Las Quatro Harwoods

Shopping Malls, Traffic, Bob Marley, Mandela, Obama, Jesus and Hulk Hogan

August 1,2013
So the first few days have run by in pretty much a blur.  The sleeping is getting better, mostly.  Maddox dropped like a ton of bricks tonight, reasons later, but Josie is working to make bed time last at least an hour and a half.  Mind boggling.  Let’s see if I can summarize these past couple of days real quick.
We ate a lot of cheese sandwiches the first couple of days because we hadn’t made it to a proper grocery store yet.  Think that could have something to do with the squirrely stomach I’ve had for the past day or so.  We also played a lot of football, soccer for you common folk in the States, in the driveway over the past couple of days.  Come to think of it, we’ve also played a decent bit in the house.  We’ve got a lot of space and a little bit of furniture right now, so why not?  That’s mostly what Maddox wants to do outside and we play every time we are waiting for a ride or to leave the apartment.
We took a family walk to Deli France (pronounced fraaance) for an afternoon treat of gelato, cappuccino and beer.  I’ll let you decide who got what.  It actually isn’t that far, but it was a bit of a challenge as a family with the little legs that quickly turned into heavy backpacks and cars that just whiz by as you try to walk a little closer to the open cement drainage ditch on the side of the road.  But we made it and it was fun.  They had a couple peacocks running around including a little baby one (a peachick for those wondering).  The kids loved it. 
We also finally got our car thanks to David and Ebeneezer, whom we were quite delighted was a real person and actually did pick up our car after we wired money into that German account.  We’ve actually gotten to go for a couple of rides in it too.  I haven’t driven yet.  Still working up the nerve for that,  I’ve driven across the States and all over NYC, but never seen anything like this.  Soon though.  Thankfully we have Samuel who will drive us to school for awhile and has driven us for some shopping runs and such so far.
One of these days we went for our immigration medical check. About nine of us climbed on the bus and road to a clinic where we somewhat systematically had our weight, height and BP taken and written on a scrap piece of paper without our names on it that was handed to us to hold until we could see the doctor who listened to our chests thumped my tummy, I resisted the urge to giggle, asked for the paper and then said we could stay.  All that only took about two and a half hours.  In the waiting room on the wall there were pictures with inspirational quotes from Bob Marley, Obama, Martin Luther King Jr. and Elvis.  Awesome.
Maddox finally got to meet some friends later that same day as all the new hires met for dinner. He was quite happy. There were two boys Etien and Owen who are both six and they were instantly buddies.  They found a trampoline to jump on after dinner, yep right there at the outdoor restaurant, and they were in Kung fu fighting heaven.  It felt good to see them so happy.  One of the other boys had been having a hard time as well, so all the parents were slightly relieved.
Yesterday saw another round of shopping that led to a monster round of meltdowns, mostly from the kids, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here.  Except that the title comes from this excursion.  As we drove down the highway there were lots of stands on the side of the road selling everything from furniture to plants to giant mural size paintings.  In one particular “art stand” we’ll call it, in a row there were paintings of Bob Marley, Mandela, Jesus and Hulk Hogan.  Hmmm.   Kind of sums up the randomness of this place.  I really want to go just sit there to wait and see who pulls up and buys that Hulk Hogan painting.  
Finally, I know I said this would be quick, but…  Today was our first official day at Lincoln.  We loaded up the kids and headed over for orientation.  It was also the first time Tina was really going to be watching the kids.  They had activities planned for them while we were doing our thing, but she went along to help them out.  It could not have gone any better. Maddox and his new buddies had an absolute blast.  At dinner tonight he took a bite of his hotdog and said, “I like this place.”  Made us quite happy.  Josie cried a little when I handed her over to Tina, but it wasn’t long until she was digging in the dirt and racing Tina down the slides.  She eventually fell asleep in Tina’s arms.  Perfect.  Our orientation went great as well.  The staff is awesome.  We’ve met some really interesting people in our group of new hires.  We were given MacBooks to use for the school year and a most delicious lunch.  There is a lot to digest and I have no doubt that it will be a challenge this year.  But I can say without hesitation that it is going to be exciting and I’m looking forward to it.  

Okay, one last thing. Funny thing.  We asked Samuel to run a couple errands for us during the day.  We needed to get a data card for our Internet, everything is prepaid here, and a broom for Tina.  So he said, sure sure and took off.  When we met him at the end of the day and opened the back he had a big wooden broom with stiff straw bristles.  The kind they use here for outside. We all, Samuel included, got a big laugh out of the miscommunication as Tina explained what we really needed, and decided that it would be deemed our first piece of Ghanaian art.  It now hangs above our table as a memento of our first week here in Ghana. 

This entry was published on August 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm and is filed under family, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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