Its just a quite Saturday afternoon here at el casa de las Quatro Harwoods. Maddox and Kwame are learning to play some chess, Josie is imagining in her own little world, Robyn’s chopping sweet potatoes for fries tonight, yum, and Hallie is hiding under the bed because there’s a big ol storm outside. So I figured I’d take a few minutes to reflect a bit. (i swear i was going to go for a run but then this storm came in…)
The school year is barreling toward summer with just a few weeks left. Its cliche, I know, but I can’t believe another year has almost passed. We’re wrapping up our fourth year here in Accra and the beauty and complexity of this place and its people continues to amaze and teach me. Maybe more on that another time.
The kids are starting to get the itch to see some family. Lots of questions these days about how long until we see Grandma (three weeks) and talk of adventures we’ve had across our past summers too. In fact, just yesterday as Josie and I argued over whether the picture of her holding an owl was in London or Cape Town, she said, “You know, its hard to keep up with all the places we’ve been.” (the owl picture was in york, so we were both wrong, but i was closer😉)
This summer will be filled with adventures as well. The plan includes, Grandma & Pop’s house, Asheville, London for Robyn, DC for me, Alabama, Florida, and Ireland. (kids have switched over to listening some podcasts as the storm has picked up a bit) Lots of family time, a little professional development time for the adults and a nice spread of geography. Looking forward to days on the beach with the Harwoods and Simpson/Soliday crew as well as some time in the mountains with Papa Geoff and Rhona. I’m pretty pumped about the Ireland trip on our way back to Ghana for sure. Not only is it a new place for us to visit, but we’ll get to surf in a new place too.
Speaking of surfing, Maddox continues to shred, although he’s also continued to find his limits. We paddled out into a couple of days that turned out bigger than we thought lately and he let me know it was too much. I feel just as proud to see him recognize he’s uncomfortable and paddle in as I do to seeing him zipping down the line. I may have said this in a few posts, but I look forward to our Sunday surfs. Regardless of the struggles of the week, the disagreements or arguments (you know your family has them too), the stresses of school or work, time in the ocean gives us both a perfect reset and time to deepen our bond as well. I have to admit when I held that little newborn boy, and promised him adventures together, I wasn’t really thinking surfing, but isn’t that what makes life wonderful? Thanks ocean.
(working on tomorrow’s surf plan on the side as i type. hoping to get josie in some waves tomorrow too)
Josie has been crushing through some books lately. She’s been really into Junie B Jones. Every now and then she stops reading and just cackles. Its quite the beautiful sight and sound. She loves to read the funny parts over to us. “Dad. Dad. Listen to this…” She’s reading at least a couple of books a week right now. One night, she finished her book and then insisted on reading everything on the cover. Everything. Even the ISBN #. That kid…
She’s constantly tinkering too. Sometimes its playing with toys imagining complex storylines (or maybe just random its hard to tell) but its just as often making something. Drawing, cutting, glueing, painting, cooking, baking, experimenting. She loves bringing home science experiment books (i think she goes to the library almost everyday at school) and trying them out in the afternoons. Right now she’s in the middle of cutting paper and she just hung a string of cactus cut outs on a little shelf. Truth is it either turns out as something super creative or a bunch of tiny pieces of paper on the floor. Either way, she’s creating something…
No huge adventures since Spring Break, but we did manage to get to Aburi and the hills a bit for Robyn’s birthday and spend the night in a “tree house” B&B. We forget that just thirty minutes and we can be in the mountains. They aren’t huge, but there is a big temperature difference and green is there. The place was super cool. A Dutch guy that grew up in Ghana and his wife and kids run it. We slept with the windows open with a view that looked out into the woods on one side and over the lights of Accra on the other. Our kids and their kids took to each other quick like and played like old friends for pretty much the entire time they were awake.
Looks like the storm has settled, and the kids are getting a bit restless so I guess I’ll wrap this up. Feeling thankful for this family, this life and all of our adventures that help us continue to grow.