We are sitting on the tarmac waiting to begin part two or maybe three of our winter break adventures. But I’ll get back to that in a bit.
last week we drove along the coast of this country that we currently call home to spend some time at the beach in a location that has become one of my favorite places on earth.
We spent time playing as a family, slept with the sounds of waves crashing outside our windows and made new friends from around the world. Time slowed down and became all but irrelevant. I watched my kids lie in a hammock and read, have a kick around with a local kid on the beach, play in the waves with other families and even take on random twenty-somethings in pool, foosball and ping-pong. We played cards, laughed fought some waves and caught some waves.
We made friends with a family from Belgium that lives in Accra. Played a Swedish beach game with a family from South Africa and had a fascinating series of conversations with a couple from Ireland that may lead to future adventures. He was an ex pro skater that now lives and helps organize an eco-village in Ireland and happens to be friends with Fergel the surfing farmer we had recently learned of and contemplating visiting someday. It was quite random and cool to sit at an eco-lodge by the sea in Ghana and chat about everything from the Bones Brigade to place based education with a new friend.
It was definitely a time to unwind and enjoy a place in time. My kids are at special ages right now. Josie is full of imagination and wonder. Eager to learn and ask questions, constantly making connections and making us laugh. She can, and does, sit and play with a pile of shells and bottle caps for what seems like hours, playing out a plethora of scenarios with an array of characters and fascinating plot twists. It is quite amazing. She’s also becoming a little musician. She surprised us at her last assembly by walking up to the microphone and leading the entire ECC (pre-k thru 2nd grade) singing the Bear Necessities. My jaw dropped not only because she was singing but because she kept it a secret! She memorizes songs after hearing them only a couple of times and has recently made up some pretty good Christmas jingles as well.
Maddox is quickly becoming a little teenager. I swear his soul is ten years older than his body. He’s restless and seeking adventure and freedom throughout each day. He’s searching in the form of exploring a new shows on the iPad, or cooking his own Indomie in the kitchen (thats ramen to you americans. i told you he’s an old soul. he’s already prepping for college life) But mostly it comes in the form of sports. Anything with a ball will do, but preferably he’s catching waves. He just started making his first surf movie today with
his our new GoPro and I have to admit, its pretty cool. We’ll share that soon. Oh, and he’s got a heart of gold. Sometimes it gets buried in the frustrations of growing up and figuring out responsibilities, but its there and its beautiful.
As I’m writing this I realize we could probably say this about every age or phase our kids pass through, but I’m thankful for and living in the now.
Speaking of, we are currently soaring high over Ghana on our way for the next leg of our winter adventures. We’re about to spend a week in Prague exploring a new city. We’ve got tickets to the Nutcracker at the National Theater and plans for a day of snowboarding. The kids were buzzing with excitement all afternoon as they anticipated the flights and the adventure. As I’m writing they’ve been sedated by the in-flight entertainment.
The expat life isn’t always easy, especially around the holidays, but it certainly has its rewards. That’s why we’ve made the choices we have and created these opportunities. I’m thankful.