Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wrap up

Hi folks,

Well- we are home and getting back into life here in Canada. The team would like to thank everyone who followed the mission, prayed for us and those who are financial partners .. Thank you from us.... Thank you from the people of Ghana..... Thank you for changing a generation.

Peace to you all

For look at the wrap-up newletter, please cut and paste the following into your browser.



Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Last post From Ghana

LAST POST – August 3rd, 2009.
Well – we are done….most things anyway. Over 4000 blocks were laid, the masons will continue for a few days and make sure that the structure is roof ready. The road in front has been graded by hand, erosion control measures are complete, friendships have been made, 7 kids will go to school this year because the team is paying their school fees……medical aid has been delivered, and a host of other things. Our full report will be out in a few weeks…. there is just enough time for good-byes……
This will be our last post from Ghana, and maybe the last one we get to do before coming home. But if you don’t hear from us right away when we get off the plane, don't worry - every thing is fine.
Have you seen the movie Apollo 13? Do you recall the scenes where the astronauts are finally on their way home, and must prepare to, then actually re-enter, earth's atmosphere? Pretty intense. Coming home after a mission trip is similar in some ways. You wrap up with where you are, you prepare for the journey, you make the journey, and before you know it it seems like you are hurtling uncontrollably from one world to another. The atmosphere, the smells, the people.... everything changes. Your feet touch ground and suddenly you are supposed to step right back into the life you left. But you can't really, because you've just returned from another world, and you're not the same person you were when you left. Some of your friends and family are okay with the changes, some don't notice at all, while others want you to go back to being the person they were familiar with before your journey. As the "astronaut" returned home, you're 'supposed' to have wonderful stories to share... but sometimes it takes a while to make sense of your experience in another world, and even longer to figure out how to articulate that story in a way that is true and understandable.With this in mind, we would like to offer some helpful suggestions for families and friends of the returning missionaries. These suggestions are intended to help those returning home do so in a responsible manner and help those receiving the returnees to soften the landing. The suggestions we offer come not only out of our own past experiences but on the advice of many who have engaged in a short-term immersion-style mission project. So….here we go.
First, it's important that the people returning have an opportunity for safe space. Oftentimes a returnee will seem very weepy and emotionally down. Don't take it personally. Think of it as the "post-Christmas blues" magnified.
Second, please remember that there will be lots of time to share stories. In fact, you might get a better story, if you wait a while. There will be many questions which will be relatively easy to answer; questions about food, driving, accommodations, construction work. However, even these simple questions can bring about a strong emotional response from the team member. Please don't be surprised if this happens, and be patient. It is a normal part of processing the enormous amount of information a team member has taken in over the last month (they did visit a new world after all!)
Third, fatigue is a reality. There is jet lag, and the emotional impact of having spent a month in constant service and constant relationship building. Please allow team members time to sleep, time to 'chill', and time to be alone. We know you've missed them, but some team members may require more time by themselves than you are used to seeing them take. If you want to make them really happy - find out what they were craving while they were in Ghana and find it for them! In our discussions we've covered topics ranging from favorite doughnut to favorite places to drive. We don't want to belabour this point, so we'll close with this simple suggestion: Recall times when you or friends have experienced things like the post-Christmas blues, baby blues, the sadness of a close friend leaving.... and remember that for the next while the team members will need your patience as they adjust to being home.
A last word regarding our time of de-briefing before we head home. You might expect a call after we settle in at our de-brief location. Please don’t. Unless you have been on a project like this, it is very difficult to explain how important the process of closing the mission is. It is not something you can do “in the field” and unless it is done properly, re-entry into Canadian life can be tougher than necessary. To do this – we need the team to focus, and keeping that focus is hard enough once we arrive in Canada.
The debrief period between the in country work and arriving home is a crucial part of processing the experience. This requires the total focus of the team. Our experience has shown us more than once that a phone call home magnifies the sense of homesickness and emotionally removes the team member from the debriefing process. They really need this "time in between" to re-enter well. Everyone on the team and at home will benefit. Don't worry - you'll see them very soon!!!
So, we ask you to respect the process for the sake of your family member or friend, and those of you who are driving to pick up team members – please do not arrive before 2:30pm on Thursday…thanks.
Now – for some fun stuff… we did an exercise tonight as part of our in-country de-brief……we asked the team to respond to a “finish the sentence” test…..here are some of the results. Some are funny – some profound.
…if just one person cares, you can change a life. (Darice)
…that the coldest it gets here is about 12 celcius. (Hayley)
…community is a verb. (Rachel)
…traffic lights are only a suggestion. (Mikaela)
…you can “shake your body to the Lord.” (Jennine)
…church music here is loud enough for heaven to hear it! (Melissa)
…if it looks like chicken and smells like chicken….it’s probably fish! (numerous team members)
…that less than a kilometer from where I will sleep tonight, someone will go to bed hungry. (Tania)
…that putting one person through school here can change as many as 400 lives! (Daryl)
…that two paved lanes can handle 4 lanes of traffic! (Chelsey)
…2 Ghanaians can beat 18 Obruni (white Canadians) on the soccer field :( (Hope)
…you can develop a fear of spiders – overnight!...if you find you are sleeping with one. (Jack)
…if you spend a month learning a song on the guitar, it will take a Ghanaian 10 minutes. (Steve and Jack)
…10 year olds in Ghana can speak 5 languages – fluently!
…speedometer?? What speedometer!!? (Sara)
…that yellow eyes can mean Malaria (Megan)
…and…that you can get up at 4am, do a full day’s work mixing concrete, with a Malaria headache that almost leaves you senseless – and still smile at your workmates. (Isaac)
…you can eat the whole crab, shell and all. (Kim)
…that those hot peppers are so good going in, but really hurt coming out. (Tania)
…that you really can cut your lawn with a machete. (Daryl)
…that my friend Stephen (Ghanaian) has 13 siblings, but only knows the names of 2 of them. Megan)
…that stress is in your head. (Isaac)
…that traffic jams are convenient if you have shopping to do.
…and, if you drive around long enough, eventually, what you are looking for will come to your window. (Tania)
…Ghanaians are aware that we (in the west) can help them (Africa), but we don’t choose to. Alexas)
…eve n though the people have so little, their faith is so strong. (Jack)
…families of 400 people and more, actually stay in contact with each other. (Steve)
…education in Ghana is a privilege, not a right. (Don)
…the scarier a big Ghanaian looks, the bigger the smile when you wave at them.
…everyone in the community looks after the children. (Hope)
…if you wake up breathing, it’s a good day. (Sara)
…a Ghanaian home is not restricted to a building. (Jennine)
…people don’t choose “favourites” in Ghana. (Melissa)
…Alexas will fold your clothes if you leave them long enough. (Mikaela)
…it took ½ an hour for Megan and Rachel to agree on soap placement. (Melissa)
…you should never get on the bus until Daryl is done talking. (Hope)
…there really is a “First Canadian Bank of Ghana and Cup of God’s Eternal Blessing Coffee Shop International.” (Daryl is the proprietor)
…that no matter how much you miss your family and want to see them, that it still hurts to leave here. (Hayley)
See you all when we get home.
PS - if you are hoping to pick up team members and you are NOT one of the scheduled drivers, please contact Jason for instructions....


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Quick Ghana update Aug 2nd.


Daryl asked me to post that he will be posting important re-entry information for parents and friends on monday, this will be the last post from Ghana. Feel free to comment and the messages will get read after they are home. Further details on pickup etc will be coming before Thurs. Thanks to all the folks supporting and your comments, it is extremely important and critical to the success of the mission.

Have a great day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 27th Update

Hi Folks at home, Daryl here….. sorry this has taken a while. We have been sitting around, soaking up the sun, relaxing in the waves, etc…..and really could not be bothered to get to the internet café…….NOT!! It’s been a really busy week, and transport into town to get to the café has been tough…..not to mention just finding the time.

The team is well….I was so impressed with them on Thursday when they all just dug in and moved 900 blocks up the stairs……wow – the carpenter working with us kept looking at Samuel and asking…”Where did you get these people?” The masons (ODK and Atta) are having fun, because the amount of material they can receive is allowing them to race against themselves and see how many block they can lay in a day….so far their best is about 245 between the two of them….pretty impressive.

Below you will find posts that begin the evening of the 20th and additions that came periodically over the week… just read from the top down. The last entry was made today (July 27th in the morning)

I do want to make a comment about this last week and preparing to go home. The last week is always hard…people are tired and feeling a bit emotionally burnt out. Thoughts of home can be motivating and also destructive. The more you talk about home, the harder it is to focus on the task we have….so I have a request. Please avoid or limit phrases like…..”Can’t wait to see you.”, “The pizza will be waiting…” etc…. Encouragement to stay focused and on task – “I’m proud of you.” “Keep up the great work….” Etc….those are very helpful. We can’t afford for them to get seriously homesick now.

I will write some suggestions about helping the team re-enter Canadian life later this week. Thanks for your understanding. Blessings to you all.



Hey Nadia!
This is Paul your Ghanaian friend writing to say hi to everybody back home. I’m having fun with everyone here in Kokrobite. It’s a real joy for me to have met a couple of new wonderful friends once again. I’m really happy for having them around me and really wish they stay forever and let’s have fun together.
Hey you Nadia, what’s going on with you, I was expecting you and you never shown up, do hope you are doing well, you should be busy now with work since you are on holidays. Workhard for it’s good to work but don’t over work but break and have some fun. How is school and when are you going back to school, you still have some couple of years left, finish hard baby for I’m with you in Prayers. May the good Lord bless you and direct you in whatever you do. You owe me because you did not reply my last e-mail. Do say a prayer and say one for me.
And you Sarah, it has been a longtime, how is your husband and family life like, I’m happy for you guys for that was such an amazing thing to have happened to you. I’m really proud of you like wise everyone else in Ghana. I wish you guys a happy marriage and a sustainable one of course. I pray and hope the good Lord may show his mercy and love to you guys and may you continue to serve Him in truth and in pure heart. May the Lord bless your womb and you shall multiply and fill the earth. Say hello to Nathan and everyone around you, take care and be bless in the Lord. Do hope to see you next time around. Miss you all and love everyone. Bye.

Hey everyone! Its Haley…
I can’t believe you guys saw harry potter!!! Was it good??? If devin thought it was creepy then its probably awesome :P still no posts from my brothers… how bought I take back the kushkas I bought for you?? :( would that make you talk to me?? believe it or not… in africa, I don’t like fish lol (will explain when I get back :P) OH Joanna.. love how me and sara are a SIDE NOTE in your post. Do we not get a separate shout out?? Im gonna beat you up when we get back… MOM as soon as they read about the spicy fries and cotton candy ice cream Don was like ooohhhh that sounds so good lol :D i miss home :P and DUH you miss my cleaning abilities cuz I’m AMAZING!! I miss being called a loser, as soon as steph said that I felt all warm and fuzzy, cuz I’m weird like that :D
ZACK. I can’t believe that adam and max are picking up… lol that’s just weird. AND your reading a book!!! What book?? Home is just falling apart without me! I should come back to set things straight :P tell adam I give him a high five though lol and can’t wait to see his washboard abs when I get back ;)
Zack, you can’t just say stuff isn’t going well at home… that just bugs me. you know I hate that and I can’t be there to make you feel better or help you out!! Your killing me here babe. Stop it.
I am so excited for the book <3 you have no idea. oh and for the spelling thing… type your thing in word first and spell check it then paste it onto the blog lol
So glad people have been writing to me!! those who haven’t, I’m not getting you anything!!!
I miss you all <3 love you all <3 can’t wait to come back and see you <3
(zack <3 nine months in four days <3 probly wont be able to post til after so love you <3)

Hey Its Chelsey…<3
So I just heard from you all and I’m sure I shouldn’t be writing this soon but oh well. Like I said I was forgetting something before. Im very very sorry but Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! Hope you two had a good day and I swear I didn’t forget I just always forget to write things on here!! And this blog will be posted like 2 weeks after. Love yous<3 oxox. Did you read how many blocks we have moved!! Crazy but trust me it defiantly feels like it. The soreness has defiantly gone away now that we are on our third week. Its weird that next week is our last work week. So today me and megan were sent to finish carrying the blocks from outside of the wall to inside. The pile of rocks is like a hotel for every creepy and crawly animal possible!! There are what we call snizards (half snake and lizard) normally there are a bunch of little once but today we found a big one. Many MANY spiders and today we found two huge ones. Like baby tarantulas I swear lol. And I had one of those climb up my leg, creepy!! And then one was on my neck but it was a little smaller. At first I thought it was my hair but nope. And I found my second small scorpion and had to kill it. There neat to see but you gotta kill them so they don’t get aaway and pop up on you again. So me and meg had some laughs. Meg also found a big centipede and when I came out she was laughing and freaking telling me to look under a block. It was funny. We got pictures of it. Im glad everything is still good at home. mom----REZ!?!? Yes or noo. Or is there a reason your not telling me. If no start looking for cheap apartments lol and I hope you are handeling everything else well too….And because you love me so much can you do me a huge favour and get an oil change on my car. You can use my money obviously or I will pay you when I get home. I just know my car defiantly needed one and just in case you have been secretly driving it. Hey to dad. Glad to see you have started the house. Its going to be weird seeing it a different colour after almost 19 years of seeing it white. Its not going to be the white house across from the park anymore. I didn’t know you were going to start it yet but hope its all going well and I’m sure it will look great when I get back.. any help or are you by yourself? You always do a good job anyway. Plus remember Karli is there and if she wants to be a strong as me when I get back then she better start some hard physical labour too. Maybe I’ll be able to win some fights now. Ha-ha jokes. I always win :P Hey Grubby!!! Love you and miss you a lot. Miss talking to you…I know you would probably say whatever but I do miss you!! Hope all is well with everything. Hey to Owen. Glad to finally here from you. No we haven’t got your messages but I hope you have figured it out now. Anything new or exciting in Colborne?? It is very hot now too, well today was. Got my first tan haha. Glad to see your still givin’r I guess lol. Must have been a fun night and a “wonderful” morning haha. But can’t wait to see you and everyone else. Ghana is good as expected and very different. Miss Canada… But hopefully I can write another one before this goes up but if not I will talk to you all soon. Much love to Wawa and Colborne!! Miss yous....xoxoxoxo Chels<3 ;)

Hey its Melissa and you know mom hard boiled eggs will never sound yummy nor will bananas :((EWWW!!!) yet guess what I wake up every other morning to…:O… glad things are going well at home and I’m really hoping the pool is nice, warm and blue for me when I get back. Oh btw I’m in love with deep fried beef now so uncle harry and uncle Pete should be very impressed with that-not the deep frying I know that’s not too healthy but then again neither is the yummy donuts we’ve been having for breakfast some days either(yes mark be jealous).
Well I must say these last couple days I have really missed both family and friends. So I decided when I come home I’m spending one full day at home-impressive and surprising I know-and then I’ll go to friends the next day. Oh mom if you see Kristina tell her I bought her a necklace and she better like it!! Also if you see Mitch or James ask them if they want anything while I’m here they’ll prob say no but that’s ok I'll just buy them kushkas(a very entertaining game involving 2 balls that bounce together in your hand to make noise and music while being challenging to grab both balls(I plan to teach you when I get home)
So we played soccer against another school and again lost…we need to practice. It was very depressing though when the headmaster said they had been saving money for four years and us giving them a set of jerseys and 2 soccer balls was amazing for them. Also we had a children’s game night. It was lots of fun and the children are adorable.
I bet you will never guess what I found today…the ability to watch the OC which I happen to be doing now. One of our Ghanaian cooks, Regina, loves the show too. Hehe first season marathon! Turns out I’m not the only fan. Btw I’m still wondering about that puppy and also I want to go shopping when I get home and see harry potter… :)
So mark and dad how did your birthdays go? Are you behaving yourselves and doing ALL the HARD WORK I normally do around the house? See it’s hard being me haha. I miss molson :( and lucky and sauny and pep and whicky and yes even crazy miki(those creepy eyes staring at you from everywhere really seem important when they’re not there anymore:(). Are the renovations all done? You guys better not have used the shower :|! Are there any funny stories that have happened that you guys would like to enlighten me with? People seem to think you guys are funny for some reason…dunno why either I guess they are crazy. And thank you for giving out the blog I would love to hear from other people. Too bad I forgot to tell anybody but in a way I am happy because I’m not sure what some of my friends would say…dad if they do don’t read :P kidding.
Well anyways love you guys so much and miss you,
Melissa :) <3

Hey Jas, good job on your post… it was nice and long. And Thank you Jaymie and Matt I really like hearing from you, so make sure you write me from Nanny and Poppa’s to let me know that you have not drowned in the creek or been carried away by mosquitoes! You should be proud of your mom she is putting the 17 year olds to shame by carrying a tonne more blocks up the stairs then them … I have to keep this short because it is late and I am in the dining room but I send my love to you all, I will be home b4 u no it! Hope sends her love to you as well and I want to thank Nod for the shout-out. Wish you were all here, Kim
Ps … I am wondering who is wearing my underwear too? Something you want to tell me? and how did the yard sale go? Am I coming home to any possessions?

Hey there it’s Tania,

I received your post Megan. I’m glad to hear that the wedding went well and that the boys are doing well also! I miss all the kids so much! Nathaniel must be saying so much now! I hope that Kieran and Nathaniel are getting along well. I have been writing a journal every night for Cameron to read when we get home, let him know for me. Tell him that I miss him and I think about him every day!
Mom and Dad, I received your posts. I can’t believe your adding to your stroller collection!! Eight isn’t enough!?! I’m glad to hear from Owen and Bril, tell them that I miss them and I have some gifts for them when I get home. Dad, no I’m not sleeping at night. The malaria pills are causing crazy dreams all night long! The food is good for the most part. Snails are my least favorite meat, but I haven’t had bush rat yet (that’s next week). Today I had a fishy casserole complete with bones and eye balls! Over all the food is not bad, some of it I plan to make when we get home!!! Yes, my pipes are massive! You may be able to out run me but I can now bench press you. LOL!
Amber and Kaleb, I miss you guys too especially Kaleb…wink, wink. Sorry to hear about your car. Hope all is better now. I have seen so much here I have so much to tell you two when I get home.
It’s raining here today. I hear it’s doing that at home also. We did have a few nice days which allowed us to do the “tourist” thing. We went to the beach the waves rocked! We also went to Cape Coast where we did a rainforest canopy walk 140 feet in the air! I did it, I cried, but I did it! We also went to St. George’s slave castle. I can’t comprehend the horror these people went through! I felt sick to my stomach and embarrassed that the slave trade even occurred. What else blows my mind is that the people here where rapped beaten and stolen from their homeland, forced into slavery and yet have no anger or animosity over any of it! These people are amazing.
Well I better get going I hope I’m not forgetting anyone. Oh, Pastor Judy hello, I hope you are well. Grandma, I finished the book and I really liked it. Now I really am going. TTYL Tania xoxo

P.S. Hi Zack <3

AHMED Darcie talks about you all the time! It’s making me sick!!!LOL!!

Hey everyone its Darcie,

Hope you all are doing well and keeping busy. Having some great and bright sunshine, we get it sometimes mostly just cloud cover and some showers. So yesterday was a very busy day… we woke up and did some work on the compound until lunch. Then we got ready for another football game, and since I am in Africa I will us it by the name that they call it here. We drove up to the school and all of the kids were there and were to watch us omg!!! There had to been about 2-300 kids there watching us or at least it felt like it. But I still played… I had this one girl come up to me “are you going to play? I don’t think so you run and you just fall over, you are too big to play” I said I would do my best…we lost 2-3 a way better improvement from last time. After the game the girl found me and said “okay okay you can play” lol so does that mean I have skills? What else….I guess shout outs…mom..Thank you for letting me know about my ticket and thank you for getting it for me! and give a great big hug to bear for me I miss him and it almost made me cry thinking about him running to you, also tell Carissa about her part in the blog if she doesn’t read it. Carissa…keep your promise you know what I am talking about. Whit …all I can say is I am still jealous. Ang…you better be still hangings in there haven’t heard from you and I hope your date went well you still need to fill me in on that. Heather….how is Brett working out, is he driving you crazy yet? Missing me lol? Ahmed…you should read some of the other peoples blogs some wrote messages for you. And it is spelt like this I…..L.O.V.E……..Y.O.U. I don’t think it is that hard. I love you baby miss you so much and I talk about you all the time lol. Can’t wait to give you a call when I am back in the country so I can hear that voice of yours. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.

Hi Everyone, Hope here. Feeling emotional today, so I’ll try not to leak all over you. Jas, you made us all laugh the most last night. Nadia and Sarah, are there any other Stogryn’s, Veit’s, or Ferguson’s out there? Could you help them figure out how to write to us? (Nathan too!!) By the way Sarah, you wrote exactly the right thing, one could think you had been here before with us. (hehe). Any chance Penny and Lawrence could set up a group blog from St Paul’s. I guess my message is that it is not enough to just follow us on the blog. We like to hear from our family and friends. Otherwise, every thing is fine. Nathan, I am carrying on your tradition of practical jokes…..don’t tell Patrick it was me……Comfort is sewing up a storm and loving every minute of it. Oh, and Elmina slave castle was amazing (and disturbing)…The Portugese and Dutch loved their low doorways and steep stairs. Emma is still asking hard Questions and he told us last night he will start on his masters in September. We are so proud of him we could bust. Somebody tell Becky and Dillon I said Hi and to please give all my Doggies an extra hug. I miss them all. A special note to the Otter clan….We are delighted to report Sara has fallen in love with a Ghanaian named Bob. Picture to follow. We haven’t set a bride price for her yet. Sorry if this all sounds like gibberish to those of you who haven’t been here. Everybody say an extra prayer for us today, you never know when we will.
Love Hope

Dear Ahmed I personally think that you should read over what a guy named Zach has posted and learn from him. Darcie loves you and misses you very much and is not getting much of any emotions back and I think it is making her sad. She talks about you all the time and you sound like a great guy and a perfect match for her personality and I know it would mean a lot to her to get a nice message from you.

Hey its Lex!
Hope all is well on the home front! and just to clear this up we never actually met Obama- you nerrrds…and I quote “he came to Ghana and all the little kids were running out yelling Obama, Obama at a-helicopter :P” that’s partially what made it so funny…but yeah he didn’t come to Kokrobitey and personally introduce himself to us! But it would have been quite the story.
We have had quite the week..we moved 900 blocks before 11:35am one day:) girl power…lol something that runs in the fam I guess:) We have been making a lot of progress on the compound and you can actually see the difference!
We went to Borthianor yesterday a village about 10 mins from here and played soccer against school kid’s ..once again we got killed!.. I never knew it would be so much fun getting my butt kicked my nine year olds for the second time in 3 weeks! And the audience was so much bigger this time. We had children’s games night at the church last night(Friday) which was super fun! our team gave the kids some stickers and most of the children didn’t know what they were, sad yet cute. Today (Saturday) we picked up garbage in the town with local Ghanaians from the church – it was pretty interesting if that’s the way to describe it..lol and we picked up a lot but there is still so much more because there isn’t actual garbage cans. We have been keeping really busy around here and time is going way to fast..home in 12days leaving Africa in 10! I am going to be so sad I have met some really amazing people..Daniel (my African dad) Edmund,Regina,Alfred,Mary,Gifty,Samuel,Theodica,Comfort,Joshua,Kimbell&baby Israel..are all people who we have been living with the whole time! So it is seriously going to kill me to leave them! Howevs, I do miss you guys and I hope your all taking care! [Daniz, were in Canada on the 5th and home on the 6th hopefully your down on the 7th!!!! cause I love you! Thanks for everything - what I wanted you to print off was my signature pages but then I realized mom would have to sign them so duh on my behalf| can you make sure she made me an appoint at the bank? and thanks again you’re the best!.. I don’t know if I've wrote cause we haven’t got updates yet but whatev…I give up on that!] I love it here but Canadian home is slowly creeping up..and we have a long day at Church tomorrow so I got to go! See you all next week …I guess! Love ya too much..Peace out homies!
Ps. Aunt Dawn & Gram I know you have accounts lol so where’s the messages! Love you! And the reason I said next week is cause I know this won’t be posted until Monday! Have a good one!

Hey its Chelsey again.
Just adding quickly what we did this week in addition to my first blog. So this is 5 days after my first blog. We had kids night on Friday and played a lot of games with the local children at the church. It was a lot of fun!! All the kids are cute as always. I met this little girl named Charity. We stayed beside me all night. We also go to play soccer that day in a local village. They obviously beat us again but it was a really fun game. Made me feel at home. It was a really hot day. It was like three schools came to watch, so it was very intimidating but I think we did good. We did the garbage cleanup today in the village. We started around eight and the church helped. By the end we had local kids asking for gloves and joining in to, so that was really nice to see. Two little children around 5 years old carrying a garbage bag around for us so it was really cute. Met some more friends too and the village got to see us working which was also good. The garbage on the sides of the road is unbelievable so it was good to help. The weather is still nice and we actually moved 900 blocks before 1130 on Thursday morning so I would say we are doing amazing. And we are all looking amazing too hahaha lots of muscles!! :P Its nice to see the finished project and we are doing so good that we might even be done 2 day. s ahead of schedule so we have more time for other projects which is really good. But I think that’s it for now. Because I already said hey in my first blog and everything ill just say a quick hey again and everything here is still amazing. Times almost up though which is sad because it’s amazing here. The people are wonderful! But I can’t wait to hear from you all soon. Hope everything is still good and love you all loads as always. You know who you are. Family and friends!! Love you.. Chelsey <3 xoxoxooxo

Hi everybody, its Don.

Hope all is well at home. Cameron and Kieran I miss you both and Mom and I will be home soon. We are very busy here but we are getting lots of work done. In one day we moved 900 blocks which is 36000 pounds of bricks and that was before lunch. The team threw me an awesome birthday surprise party. It was very cool. They made balloons cake and cupcakes. The cake was amazing and the team made me feel very special on my birthday . Hope this message finds everyone well at home Tania and I love the posts we receive keep them coming. Give the boys a big hug and kiss from us and tell them that we will be home soon. I will try and write again before then. Much love from Africa Don

Hey all, Jack here…
Hah Jeff boss good to hear from yah, lookin forward to hanging out with yah man and sharing some stories. I hope everything is well with yah and you’re keeping Dad updated. I haven’t heard from him in yet, but we haven’t had updates in a while. Life is good here, really enjoying myself and time has really flown, I think you’ll enjoy some stories I got for yah. Joey thanks for the shout out boss, great to hear from yah man (although keep your stories to yourself, lol ill be back in a week.) Tell the guys I say hey and missing Colborne and everything that goes with it, but I’m also quite enjoying myself. I’m hoping I’ll have a surprise for everyone. Hey Dad if you’re reading this I hope all is great with yah and the two idiots, I actually kinda miss them. Hah I can’t wait to sit with yah and tell you all about it. If you can, Tell Shaun I said happy late birthday and hope it was great for him. But yah, miss ya all…can’t wait to get back to Colborne. Owe, make sure everyone’s ready for my glorious return, lmao. Alright see yah…

PS ohh and Dar, hah haven’t forgot about yah, I hope everything is great with the family and with you. Send my love to everyone and it’d be nice to hear from you… hah that’s it.
PPS oh I’m almost out of salt

Hey it's Meg - hitting the home stretch now which is nuts, time fly’s really. I have no idea what I wrote in my last blog but I guess I’ll brief it - we went to the market last week and I only got ripped off once which is great news… I’m getting good at the whole bargaining thing, the power really does go out every other day, it been sunny for about a week now - NO RAIN ! which is a bonus & then some … went to Bortianor to play soccer (football) and it was really fun - this guy came over with two drums pointed at me and said “you play!” it was really embarrassing cause as we all know I have no musical talent whatsoever … but I got a video of it so you’ll be able to see the embarrassing moment ! On Friday it was children’s night at the church and it was an absolute blast – all the kids had so much fun laughed hysterically playing games and what not with thee “Obruny” we did an environmental clean up today and walked around the village picking up garbage, it’s sad because there is so much & there is so much we weren’t allowed to pick up because it’s dangerous, we’ve done lots and I’m having a blast, the last few days I really did not feel so hot cause I had a pounding head ache that wouldn’t go away it was unstoppable ! but 3 days later here I am happy and excited that I’m not going to be sick for the last week we are here … making lots of friends! Went to church today and you gotta love church in Ghana “HOW MANY OF YOU CANADIANS HAVE EVER SHOUTED TO THE LORD!? WELLL SHOUT TO THE LORD - AND SHAKE YOUR BODDDYYY FOR THE LORD!”… ( Alexas explained about Barack I believe! .. hilarious) Mmmm... Hey mom & fam – Isaac your message was hilarious got a kick outta it – Eliza I’ll try for a dress if we get to go back to the market, please don’t get your hopes up but I’ll try and use those bargaining skills - we did of course get you something small already – Blake glad you have some one to teach you the ropes on a computer (Thanks Tara, and p.s. of course I remember you ! It' not like I forgot you in a day, I also know you have been to Africa, animals I believe ? I will show you pics & say hi to the villagers) Blake we do have a date it’s to see HARRY POTTER! Hope you’re as excited as I am, love you see you in 10 days :) … COLBORNE – not too much longer till we get home - hope you’re not having too much fun without us love you guys & I’ll talk to you soon …… ps. You all know what time it is when we get home? I hope so … (ps.dad how’s the lap top?) (pps only 500 more blocks!! Woo hoo)

Hey, it’s Rachel.
Though we still have a week+ left, I am confident that this has been one of, if not the, fastest month in my life. There have been days with quite a bit of down time, which is essential, and days with only a moment’s rest. Now that we’re down to the countdown, I am trying to soak in as many moments as I can---and appreciate the experience they give me…I am afraid I will go home and wish I could go to ‘that place’ for “just one more time!”. This week or so has been good for those experiences, as the other weeks have been. We worked with the children in the Kokrobite church on a games night (super good time, despite our fatigue going in to the evening) on Friday, and on Saturday morning for a couple hours we stretched on some latex gloves and picked up litter on the side of the road throughout the village. Though we picked a good trunk’s worth of garbage bags, there is enough trash here to sustain a lifetime of garbage picking---one of the heartbreaking aspects of Africa. On Saturday afternoon, a young local friend, Joshua, led Daryl, Jennine and I to his home. This meant we walked in, over, and through the homes and lives of the civilians here in Kokrobite, and saw how people really live here. It’s hard to explain in writing what it was like---kind of like a giant dirt backyard, with houses ranging in quality and stability throughout. From our perspective, we don’t see any borders of one “property” from another. When Daryl asked Joshua where his home was, he did a side-to-side motion with his hand and said “this is my home”---a gesture to show that the 2 or 3 structures surrounding him housed him and most likely the majority of his extended family, if not more. Seeing these living conditions adds a whole different level of my perception of understanding and appreciating the quality of the lives of those here in Ghana. Anyway---that’s it for now. (I’m late to my date of exchanging money to the Canadian Bank of Ghana---aka, Daryl.) Can’t wait to hear from everybody—and I’ll see you in 11 days! (Have a fruit salad ready for me!!!) Hope you’re all doing well. –Rachel.

KIM - So time is flying like it always does here in Ghana and we are doing amazing work on the construction site. Today (Friday July 24th) we have another soccer game … it’s my plan to twist my ankle while doing concrete this morning so that I don’t have to play (but don’t tell) … but seriously this soccer playing thing is the hardest thing we do…. I keep picturing myself spontaneously combusting! Oh well as always we will get though the hard stuff as a team. Any way I should not complain because this morning is concrete and I Love concrete!!! Really I do! And then tonight we have a games night that will be a lot like youth group, Carla I wish you were here we would rock Kokrobite! I hope your move went smoothly I can’t wait to see the new place.
I miss you all like crazy! Dawn have you picked a date for Gabriel’s party? Jas have you got the details on the cottage? Girls have we figured out a time / location for the 15th? I know the last week and a bit will be gone before I know it so pray that I can make the most of the time I have left and I will see you on the other side of the ocean. <3 k

Hey its Sara
I don’t wanna leave.
Hi mom and dad. Yes we did play soccer two games already we obviously lost both. These kids are terrifyingly intense. We have been to the beach a couple of times, the waves are huge and it is always so much fun. So much work has been done that we will be probably done earlier than planned. YAY! How’s the house coming along? We went to a canopy walk and I almost cried it was so high and we walked across a rope ladder which was very shaky no help from Isaac. So hey family, love you all miss you but I can wait until I come home.
To AHMED I think for both you and Darcie’s sake you should take some lesson of blog postings from Zack.
To Zack ha-ha hey buddy we always get a good chuckle out of your blogs but come on Haley isn’t the only one here!!!
Alright I am out for now thanks for your blogs posts, and prayers.

Hey everyone, this is amazingly good looking and humble Isaac (everyone cheers from lack of hearing from me), today I am going on a pretty much all day taxi ride with George just to hang out and suchly, hope I have fun. I am writing waiting for him to show up so you know where I am coming from. Hope your all good at home, one week left, kinda ready to be home, think I hear George….

I am doing ok and feeling fine, nope wasn’t George, and other than my revelation that this is my last time to Ghana I am mostly stable lol. Don’t know what much to say and my legs are killing me so kinda hard to think through, I ran up and down stairs all day Thursday with blocks, then did a half day work and two soccer matches Friday, then a half day environmental pick up on Saturday dancing church Sunday and swimming against hard undertow Sunday evening (and went a whole 50’ on a body surfed wave WOOT), essentially every muscle in my legs is constantly aching so much that it’s dangerous getting in and out of my top bunk, never had this much and such wide spread pain anywhere, k enough whining.

How are all you at home, I want to know, Nadia, Esi, Nate, Sarah, Kelly, Emma all of you, and Nadia where are Aunt Tracy and Josh, please accost them, also where are my grandparents!!!???, maybe it’s all of you that have fallen off the face of the earth and not myself.
Nadia I will have you know that Jack is taking care of his duties well enough and the license it taped to the wall in our room, also the Malta is spectacular and I have had numerous bottles this trip, Mmmmmmmm, k well I have talked myself out, sorry to all of you who don’t know me that I put you through all this, you really didn’t have to read it, anyway, Nadia if you could just check on Emma for me that’d be great and all of you write lots, Zack if your reading this I will have you know that the more you write the farther toward the floor people fall, please write as much as you can, (<3), anyway, I think I am done now and see you all in 10 days or so, Love life and Laughter to all.
1Corinth 13:7

Picture update July 27th!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 23rd quick update.

Hello home!!  Can't get a blog post up until the weekend probably, but wanted to get a short note out today.

The team gets stronger every day. Today, in less then 4 hours we moved over 900 blocks up to the level we are working on. That is a record. The Ghanains who work with us kept stopping and commenting in amazement. They could not believe it. The twm was really pumped afterwards, they could hardly believe it themselves.

Don, Steve and Daryl had a formal meeting with the chief of the village today. What a cool experience to observe the ancient customs and protocol of greeting the local "stool" (seat of power)

One special request for prayer. On the way to meet the chief, Daniel mentioned that the strange weather has really affected the fishing. We have watched the fishing boats return from the sea, and many are coming in empty after a day's work on the ocean. Not good for a fish based economy and food-source. Please pray that their needs would be met. And for a return of the fish.

Thanks all.

Have a great day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

July 16th update & Pics

Hi Followers of the Ghana Team blog Daryl wanted be to note that there power is out from 8am to 6pm every day but weekends. They are repairing the lines in the village, so this means that they are limited to evening to do anything requiring power. No big deal, just slows things down.

You will notice that I have posted 4 new sections here in order they where written.
Have fun, support the team with your comments and prayers