January/February 2013: Ghana (Pt. 4)

A MIRACLE TOOK PLACE – OVER NIGHT THE LAPTOP STARTED WORKING. I USED TO TO CHARGE THE PHONE AND THE CAMERA AND OVER THE NIGHT IT DRAINED THE BATTERY DEAD AND THAT SEEMED TO DO THE TRICK.

HOWEVER – WITH CONSTANT INTERRUPTION OF ELECTRICTY AND LITTLE IF ANY INTERNET SERVICE – NOTES HAVE NOT BEEN WRITTEN OR SENT SAVE FOR THE THREE PREVIOUS ONES.

HERE IS SOME OF WHAT WAS NOT SENT PREVIOUSLY – WITH A FEW ADDITIONS – THE DATES WILL NOT HAVE MUCH MEANING AS I TRY TO FILL IN WITHOUT REMEMBERING DAYS.

30 JANUARY 2013 (WED)

Breakfast will never be what we ask for – fact. Order what you want – eggs will be scrambled, bread will not be toasted, there will be no butter or jam or peanut butter or black pepper. BUT it eats and we are never the less very thankful for the eats as the fact remains that what we eat is far more than what the majority have to eat.

(The coffee has been great – Paul’s (aka Pablo) bride Kristi was very thoughtful and threw in some good USA stuff – French Roast Nescafe and Starbucks. That has made the coffee in the am tolerable! Thanks Kristi.)

The breaking of the fast was at 8.30 or so. Gordon is/was to “pick us” at 9a. At 10a we were off to Lutheran Seminary (LS from now on) to evaluate the computer and wireless and electrical situation at the seminary. Having been here some 25 times I know of the situation but Paul needs to see it to make the Kindle stuff work. We were there for about two hours and then we went off to “buy” the stuff to make it work.

We sent shopping at the Accra Mall – I have been driven past this Mall for likely a 100 times (no exaggeration) or more and NEVER have those driving me exited the motorway and stopped at the Mall, not even to just take a look see! BUT not today – we stopped and went in!

After having been in the Accra Mall it left me with the same feeling I had after the first time I left the largest Mall in the USA – the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. I felt let down and having no burning desire to return. The Accra Mall is just another Mall amongst all the Malls of the world – filled with the same stores and the same kind of stores, and the halls and stores are filled with “young folk” and higher prices.

The reason for coming these days before class starts is exactly what we are (Paul is) doing – getting everything set for class to start Monday (the 4th) with everything possible in place and running.

After the “shopping” we went for a snack at Southern Fried Chicken in Tema – yes – fried chicken without RICE. Dinner was at the 3 Seasons Restaurant with Emelia – she is the owner. Reasonable prices for regular foods.

31 JANUARY 2013 (THU)

Breakfast off to LS to do some hooking up of the new stuff we purchased and which Strawn brought along from Minnesota – a beer for lunch. Dinner was back at the 3 Season’s again – but without electric power. She cooks with gas so we were able to order cooked stuff – nothing raw for us. I had a chicken Gizzard Kebob and fried octopus (what is not on my plate? RICE! YES!).

We spent 7 hours of the day in the car just going to two places – the seminary and the store! Traffic is ungodly. The devil – I’m sure – has made it this way to hassle the work of the church and CLEF and every one…… The fumes, the noise, the heat, the hot air, the dust, the smoke from burning garbage, the hawkers yelling, the horns horning (a new word), brakes squealing all make travel exhausting.

01 FEBRUARY 2013 (FRI)

Breakfast – nothing new – but the peanut butter I brought along was wonderful!

Today is the day to register the Kindles with Amazon here in Ghana and then enter all the data – passwords, email addresses, controls and such. Pablo is in charge of that. I’ll keep the libations filled and air conditioner working.

I killed two roach type creatures in my room today – Paul did also kill two in his room (KRISTY: MAKE HIM PUT HIS SUIT CASES ON THE DECK FOR A WEEK BEFORE LETTING/OPENING THEM IN THE HOUSE) – new shoes makes it hard to step on them and kill them as they can escape through the deep tread – old tennis shoes make it easy to stomp on them and smear and squish and maybe kill them.

So the day starts early – unnecessarily on account of the deal with the schedule. We had planned to go to Prampram on Saturday but that was changed to today meaning we did not have to get up and leave for the 1.75hr of traffic to Accra. We were to leave about 11am for the new congregation “mission” start. So Gifty (the name of the lead maid at the Lodge) bangs on the door at 7 announcing, “The breakfast is ready”.

After the eats we went to the rooms and Pablo continued the Kindle stuff. I don’t remember what I did – no internet and no real morning TV, you know, like there is no Judge Judy or Judge Millan or The Price is Right or NCIS or CSI so …………… I most likely watched Aljazeera (the Mohammadan news station) or BBC Africa (the British one funded by Saudi money). Or I could watch “PEACE TV” the Mohammadan Islamic religious channel that has men teaching the Koran in English – kind of like the other channel here – “JESUS TV”. Maybe I walked into the shower and turned on the water with my clothes on – this is an easy way to wash them when you don’t have a big enough sink.

As noted we left about 11 am for Prampram – the new congregation start – an ELCG approved CLEF supported project.

As you know, Prampram is one of those places that some CLEF Ghana faculty and help have to suffer through, you know, Eddie, Karl, Ted, Bill, Gerold, me and now Pablo. Sitting on the sandy beach under the Coconut Palm trees on chairs adorned with a few Lutheran beverages while watching the ocean do its thing and having to endure the ungodly loud music (seems as though it isn’t culturally loud enough unless ears bleed 100 yards away). We did get the music turned down a bit (we were three of the six total customers on the quarter mile beach) and then we could concentrate on enduring the other things around us – waves, wind and Castle Milk Stout.

I took Pablo on a walk on the beach (eat your heart out Kristi!) and had him walk into the water so he can now claim to have touched the Bite of Benin waters off the West coast of Africa. We also stopped at the fishing ship building village – there they make fishing SHIPS – not boats. They start with a single tree for the hull – some 75 ft long and 7 – 8 feet in diameter. After carving it out to make the hull they add planks along the sides to build up the sides of the fishing ship. These things are so heavy that once launched they pull them out about a mile or so and anchor them permanently out where the fish are. They go to and fro in smaller boats. Very fascinating – made much like the boats of a couple thousand years ago.

So I trust that all of you are continuing to keep us in your prayers – The CLEF and also these weeks the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana. And please consider sending in a little more for the work here – the continuing projects and the new one. Every penny helps.

Good night.

Me

02 FEBRUARY 2013 (SAT)

Afternoon the plan was to go to Prampram – did not. Kind of took the day at ease – late breakfast, late lunch, late later eats. A relaxing day after the stress of Prampram yesterday!

03 FEBRUARY 2013 (SUN)

Rev. Strawn is appointed to preach at Trinity in Tema. Lunch was Red-Red (yum). You already have a copy of the service – nothing more to say.

AND NOW FOR A COUPLE OF PICTURES. IF THEY DO NOT SHOW UP IN THE EMAIL THEN OPEN THE ATTACHMENT. IF THEY ARE NOT THERE FRO YOU THEN FIND A FRIEND WHO COULD OPEN THEM

TRINITY – TEMA, GHANA
Ghana 2013 Pt 4 #1

 
 
 
 

THE KINDLES!
Ghana 2013 Pt 4 #2

 
 
 
 

THE NEW “HOUSE CHURCH” IN PRAMPRAM
Ghana 2013 Pt  #3