Sunday, October 29, 2006

This is Jeanie and Suz before supper on the 29th. Saturday was a big day, huge day actually. We had received Ghanaian dresses/gowns for the women, and shirts/shorts for the men. We dresssed in these for the day. They were green with hands (helping hands) and 8 inch circles with GCJ in them. We gathered in Lower Axim at the King's Palace for the Dur Bar. There was dancing with the children while we were waiting for the events to begin. We noticed that the local press was there with TV cameras! And some of the orphans that will live in the orphanage when it is completed were also there.
A group of traditional dancers preceded the King and their attendants. Jeanie was asked to make a formal presentation of the 60+ mattresses to the King. All of the mattresses were stacked against the inner wall of the palace "courtyard". The King then presented the mattresses to the hospital along with all the glasses, and other medical supplies that we all had brought.
Susan was asked to talk, while Maryanne disappeared into the King's chambers. She came out to a fanfare of drums, dressed in traditional dress and shoes, braided fabric headress, with cloth laid down before her as she walked. She sat on a stool, with her feet on a goatskin, and was honored as the "Queen of Development", a very honorable title and position. It was great!
The rest of us each were given water, then liquor(Schnapps), and then given a Ghanaian name by the King.
We went back to the hotel for lunch and Mustafa was there with his family - his wife and 2 children. Selma, the 5 year old daughter, and Suz spent the rest of the day hand in hand.
We all went by bus for the Essiama (the hot, crowded bus), visited Dina's school, and the Bonwire harvest festival to celebrate the end of hunger. Steven's wife was also along as were several people who have worked GCJ in Ghana. We danced to the drums and walked along the beach. Then back for dinner and rest after a long day. Louise had spent the day filming all of the events. Tom showed us a DVD on smoking fish in Ghana. We are learning a ton!

Sunday - a more relaxing day. Some of us found a shortcut trail to Axim which takes a lot less time than the bus and take us through a very friendly neighborhood. After breakfast, many of us went to church, and Rich gave a sermon at the Methodist church. Some of us went to lunch at Ankroba Beach Hotel hosted by Mr. Addae-Mensah, a gentleman who taught at UW on a Fullbright, and now has a son at UW as well. Afterwards some went to delegates houses to visit.

Some of us are dealing with colds and fever, but most are healthy. Jackie spent the night at Dina's house. Ravyn finds that walking on the shortcut is very enjoyable. Jerome is still telling bad jokes and just went into the sea for a great swim. Both Suz and Jeanie are looking forward to teaching classes tomorrow and for the rest of the week.

Time for dinner. Hope you are all well. See you soon!