Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ghana, West Africa, part two...


Last week I posted some photos from our recent trip to Ghana, West Africa.  You can see that post here. This is my second trip to Ghana.  Our second born daughter and her family have been many times, once living there for several months.  My husband has gone multiple times as well. They try to take a team from our church at least once a year.  Some of the team members that went with us have been there more than once. The photo above is on the bay of Guinea, the fishing town of Winneba, where we began our stay on this trip. Below is a photo of the children's Sunday school class at at the church where we spoke.
I've seen little children and elderly women carrying burdens bigger than they are on their heads!  It's an amazing skill, and the amount of weight as well as the size of some of the loads I've seen carried this way is mind boggling. One time my daughter was trying to carry a large bucket of water with her arms and hands. All the way down the street the Ghanians were giggling and pointing at her and some tried to encourage her to use her head. Easier said than done! 
As we left Winneba and drove inland toward Kumasi...
We drove through secondary as well as old growth forests.  The mahogany trees always rise above the other trees.  Mahogany is commonplace there, and we Americans wince a bit when we see it used for firewood.
This was our youngest grandson's second trip to Ghana.  His first time he was there, when he was one, they were there for over a month. The sweet gal in this photo is his nanny, helping his mama at home a day or two a week as well as on their trips overseas. We wondered how he would do being completely surrounded by Ghanaians, as the little Ghanaian children are often frightened when they first see us "Obroni", their word for foreigner or white person.  On his first visit when he was one, and again this time at age 2 1/2, he didn't seem to even notice.  All of the children were "my friends" and our dear Bishop A. is his Ghanaian papa and his wife is his Grandma C. Perhaps immersion in another culture and race at an early age is the answer to racism?  
Lack of water is a common problem, and the shallow, hand dug well at the retreat center where we stay in Kumasi had dried up.  A new deeper well has now been dug. Much of the work that we commonly see done by machinery is still done by hand in Ghana.  I've seen road construction being done by men using pick axes in the relentless Ghanaian heat.
From Kumasi we traveled to some of the surrounding areas and villages to minister in some of the churches that Bishop A. has started.  The church in Ankam was a 90 minute drive from the retreat center in Kumasi.  It was late in the evening, the roads were treacherous, and at times we went through stretches of forest that caused me to wonder what a person would do if the car broke down in one of those spots!  However, when we reached the little church in Ankam I was overwhelmed with the joy in the people and their excitement that we had come to encourage them.
This is a photo of my husband preaching.  The pastor is interpreting for him.  At one point he surprisingly swatted my husband on the face with his handkerchief, and off of my husband's face fell some sort of large black bug.  We all had a good laugh at the look on my husband's face when he got "swatted" while he preached!
On the last day we were in Ghana, there was a wedding at a church near the retreat center so some of the wedding party and guests had rented rooms.  You can see here the contrast between the more westernized dress of the wedding party and the more traditional dress of some of the guests.  This is typical as you see more of the young people wanting to dress like what they see from the U.S. and Europe.


I hope you've enjoyed "coming along" with me to Ghana via these photos.  

"You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place."


still following,







16 comments:

  1. Heartbreaking and also such inspiration to see the smiles on the faces. We are sometimes very spoiled, and they have the riches. I cannot even carry a book on my head like we use to try when young and pretending to someday walk like a model would. Such loveliness in those photos. :)

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    1. My Ghanaian friends have taught me so much, much more than I've taught them I'm sure.

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  2. Every time I've gone on a missions trip has changed my life! The quote you shared is so true. The first time I left Mexico I told everyone 'I'll never be the same again!' We take so much for granted here. Thank you for sharing more of your trip with us, dear friend.
    ~Adrienne~

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    1. I know how much you would like to return to Mexico some day...who knows what God has for you to do!

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  3. Thank you for taking me along through your photos and journaling! It sounds like both your team and the communities were blessed. What a journey the Father has taken you on!

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    1. God has blessed me with more adventures in life than I ever expected!

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  4. The smile of childs is the most wonderful all over the World.

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  5. When you think about it carrying stuff on your head is they way to do it as the weight goes straight down and not trying to pull you over. Some wonderful memories you have there

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    1. That is true, it's just acquiring the skill when you haven't been taught it since you were a little child that is the challenge!

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  6. Gorgeous photos! What an experience!

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    1. It's always an amazing adventure to go!

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  7. Volonteers from our churches in Romania also go there. It's so sad that they lack water and many things that we take for granted.

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    1. You should go with your church sometime!

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  8. Love this, Elizabeth. Thank you so much for sharing these!

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement, June. I hope you are feeling better!

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