wisdom – we’re all cut from the same cloth, just a different pattern – possibly a different dye job, still the same cloth.¬† With that in mind, why don’t we want to help EVERYONE!?¬† I have a constant inner struggle because I want to help the world but, at the same time, don’t want to abandon my backyard.¬† I am constantly thinking; I never understand when my husband says he’s not thinking anything – how can you think nothing! (A perspective I’m still trying to understand is his¬†– never said I was perfect at seeing things from others views – just that I like it and it’s a challenge!)

Anyway, I’m always thinking – it’s annoying when you’re trying to sleep.¬† So, my recent thoughts turned toward an obsession to help others worldwide with the education of¬†deaf children while serving the children in my own country.¬† My conclusion is this: I want to start an organization that allows deaf schools all over the world to be¬†paired up with each other allowing for a symbiotic¬†relationship to take place.¬† If there is a school like the one I visited in Ghana that lacks resources and knowledge – their sister school can offer support, guidance, and ideas.¬† The sister school, in turn, can become aware and in tune with another culture.¬† We could foster a love of people and the variety of cultures by becoming one.¬† Sounds like a paradoxical conundrum, but it’s possible.

My challenges would be technology, cultural sensitivity, recruiting willing volunteers, variances on the ideas and attitudes towards educating the deaf, the simple task of setting it up.

I’m excited because the local paper wants to do an article on my experiences.¬† Possibly, the “newsletter” VIEWS will run an article as well.¬† Who knows, maybe I could conduct a workshop about thinking internationally – Interpreting: An International Perspective – the possibilities are endless.¬† Only my imagination, and willpower to succeed, …and drive will limit me.

My sister and I recently decided there are so many thinkers in the world – but what brings you to the next level is becoming a doer.¬† We promised each other to be a doer.¬† There aren’t many doers because it is a hard thing to formulate an idea, make a plan, carry through – and not worry, or embrace failure.¬† The worst thing that can happen is that you fail.¬† Which is worse, the possibility of failing or never having the courage to try?

The reason I called this post “butterflies” is because of a conversation I just had, about an hour ago, with my mom about something she referred to “The Butterfly Effect.”¬† I Wikied¬†it.¬† I didn’t dive too much into it, but mom based her comment off¬†of my observation that¬†went something like this:¬†¬†it’s amazing to me how intricately¬†woven each of our lives are.¬†¬† There was a man who was inspired¬†to write a story that became a screen play that became a movie called Mr. Holland’s Opus.¬† There was a man who was inspired to become a band director who was motivated¬†enough to take his band to California where they saw a movie called Mr. Holland’s Opus.¬† There was a woman who was inspired¬†to serve a school in Cape Coast, Ghana that contacted a nationally known interpreting organization, RID, to spread awareness of the school for the deaf in Cape Coast.¬† There was a woman who was inspired¬†to become an interpreter who was in a commercial about the interpreting program at Columbus State Community College.¬† There was a mother and a father who moved their children across the country – where one of their daughters went to school and was in the band that saw the movie that was an inspired masterpiece.¬† This daughter moved across (the other way) the country, saw¬†the commercial – became an interpreter.¬† This daughter read about an organization that served people in Ghana that was started¬†out of an inspiration to make the world a better place.¬† If any one of those events hadn’t happened, there would be a hole in the tapestry of life that has been woven – that I am helping to weave. A¬†work that you are adding your beautifully individual pattern of dyed¬†cloth to.

The End

Re-acclimating myself back to “MY” world hasn’t been too crazy – not like a person who’s gone for 6 or more months.¬† Small little things crossed my mind – I kept thinking I was hearing Fante, questioning the safety of the water, even getting my mind programmed not to listen for the goats and tropical birds that woke me up every morning.¬† I honestly didn’t think I’d miss Ghana – but I sort of do!¬† My Ghanaian friends will be pleased to hear that, I’m sure ūüėČ

My first evening, after arriving home from the airport – I was so grateful to take a shower – that was warm ūüôā¬† Then, I climbed into bed where I wasn’t worried about small ants, mosquitoes, and flesh eating spiders.¬† I adjusted to the time pretty easily; fortunately, my body goes with the sun.¬† Unfortunately, this makes me wake up WAY early and want to go to bed at 730 in the evening.¬† It took about 46 hours from door to door – small cat naps on the airplane, and when I finally laid my head down I think it was about 49 hours.

I hope to continue working with GNDCS as they continue with their mission over in Ghana to improve the quality of education for deaf children – and more importantly, as they work towards changing society so that all deaf and disabled can have a quality, meaningful, wonderful life.¬† It was truly a roller coaster of an adventure.¬† I didn’t realize this until I was sitting here reflecting.¬† Aside from the food and bugs – customs and the societal attitude towards education of the disabled and their worth were impressions that struck my heart with magnitude.

On any given day, I wasn’t sure what sort of meat I was eating – if I asked what it was, the response was simply, “meat.”¬† I came to find, later, meat means beef.¬† I tried to sample as many local dishes as I could – I enjoyed the experience and the willingness of the people to share with me.¬† Handshakes with snaps – I never mastered this.¬† I was successful most times ūüėĬ† The language – aside from basic greetings, I don’t know much – however, the patterns of their discourse are forever imprinted in my mind.¬† If linguistics offered a program that was simply field study, though I wouldn’t have signed up for this before, I was really intrigued and captivated by varying inflections and use of simple noises within their speech: eh, uh, ahh, clicking – simple, short, meaningful.

The students will eternally be in my heart.¬† My last day I shook all of their hands; on their own accord, they each gave me a hug.¬† We WILL meet again; it won’t be soon enough.¬† I found myself questioning whether or not the teachers felt influential, had adequate training, wanted to be there – felt the students could learn.¬† With 5 English books to 22, and math books at – maybe, 15 for the same sort of class…with a class that ranged in age from 14 through 22 years…with an inadequately trained staff regarding sign language….with a lack of consistency of the language throughout the country….with teachers who comment “I don’t know why we have to give them exams, they don’t even understand English”…with the conclusion that the teachers have an element of learned helplessness and lack of ambition…with students who have been SELF taught for their entire lives I am amazed at, although it is not a high level, the level that they are academically.¬† I am forever impressed at their thirst for knowledge – their willingness to work through breaks in order to LEARN! Their inquisitive ponderings, their innocent view on life.¬† Their sufferings and desire to continue to take the world head on to prove I AM WORTH SOMETHING!!

When I initially embarked on this journey, people would say I would never be the same.¬† I didn’t disagree, but I never understood the magnitude of that statement until I sit here writing down my experiences as tears of sorrow, gratitude, and love stream down my face.¬† I am extremely blessed to have been able to have this time, however short, with the students and the people of Ghana.¬† I promise I will do my best to aid GNDCS in their mission.¬† Dear reader, I urge you to seek out a way you can travel abroad – I urge you to check in with your perspective of those who are disabled.¬† I quote from when I spoke at the church – though, I don’t know it was necessarily me speaking “God created us all.¬† God doesn’t make mistakes.¬† We are all important.”

I close with this.¬† There was one girl from Dayton who wanted to serve in Accra.¬† There was one school in Ohio who wanted to help.¬† I was born in 1979, moved to AZ in 1995 where I saw a movie Mr. Holland’s Opus – this movie stayed with me and when I later moved to Columbus, I saw ONE commercial that inspired me to become an interpreter.¬† The web that made this experience possible, you are already a part of.¬† You continue to be a part of it as these words resonate in your mind – as you ponder what you can do.¬† ONE can do.¬† ONE did.¬† ONE does. ONE will continue doing and make eternal impacts.¬† ONE is a powerful, wonderful, singularly fruitful number.¬† Many ONEs can make stupendously wonderful differences.

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. ‚Äď Spencer W. Kimball

ONE!

Wednesday July 28th – Thursday July 29th

Ahhh…well, we set off at 9:00 AM¬† As promised, we drove by one of the coffins that Kofi told me about – I’d read that Ghana is known for making extravagant coffins and he noted one nearby.¬† We also picked up my clothes, walked around Kota Kurabe for one last time.

After we left town, we drove for a while, I was taking in my last sights of Ghana – all the while excited to be on a plane back home.¬† Along the way we stopped for coconuts.¬† Well, I was too timid to ask to try the coconut, but I did try the juice ūüėȬ† The actual coconut looked slimy – when Rosemond fed it to Papa, he spit it right out!

We continued along on our journey when Rosemond spotted her husband, Kwasi, his car!¬† If the truck wouldn’t have broke down just before I got there, that is what we would have been going around town in – ahh, well – at least I got to see it!¬† Nice blue truck with a GNDCS magnet on it.

Continuing on – we finally landed in Accra.¬† Dora made sure I got to see the temple – we even had to ask Joe to do a u-turn for us to go in.¬† Silly thing, it’s gated off.¬† Makes sense, really.¬† I was actually curious how they kept the grounds nice.¬† Relieving oneself in a public place and littering are pretty commonplace, so I wondered how they protected the temple from such things.¬† There’s a gate around it and a guard – who came out and asked why we were there.¬† I quickly explained I was on my way back home and wanted to walk the grounds – after seeing my recommend, he allowed it and I was grateful.¬† Joe and I walked around the grounds as Dora and Rosemond stayed in the car with the two boys.¬† I was grateful to be able to walk around.

After this – back on the road.¬† By now, it’s about 2-3 in the afternoon and the sun is making an appearance on my final day.¬† I actually got a mild burn on my right arm!¬† After stopping for dinner at a chicken place – going on a whim to this little hut (finding my unofficial brother-in-law his boxer shorts) we headed to the airport.¬† I actually made one more purchase there, and I waited for my flight.

Truth, it was¬† an uneventful day and, though I thought I would cry – I didn’t.¬† I will miss Emmanuel and Papa a bunch – but I’m excited to get back to the states.