Monthly Archives: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bonjour,

This morning during breakfast, we were having a discussion about chickens.  Danny said, “I know what you call the daddy chicken – a rooster.”  Gilbert said, “The mommy is called a hen.”  Bonnie said, “Well, the baby is called a ‘bock, bock.’”  Danny said, “No, they’re called chicks.”  Bonnie still thought she was right.  She said, “Girls are right, right Mom?”  Whenever the boys do something of which she does not approve, she says, “Let’s throw them in the river, Mom.”  (When we were in the States on our last furlough, Grandma would throw the kids on the waterbed for taking her slippers.  When she did it, she would say that she was throwing them in the river.  That is Bonnie’s solution to everything.)  I told her that I didn’t think we could throw Daddy in the river.  She said, “We’ll just push him in the river.”
Joe watched the kids swim while I filled out the papers for our residents’ visas.  Joe tried to get his health certificate today, but the doctor was not in his office.  Tomorrow is a holiday.  So, he will have to wait until Wednesday to turn the paperwork in.  He went and talked to the commander at the immigration’s office today.  Wednesday is when our 90-day visa extensions expire.  The commander said that it will be fine to turn the paperwork in on Wednesday because Joe has to have that health certificate.
After Joe finished there, he took the car to get the AC fixed.  He found out that the man who had done our AC work before died a week ago; he was about fifty years old.  A big pothole that we hit last week had broken a pipe.  So, they had to take the pipe off, take it across town to weld it, and bring the pipe back.  The AC is back in working order.
The kids took forever to go to sleep this afternoon.  They all slept until 5:00.  They got a quick swim in while I finished getting supper ready.  
After supper, Joe went up to the church for the learning to read program; several people came tonight.
The kids go back to school on Wednesday.  Gilbert is excited about it; the other two are not too thrilled.
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bonjour,

Just as we were going out the door for church this morning, the power went off.  We went ahead and turned the main breaker switch off just in case there were voltage problems when it came back on.  
The power was on at the church.  It stayed on for all of Sunday school.  Then, it went off at the beginning of the morning service and stayed off for the rest of the service.  
We had a good service with sixty-six in attendance.  I had twenty-two in my class.  The kids were wound up this morning!  I did have a helper; that was a blessing.
When we got home, we turned the breaker back on, and our power was on.  We were glad about that.
After lunch, Joe and Dan went back out to Mpinctin for the closing of the funeral ceremony.  The man who died was 96; his older sister who is 106 was at the funeral.  They were able to talk to a lot of people.  The people were impressed that Joe knew some Fante.  They kept saying, “It’s a brony (white man) who knows Fante.”  One woman told him that he needed to eat some of her fufu so that he would be even fatter.  Another woman said that she should not say that because Joe might be offended that she called him fat; she went on to say that Joe was beautiful.  Joe said, “I’m not offended.  I know that I am beautiful!”  Then, they all laughed.  Gilbert thought that story was so funny when Joe told us about it at supper.
Joe and Dan picked us up for church.  We had a good evening service with thirteen in attendance.  The power went off about half way through the service.  
While I was getting supper ready this evening, I was humming.  Bonnie said, “Mom, are you trying to sound like your clarinet?”  
Gilbert requested brownies for dessert.  I got some made.  They tasted a little different without vanilla.  We haven’t been able to find vanilla anywhere lately.  I’ve got some coming in a package though.
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bonjour,

Joe left the house at 5:30 this morning to go get fuel for the generator.  He came back and got the generator filled up.  Then, he went up to the church to head to a funeral.  A couple of the men in the church rode with him.
Joe said that there was a man with Down’s Syndrome in the village where they went.  He was upset because his little radio had quit working.  Joe and Dan went in search of a radio.  They couldn’t find anything in that village and had to come back toward town.  They found one and went back to give it to the man, but they couldn’t find the man.  They sent some boys in the village to find the man and to tell him to come see them.  The boys came back and said that they had found the man, but he was throwing rocks at them.  So, the boys took Joe and Dan to the man.  He didn’t want the radio that they got for him because it was not exactly like the one that he had.  Oh well, at least they tried to do a good deed.
The kids and I went down for Bible Club.  There is a big pile of keys, but I couldn’t find the key to lock the door.  The guardian was working in the yard; so, we just shut the door and went down the hill for Bible Club.  The dog followed the boys down the trail.  So, I had to take the dog back home before we did Bible Club.  He would not follow me.  He was lying on his back and nipped at me each time I tried to pick him up.  I picked him up, set him down on the trail, and followed him up the trail to the house.  I put him on the back porch and then went back down the hill for Bible Club.  I got my exercise in!  We had twelve for Bible Club today.
Joe got home just as we were coming back home from Bible Club.  The power had just come back on.  They got the low voltage problem fixed.  
After naps, I went swimming with the kids.  Gilbert and Danny kept making up new games to play.  Bonnie swam the length of the pool today (with her flotation suit); she thought she was big stuff.
Bonnie helped me make pizza for supper while the boys played outside.  
Joe is not feeling well.  I think he might have an infection from the broken tooth.  He took it easy this evening.  Hopefully he will feel better in the morning.
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bonjour,

It has been another crazy day in the Consford household.  We went into town this morning to go grocery shopping.  We also got some bulk things.  The kids were excited to get to go inside the walk-in freezer; they were even more excited that Ahmed gave them each some ice cream.
On our way home, we hit a big pothole.  When we got home, we discovered that there was a leak in one of the AC pipes.  
The rest of Joe’s temporary filling came out of his tooth.  The tooth was really bothering him.  He went in search of a dentist.  The first place that he went, the dentist wasn’t in.  Next, he tried the hospital.  Their dentist had gone to a funeral.  They sent him to a dental clinic.  After waiting for quite a while, he did see a dentist and was able to get another temporary filling.  The dentist told him to come back in two weeks for a root canal.  Joe will probably go to Accra to find a different dentist for the root canal; this place was not very clean.
While Joe was gone, the power went off.  I went out to swim with the kids.  As we were coming back inside, there were some men sitting on the wall behind the house.  They wanted to talk to me.  I went inside to change my clothes and then went back out to see what they needed.  They said that they needed to do something on our electric pole so that they could replace the lines down at the bottom of the hill.  I assumed that they were with the electric company.  
Joe had called the electric company.  They said that someone had reported that the transformer in Kansaworado (our neighborhood) was on fire.  There wasn’t a fire.  Someone had hired independent contractors to fix the problem with the downed lines to avoid having to pay the electric company.  They needed to have the power turned off to do their work; so, they reported a fire.
Whatever the men did on our pole has messed our power up.  All three phases have low voltage.  So, we are back on the generator.  Hopefully we can get things squared away tomorrow.
Joe got home about 7:00 this evening from the dentist.  Then, he had to leave at 7:30 to go to a wake for the grandfather of one of the men in the church.  He got back home a little after 10:00.
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bonjour,

About 1:00 this morning, the generator went off.  Joe went out to see what the problem was.  The oil warning light switch had burned out causing the generator to think that it was out of oil; so, it shut down.  Joe was able to bypass that switch somehow and turn the generator back on.  Our power came back on about 4:30 this afternoon.  They still did not fix the downed lines, but our house was on the other side of the downed lines.  When the power came back on, everything inside the house was okay; the power in the guest room is not coming on.  Something must have burned up with the high voltage.  About 8:00 this evening, the power went off again.  When we called the power company, they said, “Unless tomorrow,” meaning that the power would be off all night.  Thankfully they were wrong; it came back on about an hour later.  
Joe spent most of the day in town getting things together for our residents’ visas.  He picked up the paperwork and talked to the people at the Immigrations office for a little while.  Then, he had to try to get a “health report.”  He will have to wait until Monday to get that.  The paperwork has to be turned in no later than Wednesday.
I watched the kids swim this morning.  Then, I worked on shortening curtains and cutting out some others.  I couldn’t do any actual sewing since the power was off.  But, I have a big stack of things that are now ready to sew.
The kids wanted to make hats today.  Gilbert wanted a Pilgrim hat.  Danny wanted a Paul Revere hat and an Indian hat, and Bonnie wanted a princess hat.  Gilbert decided to paint his hat.  The other two colored theirs.  
The kids and I all took a good nap this afternoon.  Everyone was tired after being outside this morning.  
Tonight during supper, we were talking about different vehicles.  The boys were talking about the car that we had in Texas.  Joe told them that we sold that car.  When Gilbert asked why, Bonnie said, “These things happen sometimes, Gilbert.”  What great wisdom from a three-year-old!  : )  Gilbert was not impressed.
When the power went off again this evening, the kids all needed glow sticks.  They all connected a couple sticks together to make swords.  Then, they used them to divide up spaces on the floor.
Gilbert has a bag of shiny rocks.  Today, he and Danny were playing pool with the rocks and the stick of their bow and arrow.  When Gilbert heard me telling Joe about it this evening, he had to get them out again to show Dad.  He just used a stick this time.  
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bonjour,

I got up early and made donuts for breakfast.  The Aarons left about 9:00; we were sad to see them go.
About 9:30, our power went off.  The guy who does the yard work at the other house on the property was cutting a tree down.  The tree fell on the power lines and broke them.  One phase went up to over 400 volts, and the other two phases were almost off.  So, we have been on the generator all day.  
Danny fell asleep in the chair about 11:00 this morning.  Everyone is still tired from being out in the sun all day yesterday.
We had a big storm this afternoon with high winds.  We got about five inches of rain.  The good thing is that it filled up our water tanks; we were going to have to order another water truck if we didn’t get rain.  The bad thing is that it knocked power out all over town.  So, it might be a while before they get out here to replace the power lines.  The wind was blowing the rain quite hard.  Joe was busy closing windows.  The rain blew in around some of the window frames and flooded different parts of the house, and the wind tore up some roof tiles.  We will have to fix the roof tomorrow.
The storm caused the temperature to drop about twenty degrees.  That was nice!  
The power at the church wasn’t working correctly.  The fans were off.  The lights came on, but they were fluctuating all throughout the church service.  Right as church ended, one of the light bulbs started smoking.  So, we lit some candles to gather up our things before leaving.
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

A Day at the Ocean

We had a great day at the ocean with the Aarons and the Siekberts.  
 A Day at the Ocean
After playing in the water for a couple hours, we were ready for lunch.  We went to the French restaurant that has the monkey.  Today, they had puppies too.  The kids were tickled about that.
 A Day at the Ocean
Everyone was patiently waiting.
 A Day at the Ocean
Gilbert took a picture from the other end of the table so that Mom could be in the picture.
 A Day at the Ocean
We matched and didn’t even do it on purpose.  
 A Day at the Ocean
Jane feeding “Uncle Joe” a french fry
 A Day at the Ocean

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bonjour,

Thumper is looking better than he was.  He seems to have more energy and is getting back to normal, even though he still doesn’t look so great.  
We had a nice day at the ocean with the Aarons and the Siekberts.  Everyone had so much fun, and it was a nice, sunny day.  Our sunscreen had not expired according to the date, but it did not work so well.  A couple of us got a pretty good sunburn.
We had told the Aarons about the French restaurant that is next to the ocean.  We went there for lunch.  Today, not only was the monkey there but also puppies.  The kids all held the puppies and then had to go wash their hands for lunch.  The monkey came down to our table.  He had been watching and saw the kids eating bananas.  He thought that there might be a banana left in the bag, but he grabbed a cookie wrapper instead since the bananas were gone.  When the monkey headed toward Mimi’s end of the table, she dove under the table.  The monkey had the audacity to go potty on Mimi’s chair.  The waiter came and cleaned the chair, but that wasn’t good enough.  Mimi had to trade chairs.  The food was delicious!  
When we got back to town, we went to a couple stores and then headed home.  The kids still had enough energy to swim.  They swam for just a little while before supper just before the sun went down.  
Just as we were finishing supper, the power went off.  It was load shedding.  Gilbert was not feeling very well; he got too hot today.  He went to bed about 7:30 with a bad headache; it didn’t take him long to go to sleep. 
The Aarons got to experience “load shedding” with us.  We fired up the generator, but the generator room is right next to the guest room.  So, they stayed inside the house until the power came back on.  By that time, all of the kids had fallen asleep.  Joe helped carry the kids out to the guest room.
The Aarons will leave in the morning.  We will be sad to see them go.  They will leave for furlough on May 14; so, we won’t see them for a year or so.
Please pray especially for Catherine Hudson and her family.    
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bonjour,

We were busy cleaning the house this morning.  Bonnie came in and said, “I don’t have a box for my Winnie the Tigger puzzle.”  Daddy found a box for her to use as a toy box this morning; she had fun filling it up.
I got the potato salad for supper made.  Then, Joe helped me hang some decorations in the living room.
The Aarons got her about 5:00.  The kids had so much fun playing together.  Mimi is five months younger than Gilbert.  Adam is the exact same age as Danny.  Bonnie enjoyed being “in charge” of Jane (1 1/2).  
We had a good time of fellowship during and after supper.  The Aarons will be going back to the States for furlough in a couple weeks.  We will miss seeing them.  We don’t get to see them very often since they live several hours away, but we always have a good time when we do get to see them.
Dan went to Accra to pick up our vetting form today.  The bus that he was on broke down.  So, he didn’t get to Accra as soon as he had hoped.  But, he was able to get the paperwork.  Joe and Andrew went to pick Dan up from the bus station.  We have our paperwork in hand and can move on to the next step.
We are going to the ocean tomorrow with the Aarons and the Siekberts.  The kids are so excited.
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bonjour,

We had a good day at church.  I had eighteen in my class today, and my helper came.  Joe said that the auditorium services went well.
After church, we came home, had lunch, took naps, and got ready for church again.
We had a good service this evening with twelve in attendance.  Dan has been preaching on Sunday nights; he preached about Christian Liberty tonight.  
After church, Joe brought us home.  Then, he and Dan went to make a visit.  A man in the church had a death in his family; the funeral is this coming weekend.  
The dog is doing a little better today.  He doesn’t seem to have any new sores, and the existing sores seem to be drying up.  
Please be much in prayer for Catherine Hudson and her family.  She is in the hospital with pneumonia and other complications; she has stage four breast cancer which has gone into her liver as well.
The Aarons are coming tomorrow to visit for a couple days.  We are looking forward to that.
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie