I think it's going to be real easy to make the transition to Ghana from Sierra Leone. We truly fell head over heels in love with the people of Sierra Leone, and I see the same strengths and desire to do whats right in the faces of the people of the Ghana Kumasi Mission.
This has been a whirlwind week with President and Sister Holmes, just like Sierra Leone, we drove for three days and visited all 160 missionaries. We got to introduce ourselves and take the reins for medical from Sister Holmes. I really think she was just as anxious as Sister Ostler to receive some medical support.
We have had an interesting couple of days.
We met our neighbor and he told us that his brother died two weeks ago. They are having his funeral next door and he told us that we were invited so that we could see how they do funerals in Ghana. He told us, on Thursday, that the funeral was from 1pm to 6pm on Friday. Well surprise...surprise... not much happened on Friday and we thought that that was anti-climactic. BUT at 4:30 am on Saturday, the music started. They have tents set up, the street blocked, and several hundred chairs set up. They use speakers the size of small vans. The glass in the windows was vibrating, and I had to disable our car alarm because it kept going off. They play all sorts of music. Some of it sounds traditional African, some of it sounds Spanish, but the fact is I cant understand a word they are singing. BUT we do think its cool the way they are doing it. They are all dressed in traditional tribal clothing. They do stuff around the clock for two full days. The neighbor said they expect over 800 in attendance. I bet it was way over that.
Ghana is definitely different than Sierra Leone, but in so many ways the same! I think when we get use to this area it will probably be better as far a Westernized, it is more developed than Salone (what the Sierra Leonians called Sierra Leone) by a ways. I liked driving in Salone better than here. The local police here try to shake strangers down a lot more. There are just enough driving rules that at any given time you are breaking something. Yesterday we were at a market with the Preaters (they were driving) and they parked along the street (with a lot of other cars) and a rather large female cop came by and said we were parked in the wrong place and wanted 5 CDs (Ghanain dollars) so Elder Preater gave her .50 (1/2 CD) and she pocketed it and walked away. We weren't even shore she was a real officer of the law.
Sometimes the couples get pulled over and asked for bibles and things like that. So we always have a Book of Mormon and other pamphlets to pay fines with. :-)
There is a small chance that we might be moving out to Sunyani. It's about 2 hours North West of Kumasi. A couple named Dever are coming from Accra and they work the Humanitarian side, they need to be in Kumasi and there is not an apartment for them. But there is one in Sunyani, so Sue and I volunteered to go out there. We'll see what President Holmes has to say about it today I'm thinking.
Well I better stop rambling and add some pictures. Some From Accra Ghana, then some from here in The Ghana Kumasi Mission. Enjoy! You should Google Earth some of these locations.
This is downtown Accra, the capital of Ghana. They have nice wide sidewalks.
Some weary travelers... L to R - Prisident Kirkham from Liberia,
President Ostler from Sierra Leone, Sister Ostler, Sister Kirkham,
and the lovely Sister Barney. All homeless.
The Accra Temple. What a beautiful temple and grounds.
We got to attend while there. It was a real shot in the arm for all of us.
The chapel located on the Temple / Area compound.
We visited a local market, and found this Ghanaian version of Moroni
Check out the writing on the horn.
On the wall of the clinic....Self explanatory.
In order to get papers to stay in Ghana, we needed a physical to prove
that we are in good health and wont be a burden to society.
They loaded us into a small van and headed out for what we thought was a short
jaunt to a local clinic. SURPRISE... it was an hour and a half one way.
We started out with Sister Barney "one cheeking" the bench in the van, but she
got more comfortable after a half hour and questioning the driver.
Kids are the same everywhere. They were happy to see so many
white people in one location.
Here we set in the clinic waiting room.
L to R - E&S Dever, E&S Seader, E&S Cant remember, E&S Still Cant Remember,
and E&S Barney in the rear. The check up was an experience that every Scout has experienced.
"I see that you are breathing, You have a heartbeat, NEXT.
This is the chapel in Kechiman where we met with one of the Zones.
Four Elders have an apartment in this building.
Kechiman is about 2.5 hours north of Kumasi. There is a Senior couple there
by the name of Olsen.
This is one of the Chapels in Tamale. Another 3 hours farther north from
Kechiman. Four Elders also have an apartment here in part of the building.
This is the front door (inside) of our apartment here in Kumasi.
Our apartment looking in from the front door.
This is the area that Sister Barney can turn the darnedest things into
a meal fit for a king (me).
Our back door.
Our bedroom with some unpacking completed.
Notice my stuff is all hung up, nice and neat, and my companions stuff
is spread out all over...;-)
This is a small bakery down the street from our apartment.
It's called Reggies Bakery. We buy our bread from her.
Yea Yea, but how do you know it's at 350?
This is Ken. He claims to be Reggies nephew. He is interesting to say the least.
When he sees us pull up to the bakery, he comes out like a spider and follows us
around explaining that he use to live in London, New York, and lots of other places.
He said the US denied him a Visa (no kidding) so he's mad at the US.
It's amazing and sad what drugs can do to the human mind.
This is Reggie. Her and her family are putting bread and rolls into bags
that will be distributed to vendors on the street, and to stores that buy from her.
This is one of the chapels in Obuasi. It's about 1.5 hours south of Kumasi.
President Holmes vehicle is parked in his special spot.?
The jungle across the lane from the chapel...
I keep expecting some sort of wild creature to spring out.
One of the chapels in Kumasi. Sort of nice Aye?
Another chapel in Kumasi.
This is the chapel in Sunyani. It's 4X4 only to get the 100 yards or so
up the hill to this chapel.