Las Quatro Harwoods

The waiting game

I believe this weekend marks one month of ex patriotness.  I think we are doing ok.  I’ve started this post sitting in the car with two sleeping kids, yes, they are my kids,  outside Big Milly’s Backyard while Robyn does a little shopping.  We spent the morning at Bojo beach and had a blast.  We got to watch probably fifty guys work together to pull in the morning fishing net.  Crazy cool.  It took them about an hour from the time we got there and they were singing songs and working hard the whole time.  I talked to a couple of the guys once they were finished and they said everyone splits the profits.  They all huddled around the net once they got it in and sorted the fish into things for the market, to take home and to throw back.  From an outsiders perspective it looked like chaos, but it was also obvious they had done this a few times.  One more example of the past and the present colliding here in Ghana.

We had a great day at the beach just hanging out while Josie got as sandy as she possibly could and Maddox went back and forth between our mini soccer games and the water.  We met a really nice family from Nigeria and had a pretty tasty lunch, which we ordered around eleven and arrived sometime after 12:30.  Thankfully we had been given the tip to order early.
Before all that, I guess this is rewind kind of entry, we took Tina to her home village which was on the way to the beach.  We took the scenic route getting there as she kind of knew the way, but since she does t drive, I’m pretty sure we took the non direct tro tro route.  No worries, we saw the big stadium and some different areas of Accra.  Her home was way up a dirt road in the hills. Josie squealed with delight as we drove over some ridiculous bumps in the road.  She was totally playing roller coaster.  Tina’s family came out to meet us and we exchanged those somewhat awkward pleasantries that come when people from two different worlds meet.  She has a little sister who is two months younger than Josie, and beautiful, and a brother that is ten.  They were absolutely wonderful people, I just don’t see how those interactions can be anything but slightly strange.  They live in a home without electricity or running water.  Tina even has to walk down the hill for water which explains her superheroish strength at least.  We stood and talked for a few minutes and went through all the introductions, told them how much we absolutely love Tina and then headed on for the beach.  Tina insisted on riding back down the hill with us to show us the way even though she would have to walk all the way back up to her house.  Love her.
(Continued from the comfort of the couch) So, that was all today.  We made it home, eventually, since the GPS on our phone didn’t wake up until we had passed the good route home.  We took another scenic route that took us through the middle of several large markets.  I don’t know what you think of when I say markets, but there’s no way it’s what I’m trying to describe.  The streets are lined with stalls, which in turn are swarming with people and there is a three story building the size of a city block as well crammed with stalls and people.  Oh, and there are walkways over the road that are absolutely teaming with people.  It made me feel claustrophobic in the car, don’t think I would have done so well in the actual market.  Although, according to Tina, you can get absolutely anything you could possibly want there.  I don’t doubt it.  
(Continued from the not so comfortable hallway outside the kids’ room where we are trying to get them to fall asleep)
I’m trying to get to the part where we almost got our TV and good Internet hooked up today, but either there is too much running around between my ears or I’m just too tired.  So basically things work like this around here.  Its a big giant game of patience. About a week ago, a lady from the Internet company came to our house and walked off with a big wad of our money with promises of having technicians in our house the next day.  Didn’t happen, no phone calls or anything.  We did eventually get calls with promises of this weekend, but, you guessed it, didnt happen.  maybe Monday.  Also gave the DSTV guy a wad of money Friday with a promise of that getting hooked up today.  Didn’t happen.  Although, he did come by late tonight and give us our decoder box and explain he had car troubles today.  A rarity here where culturally people would rather not show or tell you anything than give you bad news.  Oh, and receipts?  Not when you hand them the cash, only a couple of days later when they have processed things for you.  Can be a little nerve racking, but so far it’s been ok.  
Along with this we set up local bank accounts for our paychecks a couple weeks ago with promises of ATM cards soon. Well, guess what?  We got paid last week and still no cards.  Got mad cash, but can’t get to it.  Funny.  Finally, perhaps you know that all of our belongings were packed into boxes and loaded on a ship sometime back in June.  Well it had an arrival date of August 1 that was pushed back to August 12 and then pushed back to, well, I’m not real sure.  Our ship is in the harbor, or at least within site of it, but it hasn’t disembarked yet.  You see, they are doing work to the Tema harbor and apparently the ships are lined up like cars at Biscuitville on a Sunday morning.
 I’m learning quickly that you have to take these things in stride.  It’s all part of living in a developing country and if you cant laugh about it you would quickly become as twitchy as Barney Fife in a shootout.  There are lots of awesome things about being here, speed and efficiency just aren’t two of them.
On the school front, it’s been a good week.  I’m learning that kids are kids no matter where you are or where they are from.  A lot of the same issues in the classroom here as anywhere else I’ve taught.  I’m still excited about it, don’t get me wrong, and of course I didn’t expect some kind of utopia either.  I was just amazed at how fast I had to pull out my lectures and my tough guy teacher voice.  Now I don’t want to paint the wrong picture here, I just want to paint a realistic one.  It is also really awesome to listen to presentations from kids from South Africa, England, Lebanon, Spain, Israel, and six or seven more countries, all in the same class.  I have fun just listening to their accents.  It really is cool.
Maddox is finally settling in ok too.  I don’t want to get too excited because Monday will be a real test of the waters.  He had a rough first week and a half without a doubt.  But we managed to work a few things out and he got a couple of special jobs from his teacher and started playing a little more with kids in his class and I think we are going to be ok.  He had no problems Thursday and Friday after begging not to go to school the first of the week.  We’ll see.  The funny thing is at the end of everyday he was totally excited about what he had done.  It was just the separation in the mornings I think.  He was super proud to show me his name on the board with a star next to it one day this week and he came home with some really cool art work that he was beaming with pride over. I think he’s going to be ok.
So this is turning into a long winded one again, but I have to give a little Josie update too.  She and Tina are totally best buds now, even though she sometimes still freezes up when she sees her in the mornings.  I think she just forgets and expects to see Robyn.  It’s kind of funny actually.  But they have had a blast at the Kids Cottage and they actually went to a play date with some embassy people’s kids on Friday where they have a teacher from the Montessori school work with them for a little while for a small fee.  It seemed like a racket at first, but turned out to be really nice and I think she’s going to go back next week as well.  Josie’s ready for school, and this is a good thing.  It’s been tough on her being left behind each day as the three of us head off to school.  She constantly reminds us that we should always come home to play with her like we promised.  She’s also coming running up to me several days when we got home and given me a big hug and said, “I’m glad you’re home daddy!”  Seriously?  Finger=wrapped.  Melts me.  So she’s supposed to start her real school sometime around the second of September.  A least that’s the day that Robyn will go for a half day to help her acclimate.  They say she won’t really start until a week or so after that, but I think Robyn has other plans there.  
So that does it for this week I think. Tomorrow should be pretty relaxing.  We have to do the weekly grocery run and we have to buy a coffee maker, but that’s about it.  We’ll go play some ultimate at school around four and then home for dinner and jammies.  I reckon there will be a little school work in there somewhere, but that’s alright.   So in summary, life is good here as long as you’re willing to wait for it.

Action man

Josie proud to be wearing one of mommy’s new dresses

Our spot at Bojo with our new friend TJ.

Pulling in the fishing nets

Pizza on the beach.  (This Margherita Pizza tasted suspiciously like Little Ceasars)

It was bright.

Meh, I’m sandy.  Watch gonna do about it?

My crew
This entry was published on August 24, 2013 at 10:07 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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