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


Answer to some questions

Hi Folks - me again (Daryl)

just to answer a couple of questions before I get kicked off the internet - there is a line up here.

1) yes the rains stopped....for now, but the damage is pretty exptensive in some areas. On the way through the villages to the main road we pass through Bortianor, and the rain has been so heavy that 4 days after it stopped (today) there is still a stream of water running out of the hills washing away the road. They repair it 24 hours with rocks and sand bags trying to stopp the flow and every day more of the road disappears....but - they are such a resiliant people.......

2) the berm we built last year saved the entrance to the YFC centre. the damage in the photo begins south of where our trench ends - in short, our repair last year did exactly what we expected and Ghana YFC is thrilled because once they make it up the road (a whole different story - the ruts are two feet deep in places!) they can get into the compound. Not everyone on the road can do that. Well done 2008 team!! Our berm and the ditch we filled with big rocks worked like a charm...

3) the Obama vists just screwed up traffic....but there was some exciement for sure....

4) the Michael Jackson thing.....also screwed up traffic - but for different reasons.....and we here his name in evry other conversation...a little surreal for sure.

More next week I hope. Sorry for the delays - TIA :)


July 16th updates

Hi folks, it’s Daryl.
It has been a bit tough to get on-line the last while, but we are back. Thank you to all who write to the team, it is fun to hear the news and encouragement from home. I have sent posts for in three sections – Jason will probably post them in order from oldest to newest so that they stay in the right order on the blog…. There is lot’s to tell.
The team is well, and they are working very hard. I pulled my back out a bit on Tuesday, so did light duty yesterday – and today some admin stuff. Here are some stat’s for those who want them…
We have moved over 1500 blocks up to the second level of the building since we started. A good mason is expected to lay 100 block per day – our two masons are laying 110 to 120 per day each, because the team can feed them material so fast. The head mason ODK, who we have worked with for years, said to Daniel Dzunu a couple of days ago, “If all the teams that have ever come here were as dedicated as the Canadians, this project would have been done years ago.” A high compliment from a man who is usually pretty silent. So – do the math…..they are laying about 220 to 240 blocks per day and we have 12 or so work days left…..and only 750 blocks ready to use (make that 735 – they just laid 15 more!!) Therefore, as long as the team can lift and we have money, we will buy blocks and cement and feed the masons what they love most……and, if all goes well we will complete one entire phase, which will be twice to three times what was expected. You can be very proud of these young Canadians – I know that I am. I would love to see a well funded team here once a year and just get this project done….we will see what God has in mind.
All of the team are well for the most part – no serious mishaps or injuries, in fact some of them are looking pretty trim right now! :)
I am going to send a few pics and try a video as well by early next week..
There is more news from kids below – both about the project and notes to home, etc.... Again I remind you all that all your comments can be read around the world so please keep this in mind as you write.
Continue to keep us in your prayers – it is the strength of God that keeps this going and we are very aware of that. Each day we see evidence of God in our work, the amount we get done, the conversations we have in the village and the way in which this team improves as a family each day. And….we don’t take that for granted.
Thanks all.
Nti fafa na mi (Peace be unto you in Ewe)
from Ghana - Daryl

July 14th updates

Hi from Hope! Don’t know that I have too much to report except everything is fine. We have had a good experience with the American team. We will, however, be glad to be back to “just us” and our Ghanaian support staff tomorrow. I’ve lost track of how many blocks we have moved and how many headpans of sand and how many buckets of water. We have learned the Ga word for Bucket (groga) and Pull (blamo-I think that sounds like a batman word every time I hear it. We hear it a lot, since we have to pull all the sand and water upstairs with our Canadian pulley (with Ghanaian improvements). We have had a couple of great visits with Emma. Paul and Andrews came to see us today. ODK asked “Where is Nadia?” When I told him she was home earning money for school, he said “I wish I was seeing her here today” (You can cry here now, Nad) We went to Dan and Betty’s new church on Sunday. It is much bigger and only has half walls and a roof. I love worshiping that way. It was just as loud, but the open walls helped a lot. Beulah and Philmore are still cute and Juanita’s family is beautiful of course! The whole team got up and danced. It was fun!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had fufu for lunch today. We got to help pound it. Isaac was so excited, he had 3 helpings. Everybody liked it. For breakfast we had millet porridge. I was the only one that liked. I will get off now. Megan had an exciting day and wants to tell you all about it. God Bless.

Hey Gang, Megan here, hope your all doing well. Long time since I have posted a blog and I have lots to talk about – went and swam in the ocean on our first sunny day since we have been here ! It was great, definitely salty – like actually tastes like real salt which I was not expecting, burns the throat and the eyes after a while – but the waves are so huge that I didn’t care at all..
I went to my first Ghanaian church service on Sunday and it was awesome- there’s drums, guitars, microphones, clapping, dancing, singing –the whole nine yards, it was great - can’t wait to go this Sunday. The American team showed up on Sunday night and there’s something like 45 of us staying in the compound right now – meal time is definitely crowded - they brought a projector with them and last night some of us watched “The Nativity Story” in the village. It was so cooooool, sitting on dirt with all these Ghanaian children & adults who are fascinated by this big screen movie. There was a little girl sitting next to me and she was staring at me for the longest time, with these big wide bug eyes and eventually she just reach over with her cute little hand and pushed my bangs out of my face. Her name was Elaina and it was adorable! Everybody in the crowd clapped when Jesus was born!! which sent chills up my spine - when Mary was having her baby in the movie a lady was yelling “push Mary”, last night was definitely one of the best nights so far.
This morning I got to travel to a nearby village called Lagoma* And work with two nurses at a well baby clinic, it’s really hard to describe this experience over the internet cause I need to show you pictures, at first I was afraid to take pictures but I asked the nurse and she said it was a good thing to take pictures because the mothers like it, and it encourages them to come back next time – because they like getting their picture taken and it might happen again. I got some good shots and I can not wait to tell you how they weigh their babies – it is so different. I didn’t get to give needles, mostly I wrote stuff down and gave the babies medicine. … I’m still having fun and I have much more to talk about, I’m keeping a journal so I’ll be able to remember everything. I love it here, and the food is still pretty good – can not wait to eat CHEESE when I get home & see everyone. Tell Blake to write me already & Danae I will be emailing you personally with all my information, look for it in hotmail from Daryl Stogryn – we have to do it via email cause I have to give you personal info … thanks a lot for doing this .. tell every one -I say hey & hey mom not sick yet, and hope your starting to miss us already how’d coffee go with you know who? (Blake and fam if your reading this hope ur doing good talk to you guys soon, t-3weeks+ already,crazy) oh and Dad & Pam… a hand made hat I’ll try probably a hand made shirt or a pretty painting? Thanks for all the messages we really like to have that little bit of home … miss you love you talk to you soon. PS “Don’t let the bed bugs bite” is a literal expression here !! Love all of you – later … Megs…

Hey ya’ll…Chelsey!!
How is everybody doing?? Hopefully like always I hope everyone is well and enjoying July in Canada. I can almost guarantee that you are having warmer weather then us. Although it is very humid here, we are getting a lot of overcast and rain still. The last post I wrote was wrote like 3 days ago but are being posted at the same time, so I cant really remember what I said so sorry if I repeat.
We finally got to go swimming and it was like eating a pound of salt (I think I already mentioned that though) Tomorrow we don’t get a day off but we are working till noon, lunch and then we are booking the bus so that we can go to the beach. But this time we are going to a private beach near a resort so its going to be sweet.
Then we have church in the afternoon and the cool thing about this church is that the first time we went we had church in the dark and I guess we are doing that tomorrow night too. They will have music this time too. We went to a church Sunday morning that is like no church you have ever been to before. They play music and we all got up dancing for a good ten minutes. Its all on video too so you will get to see. It was so much fun. It was very long….9:30 till 2 but I mean it was different so.
Today I got to travel with two nurses names Lydia and Patricia to another village to do a baby clinic. It was an awesome experience. We didn’t get to do much but we watched them give polio vaccines and the booster needle. We got to weigh the babies and it is the cutest thing ever. And the bigger children have to stand on a scale like we have at home and its funny because some of them are terrified of it. Its cute. It was defiantly an experience that was good to have.
The Americans came and they are leaving tomorrow. Its been fun. They put on a movie last night that some of us went down to watch in the village. Kinda like the drive in. A lot of Ghanaians around and of course I was in the back row so I couldn’t see that much. I moved around a lot to see through people. Like under their arms lol. Makes sense considering its me. But hope everyone is great. Supper is ready so. Heya to Mom, Dad, Karli, Owen, Family and the Colbornites!! Love and Miss you all so much. Thinking about you all the time!! Kiss kiss xoxoxo <3 Chelsey ;)

Hey again its Alexas ..
I have no idea how many messages I have sent because I don’t know what has been sent out to you guys and what hasn’t and I think Daryl is a little unsure too…so I don’t know where you guys are at in my Ghana adventure.
We went to the beach that was really awesome but who knew that salt water was actually that salty because I didn’t until a huge mouthful caught me off guard…but the waves are awesome! And so much fun.
We watched a movie about the birth of Jesus last night in the village.. (the American team that is staying at the centre with us hosted it in the village) I almost decided not to go but Jack said that he would come down with me so we could walk back but then we both ended up glued to the same spot the whole time. It was really weird because I kept forgetting that we were in Africa and then you looked around and there was just so many people watching the movie…and everyone started clapping when Jesus was born – it was really unexpected but everyone started doing it.
We fixed the ruts in the road today because everything is really washed out from the rainy season and that was…. neat. I got to use a pick-axe? Does that make sense? Point is that I felt super strong.. lol smashing concrete blocks..haha…
Dad – a hand made hat…lol I haven’t seen anyone doing that but I will keep an eye out and you in mind -that’s funny. Mom miss us yet?..i bet… lol – or maybe its just me cause im half way across the world - so if you could keep the messages coming that would be great because it’s a little lonely over here even if I’m with 18 other people.. lol plus 22 from the states..plus 5 that live here lol plus the 4 cooks .. haha… lol I guess I just love my family.. lol. [Danizzzleee sorry about the shout out .. I just assumed that you knew you were always on my mind and that I didn’t need to tell you… I LOVE YOU forverrrr and ever:).. lol will you do me a fav? Hahaha and txt AV asap - and tell him that I have been writing on here and he better have written or write back cause I want to hear from him! ) lol thanks you’re the best sister ever.
And mom/grandma/dad will you please call the credit union and make me an appointment for the mon/tues when I get back which I believe is the 11 or something I need to get a student line so pleaaaseee do this and don’t forget I don’t have time to make and obtain the money by the time I get back so thanks and don’t forget --- my future is in your hands – and mom make sure that you are putting all my mail from laurier into a safe spot because I don’t want you to loose it – thanks …. and so cooool saw a scorpion yesterday! Lol scary but cool…anyways Jackem is wating for the comp. So I love you family you are the best.. I really miss u guys and the washing machine….my clothes are all so dirty because we hand wash everything and I suck at it but the cooks are teaching me the right way. LOVE YOU – talk to you soon :) xoxox Lex. and another thing .. danae will you get my sin number from blake or it is in mom drawer in her room and go onto th osap web site and print my signature pages and send them.. I couldnt get them to go off before we came and meg says you should do it .. thanks ttyl..

Jack here…
First and foremost Trae…Love yah and miss yah ;) thanks for sharing my little secret hah I guess I deserved that. Thanks for posting about me, hah you’re the only one who cares about me :( lol (minus you scott and Elaine hah). If there is anyone who knows me and is reading this (owe, trae, dar, jeff…whomever) could you please contact my dad and make sure he knows how to get on here, and maybe show him how to post on the blog, I would like to hear from him. Dad, hah you’ll be happy to hear some of the stories I got for yah, miss yah and hope all is well in the house. Looking very much forward to when I get to see yah. If you do figure out this posting on the blog thing could you please post what has happened with the leafs? Trades, signings, whatever really…I gotta know, it’s an addiction! Hah anybody really please post this for me.
Work is going great, long days and the sun has finally come out. I’ve made some really great friends here and think it’s going to be hard to leave. I couldn’t be happier that I’m here I think and I really feel like we are making a difference. Our team is doing great as a whole too, and the people in the village are really starting to get to know us and like us. We’re the Canadian Obruni’s! (hah white people). In any case though I cant wait to see everybody and miss you all. Havin a blast, don’t worry about me, im bein good and takin care. Anyhow, see you in August!
(PS it’d be nice to hear from some of yah’s…ahem Owe, Jeff…Im lookin at you two)

Hi Everybody, it’s Kim.
So here we are in week 2 … the week of longer work hours and much less time off and guess what? It is going really well, sleeping is much easier when you are exhausted! I am covered in bruises, scrapes and what used to be blisters but are now just holes in my thumb, finger and heals and the cold is still hanging on, but enough complaining, we are getting a lot accomplished and I have no shortage of things to keep me busy. Clinic has been kept very busy with bandaging and handing out aches and pain meds, but really we have been really quite healthy. Mentally everyone is doing well too, but you can pray for those who are having trouble sleeping, that can really take its toll.
Dawn, thank you for the blog post it made me smile. Jas, could you write me a longer post and tell me what you and the kids are up to? I would love to know if they are at home this week or hanging out with family or friends. I miss you all (I try not to think about it too much, but some days are harder than others). Please keep praying for us as the rain has stop and we are finally feeling the African sun … not only will I be ripped but I will also have really tanned arms (the only part that is not covered while I work). Jaymie and Matt please write me a post I want to know all the cool things you are doing …. Ok, ok Darcie is waiting for the laptop …. Good bye for now, Love Always k

Hello to all…its Darcie, wow so much has happened so far. Today I finally got to see Paul for the first time yah!! It was so great seeing him and catching up with him. Then Andrews showed up and was so great to see him as well. It has been a busy day lot of talking and laughing!! We got to play football, and for those Canadians that are reading this I mean soccer lol I actually played. Did we win no, did we do our best, yes, did a team of 8 years olds beat yes, defiantly yes! But it was so much fun. The food is getting better slowly, learned how to make fufu and I even made a little (more liked helped a little) Missing you all like crazy. Miss you so much ahmed slowly driving me crazy, everyone is reminding me of you and it just sucks that much more :( I miss talking to you and hearing your voice and hearing that you love me. Love you honey so much. Kiss kiss lol… heather: keep those boys in line or I will have to come back and hurt them and I will tell Andrews about clackers he will be so thrilled. Ang: you better!!!! Lol hope the date works out…mom hope you are well and Steve too and keeping busy.. give bear a hug for me..Carissa miss yah. Take care all until next time.

Hey all its Tania!!!
Well it’s been almost another week here in Africa. I have been working really hard smashing blocks with a pick axe, hauling sand, carrying bricks. You know that kind of stuff. We are doing really well with our construction project. I’m so ripped!!! We also played a game of soccer with the local school kids! It’s was about 35 degrees so I sweat like a true Obalu (white person)! I was also the only one on the team to injure themselves! Just a pulled muscle, it’s better now. The next game I will just be a cheerleader. On Sunday we took another trip into the city. The traffic is insane!! People are always trying to sell you things at the window of the van. Things like plantain chips, fan ice, flags, gum, towels, toilet paper, basically anything you can think of. It’s pretty cool. There are so many things to see I’m blown away by what people can carry on their heads! Dave you’ll like this…a car battery, chassis, and a rim just to name a few. Sharon there is an awesome seamstress in the village named Comfort, she makes all of our dresses using an antique Singer sewing machine! Megan women here carry their babies on their backs all the time and I now know how to do it too. I’ll teach you when we get home, if the boys aren’t too big by then. Adam, I saw a Ghanaian wearing a Slipknot t-shirt, sorry I couldn’t get a picture in time. I also saw a young guy wearing a Tim Horton’s visor, LOL. Cameron I saw a bat last night that was the size of a football! I miss you so much!! I think about you and Kieran all the time. Please hug and kiss Kieran for me and tell him that I love him and I love you too!!!
Mommy P.S. Nicole thanks for the Blog! I love that you are reading it!!

Melissa – heyy everybody! Ghana is amazing and gorgeous and friendly. The work is getting harder but in a good way. I don’t feel nearly as lazy/free loading as I did and neither do my muscles. Not sure when you guys will see this but I wanted to say very happy birthday to the brat and daddy (haha you’re old and cant bug mom now :P) I hope you 2 have great days. I love you both-yes even mark.
Love Melissa
Ps. hope the renovations are going well and without setbacks but so far with our house we don’t seem to be that lucky and remember I’m the first to use the shower and no I don’t care that you have to wait till I get back :) <3

July 11th updates

Heya, it’s Rachel.
Well, everything that was all new and exciting a week ago (already!) is now called home. Though there are some things that we are all getting used to, it never ceases to excite us. Laundry everyday by hand in buckets (on the roof), many casseroles involving fresh fish, copious amounts of hand sanitizer, the 6:30 a.m. wake-up call, the excitement on the childrens’ faces when we walk in to the village (“Obruni! Obruni!” --- “White person! White person!”), the baby goats and chickens on the side of the road, and living with 17 other individuals is now home. I’ve been trying to imagine what it would be like to back home to Canada right now and I find it difficult to even make my mind go to that place (sorry mom). So far it has mostly been overcast---today was the first day of almost constant sunshine. We’ve been praying for sun, but I bet in 2 weeks we’ll be praying for “partly cloudy”! Today we played soccer with some kids up near a school. We were sweating buckets and red in the face, but the fact of what we were doing made the heat and exhaustion insignificant. Though they royally showed us up in the first half, they eased up for the second half. Bless their hearts. Later, a bunch of us went down to the ocean (only about a 15 minute walk---we have a great view from the compound) and went body surfing on the waves. Needless to say, the amount of salt we consumed should hold us over for the next 30 days.
I am great, I am healthy, and I am loving it here. The FanIce (soft ice cream in a bag) is really helping that as well :). Mom---it is Outdoor Art weekend. Good luck! I’ll be thinking about it. (And I am not disappointed I missed the bubble wrap “party”!) Joanna---hope the jet lag isn’t too brutal. Shannon---when do you fly to Europe! Hope everyone else is doing well. To Shannon, Joanna, and dad/mom---thank-you for commenting! It’s one of the highlights of the day to hear what everyone has to say from across the ocean. That being said---please comment (and that means everyone!)! It will warm my heart…from across the ocean:). I know it’s only been a week, but a lot happens in a week, and a lot happens in Ghana. Love! Rachel. (P.S. Clayton---you will be happy to know I am representing my Buff on a daily basis!)

Hey everyone its Haley!
To everyone who posted, thanks your awesome :D I love hearing from home and getting updates on what is going on with people :) I had an interesting morning but after I slept I felt better. We went to the cultural market which was awesome/insane!! Got called a lot of weird stuff and I was told many times that I wouldn’t be charged for looking :P I found some sweet stuff to bring home, like my kushkas (dunno if that’s right :P) Mom, that’s really funny, sucks for Marcus! Tell him I laughed and shook my head at him. I have already eaten all of my beef jerkey lol cuz its just too good :P Next time you write a blog post, make everyone in the family write on it!! And say who you are beforehand, cuz I like hearing from different people too, don’t make mom do all the work! :P hahahah I wanna hear all of you! Just so you know aunt Jodi, I am keeping a journal even though I HATE writing in it and I have to force myself too, I am writing in it :P just for you so I don’t have to tell the same story twenty times because it will get less and less detailed lol and btw, we are still north of the equator so the whole flush backward thing doesn’t apply :P sillyyyyy!! And we can’t really see the moon cuz its so cloudy cuz of all the rain lol oh and Shannon, love how you single out Rachel at the beginning of your post! It made Sara and I feel so loved :P lol jk and aunt gerri, I got your post twice by the way lol I miss you guys so much :( I can’t wait to tell you all about what this is like. Dad, I am really happy that you found someone to do the FEA on your charger!! :D I don’t know why but when I heard from you I got a little misty :P I miss you guys and I love you all <3 oh zack, the things you do to yourself!! Please stay healthy!! Oh and everyone thinks your spelling is funny and your sappiness hilarious and they laugh a lot at me for that :P but I don’t mind. I miss you <3 I love you <3

Oh hey fam! Sara here.
Erin, really appreciate your little post about the bratness, really boosted my morale… :) hehehe it made me laugh a lot. Tell the people at work that their just gonna have to suck it up for four weeks cause you love me and I love you! Craig and Tanya, I know your not joking about me getting you something, don’t think I’m that dumb! Hahahha YAY KITTEN!!! YAY NAME!!!! Tell Sadie I say hi and tell new kitten that she’s gonna be my new best friend. Miss you both and I love ya! Dad, youuuu crybaby. Haha I hope the renovations are going well, have you seen the colour of my new room yet?? I hope you approve!! hahah NOT!! :P love you so much and if your crying right now, mom you can slap him. HARD. Mom, glad to hear from you. Swiss Chalet is… typical.

I have had some market adventures that were really fun, we got a drum concert and met a lot of new people and I can’t wait to go back cuz it was a lot of fun! I kinda have to admit that their banana loaf is way better than yours! But very filling so you cant eat as much, so yours is one up on that one. :)
Dalton, glad to see your posting, hope to hear more from you and I have definitely been singing my heart out!!! Though I do miss getting reassuring texts from you when I really need it. I am glad to know that you are back home thinking and praying for me. thank you.
Back to my fam, good to hear from you all, glad everything is good at home, and hope to hear from you soon. Love you all! and Kayla, if you read this, I need a good story from you so I can have a good laugh :)

Hey Everyone!! Its Chelsey :)
Ghana is still great as always. We got to go to the beach today and it was amazing. The waves were huge and if you got the perfect one it would carry you to shore. Well it would me lol. And it pulls you right under. Sounds scary but its so much fun, so don’t worry Mom. There are like ten of us out there at once. The water is beautiful too. Dad you would even get in.

We also had our first soccer game today. The kids here are REALLY good. Our team lost 5-2. I got two goals!! Its on video too which is sweet. And the other team lost 4-2. It was a lot of fun, and today was our first really hot day. So running around in that was crazy. Very hot! We have an American team coming to spend a few days with us tomorrow so that is another exciting thing happening.

How is everything back home? Hope all is well. Karli can you give Taryn the blog so that she can write me. I forgot to give it to her. Tell her that she has to become a follower first to write on it. The link is on my facebook page below my picture. Mom and Dad glad to here my car is okay lol and it has stayed parked. Ill know the truth when I get home haha. And mom how is the bill payments going, hopefully there is still enough money there for it. And just so you know we only get to read the blogs like twice a week so I may not get your blog by the time I write a second one. Heya to Owen. Hope everything is still awesome back in Colborne. Missing it for sure. But Africa is pretty amazing too. Finally getting some nicer days for a change. We were joking that we were going to come back and say it is hot there cause its been chilly here. Wish you could all be here to see it with me! But I think this is enough for now. Miss you and Love you all so much!!! Take care and talk to you soon.
Love love love <3 xoxoxoox Chelsey :P

Hey home…#2..or slowly becoming Its Alexas!!
I feel like we have already been here for a really long time..and we still have a ways to go. I’m still loven it here, we played soccer with kids from the local school today and seven of us girls played against the primary kids and got killed 5-2…and the only reason the score stayed that way is because one of the Africans came into our nets because our goalie pulled a muscle..or else the score would have been way worse!
It was finally sunny today and hot like you picture Africa to be..we went to the beach and swam in the ocean... Tomorrow an American YFC team is coming to stay with us until Wednesday so it is going to get pretty crowed around here. Thanks so much for the messages and can you keep them coming please cause it’s a little hard being here and not having any communication with home..especially when your half way across the world. Mom, miss us yet..lol? Dadio..im not sure if there is any way we can get you a hand made hat lol..haven’t seen anyone doing that..how about some tribal art? Anyways family I love you to the moon and back or at least from Ghana! ..ps. Obama came here today and all the little kids were running out looking at helicopters yelling Obama, Obama and it was so cute…(they love him here)! So funny..anyways once again love yuh long time! [ AV hope your working a lot! Lol and that stuffs working out for you! Miss yuh!]and ps. Eliza love you! Your so cute. Talk to you soon!

Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10th Update & Pics

The weather here is crazy - the rains keep coming and we are hearing many
reports of villages just west of us being completely submerged. Had some
prayer time with the team yesterday regarding this.

Our friends here are seeing water damage like never before - or at least a
very rare level of damage. Some are worried about their families in other
areas of the country.

We are fortunate - we are up high on a hill - and we can see the rain coming
for an hour before it hits. Sometimes, if the wind is just right it stays
just off the coast and we can see the rain over the ocean.

economically this ia a problem - many of our friends cannot fish, the seas
are too rough. We can work however and we do - hard.

Most of the team is very healthy - a few small issues - nothing serious but
of course that also means that nerves get a bit frayed. The training pays
off though - we can remind tthem that we talked about this and then work
things out.

They are a great team - keep praying for them...... Will likely be back at
this on Monday.

peace to all at home.