Location: Ogden, Utah, United States

Monday, June 12, 2006

Although it has a few holes...

Hereis my journalingup to now. asyou will see, there are a few holes in my journaling. I will be fillingthese in as I get time. I have notes in a notebook thatwill help mefill them in. Thank you for your dedicated reading. Sincerely, Lisa

Wednesday, May 31st

This morning we made our third visit to the American Embassy. They were finally open and we were able to enter. After going through a security check and having to leave all of our bags and electronic equipment outside with Eric, we finally made it up to the office where we could register. We found the waiting room was full and not able to accommodate all of us. A worker came from a different office and asked if she could help us. We told her we were there to register our travels in Ghana and she informed us that we could do it online. In fact, we could have done it before we left the states. So, I guess our third trip to the Embassy paid off. We will go to the internet café and register online instead of waiting for a long while at the embassy.

At the internet café, we were surprised at the number of computers available. There were two large rooms with computers with flat screen monitors. I would guess that there were nearly 50 computers in each of the two rooms. There were also areas to print from the computers and to make copies. It was a very modern looking establishment. The cost for the use of the internet was 6,000 (approx $0.60) cedi for 30 min or 12,000 cedi (approx $1.20). We all purchased an hour to check e-mails and upload our blogs. We also found that it is difficult to upload pictures through the internet. I believe it is because the web connection may be a dial up and the computers may not be able to handle the size of pictures very well. It was great to get e-mails from home. When you are a world away, a note from home is very welcome. It somehow connects me to my other life that seems so far away.

After leaving the internet café, we went to Papae again for fried chicken and rice. This is a great place to get good food for a small amount of money.

A few of the members of our group wanted to do a session at the LDS temple in Accra so we drove to the temple and dropped them off. The rest of us went to the African market for a few hours. This is a place we had gone last Monday. I was nervous to go back, knowing that the people would remember us and I think there had been some tension between our guard and some of the sales people. Since our group was smaller, it would be easier for us to stay together. We arrived and entered the market. The people there did remember us but welcomed us back. We walked a short distance down one isle and began looking at all of the wonderful clothing. The traditional clothing of these people is beautiful and very colorful. Casey (my husband) little Casey and Devon all purchased a traditional shirt, a few African woven ties and a couple of hats. Eric was able to help us barter with the people.

I walked into a shop that was no bigger than about 12 x 12 foot. There was the most amazing jewelry. I was greeted by an older woman who introduced herself as Unice. She said over and over “You are my sister!”. I felt she really meant it. Even before I purchased something, she noticed Devon and asked if he was my son. I replied that he was and that I had another one just outside the shop. She immediately took two leather men’s bracelets and said, “This is a gift from me to your sons.” Again she said, “You are my sister” and hugged me. I selected 5 necklaces made of seedpods and wooden beads. They are exquisite. Eric helped me bargain for them and they ended costing me the equivalent of approx $20.00 dollars. We went to another shop and I found another necklace. The man in the shop made me earrings and a bracelet to match. This cost about $6.00 dollars. The craftsmanship is quality.

Following our visit to the market, we went back to the temple to pick up the ones who had been there and we went on to the grocery store. They call it the Supermarket. We were able to buy some snacks. Many of the things there were American brands that we recognized. Some of the items were not. We purchased some Milo, which is similar to hot cocoa. We drink it every morning, which is also strange to me. We sit at breakfast with beads of sweat rolling down our bodies and drink hot Milo.

For dinner we had cooked cabbage and veggies, strips of beef and French fries. The meals we have had so far have all been ones I like. I enjoy spicy food and once in a while we get something that is pretty spicy. It reminds me of the Mexican food I miss so much from home.

After being in the market this afternoon, we all need a shower. I finally decided to shower in my boy’s room since they have a water heater. I think it is the first hot shower I have had since we arrived. My shower does not have a water heater attached so I have been taking cold ones each morning. Actually, they feel pretty good since it is difficult to get cooled off around here.

I have also noticed that nothing ever really dries. Even the money I carry with me is always damp. I have decided that when I wake up in the morning, I just need to embrace the heat and the humidity. It is impossible to stay dry. I think the only time is when we are on the bus with the air conditioning on. But as soon as you step off the bus, it is like hitting a wall of heat and humidity. We are always soaked with our skin shining with sweat. No wonder the people here have such beautiful skin. No need for moisturizer.


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