Monthly Archives: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

Joe had another good story this morning.  Last night about 11:30, the person who runs the guest house knocked on his door and said that the people he had taken to the airport had called, and their flight had been cancelled.  They needed a ride back to the guest house.  So, Joe went to the airport and picked them up.  He said that the lady and both of her girls were sick by that time.  They must have gotten food poisoning or something.  The older man, Brother Jimmy, and Joe really hit it off.  Joe and Brother Jimmy drove around Accra together today.  Joe said that Brother Jimmy reminded him of his dad’s dad; they had such a good time together.  Joe was sorry to see him leave tonight.  Joe ate supper at the guest house.  He helped one of the little girls fix her plate.  During supper, she looked over at Joe and said, “Brother Joe, you have beautiful eyes.”  Joe said that the girl’s mother was mortified that her daughter would say such a thing.  Brother Huff was feeling better today and was able to take them to the airport tonight.  

This morning, I got up and got the kids ready for school.  Gilbert was ready first and went outside to wait the others who ride with them.  As soon as he stepped outside, the kids told him, “Thumper is dead.”  Gilbert ran over to Thumper to see for himself and ran back inside to tell us that the dog was dead.  The kids were heart broken.  They cried and cried; I cried with them.  About that time, the taxi came to take them to school.  They had a tearful ride to school but were okay by the time they got to school.  

I waited around for the guy who works in the yard to come.  He didn’t come at the normal time.  So, I went out and put the dog in a trash bag and got the area cleaned up.  About that time, Cholo came.  He took the dog and buried him.

When the kids got home, they wanted to know where the dog was buried.  They decided that we needed to put some flowers on his grave.  We had to walk down the hill to find some flowers.  

Bonnie said some funny things today.  She has been calling the apricot jam “cotton jam.”  This morning, she asked for the “apricotton jam.”  Then, she was telling us a poem that she learned about a rooster.  She told us that the rooster said, “Cock-a-dooring-door.”  The boys tried to set her straight, but she was not convinced.  This evening. Bonnie was helping me fix supper.  I was moving back and forth between the stove and the counter.  Bonnie said, “Mom, you keep waggling around.”

Joe is supposed to pick up his visa at 2:00 tomorrow.  He is going to get there a little earlier than that to see if they might go ahead and give it to him.  Then, he will head home.  We are excited about having Daddy back.  He will probably go to Ivory Coast on Monday.  Please pray for his safety and for no problems with getting the visa tomorrow.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Here Lies Thumper

It has been a sad day at our house.  Our dog Thumper died.  He has been sick for a few days.  The vet came out three days in a row to give him shots.  Yesterday, the dog disappeared for a while.  I thought maybe he had gone somewhere to die.  But, he came back home and ate and drank a little.  I thought he might still pull through.
Some other people ride to school with us.  As Gilbert walked out the door, the other children met him and said, “Thumper is dead.”  Gilbert ran out to where Thumper was to check it out for himself.  Then, he came running back inside and said, “Mom, the dog is dead!”  All three kids were crying and Mommy too.  Just minutes later, the taxi arrived to take them to school.  (While Joe is gone, they are going to school in a taxi.  Two teachers ride with them to school as well as several other children.) The kids were crying when they left, but they said that they stopped crying by the time that they got to school.  
I put the dog in a trash bag and cleaned up the area where he died.  Then, the guy who works in the yard took him and buried him.
When the kids got home from school this afternoon, they wanted to see where Thumper was buried.  The boys found the spot before I got out there, and they were trying to dig him back up.  I told them that they did not want to do that. They decided that they wanted to pick some flowers for the grave.  We went down the hill to get some flowers off of the bush.  Danny was holding a cookie but needed his other hand; so, he just shoved the cookie in his mouth.
They wanted to put the flowers in a circle.  Gilbert gave up one of his prized rocks.
I said that Thumper was a good dog.  Danny said, “He wasn’t always good, Mom.”  Gilbert had a tear in his eye again as he said, “Poor Thumper!”

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

W’apow mu e, 
It rained during the night last night.  I was wondering if the taxi would be able to make it up our road; he did.  The kids rode to school with the teachers and students who normally ride with them.  
I got some things done around the house.
Joe had another interesting day.  When he went to the Ivorian Embassy this morning, he discovered that his yellow fever shot was out of date.  He also needed a letter from Ivory Coast to apply for the visa.  He had to go to three different hospitals before he found one with a yellow fever shot.  Then, he waited around for the e-mailed letter from Ivory Coast.  He had to have everything turned into the embassy before 1:00 in order for it to be processed by Friday.  He got the e-mail at 12:45.  He didn’t have time to go back to the guest house to print it out and still get to the embassy before 1:00.  My mom works with a man at Dillards who has family here in Ghana.  A few months back, that guy’s brother brought a package for us and left it at a computer store which is owned by their family.  Joe remembered about that shop, and it was right around the corner.  He got the guy there to print out his letter, and he made it back to the embassy with five minutes to spare.
Joe had planned to make two trips to Ivory Coast.  But after seeing how things are at the border, he does not want to attempt coming through there with the trailer.  So, he will just get what will fit in the car and get rid of the rest there.  If he gets the visa on Friday, he will probably come back home on Friday and then head to Ivory Coast on Monday.  
Joe met a missionary family at the guest house.  They are missionaries in Togo.  The lady is pregnant and is returning to the States to have the baby.  The husband is staying for a few more weeks before heading back, but he was very sick.  He asked Joe if he would mind taking his wife and children to the airport for him.  Another man at the guest house also needed a ride.  Joe was the shuttle service to the airport; he drove the other guy’s vehicle.  One of the little girls puked all the way to the airport.  She said that she gets sick when she rides in cars and that she was probably going to get sick on the plane too; poor girl!
The kids had a good day at school.  Bonnie is always happy to report on the day if she did not have to go to the office.  She didn’t have to go today.  
Danny has been writing notes for Daddy.  When he starts writing them, it makes him sad, and he starts crying.  He wrote one that said, “Danny love Mom.  Danny love Dad.  Danny will never forget bout Mom and Dad.”  Bonnie has it in her head that Joe has gone to New York City.  She keeps asking when Dad will get back from New York City.  Gilbert sets her straight.
We had church at home this evening.  Joe did not want us to take a taxi after dark.  The kids each chose a song.  We sang “Twelve Men Went to Spy on Canaan” in a church a couple weeks ago, and the boys said that they did not know that Bible story.  So, I read that story to them and explained it.  The boys asked lots of questions.  Gilbert did not understand why the giants were called “children of Anak.”  He wanted to know if they were kids that were giants.  I tried to explain that even when you are grown, you are still someone’s child.  When we were done with the story and all of the questions, Danny said, “I think I’ve got it, Mom.”
Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

W’apow mu e, 
Have you ever had one of those days where there was just a little bit too much excitement?  Well, today has been one of those days!

Joe took the kids to school and then headed to the border.  He made it to the Ivory Coast side without incident.  That was when the trouble began.  He got the papers for the vehicle.  Then, he went to have his passport stamped.  The past few times that we crossed the border, they told us that we did not need a visa to go into Ivory Coast.  Today, the border was completely different.  There were new buildings and a whole new staff.  None of the people that we have known for years were working at the border any more.  At some point, they have once again started requiring a visa for entry.  Joe talked to a guy and explained what had taken place.  Joe thought that the man was going to issue a temporary visa because he told him to sit down, and he started writing in a book.  The next thing Joe knew, he was in handcuffs.  They were going to take him back to the Ghana border to get some type of stamp; then, they were going to make him go back across the border to get our vehicle.  Joe talked them into removing the handcuffs and following him across the border in their vehicle.  Joe drove back across, and they followed him.  Once they got back to the Ghana side, the man told him to go to Accra, get a visa, and come back tomorrow.  Joe headed for Accra from the border (about a seven-hour trip).  He got to Accra about 7:30 this evening. 

A taxi came to get me about 8:30 this morning.  It rained most of the night last night; the road was one giant mud puddle.  It was quite a ride!  The taxi dropped me off at the Siekberts’ house.  I went into Takoradi with Jackie and the ladies who have been here visiting.  We ventured inside the market circle.  We did not want them to miss out on that experience!  The sights and smells of the market circle are always interesting!  Men were carrying some sickly looking dead animals in to the butcher.  We had to make way for the men with the animals.  One man carried a pile of hooves right past us.  We kept walking and got out of that area as quickly as possible.  The ladies enjoyed shopping in the market for the most part, I think.  : )

About 1:00, I took a taxi home so that I would be home when the kids got there.  Dan brought the kids home in a taxi.  
It had stopped raining by this afternoon.  So, I watched the kids swim for a little while.  Danny started yelling, “Snake, snake!”  They all quickly got out of the pool.  I called for the guard to come over to the pool to kill the snake.  He didn’t hear what I was saying.  Gilbert ran over and told him, “There’s a snake!”  I’ve never seen George move that fast!  He came running with the machete and killed the snake.  The snake was a little over a foot long.  I asked George what kind of a snake it was.  He said, “A short snake.”  Well, I knew that much!  : )  After he disposed of the snake, then the kids spotted a scorpion in the pool.  
After swimming, the kids decided that they were “going to America just for pretend.”  They talked George into walking down the hill with them.  All of the kids had a backpack.  They returned from their big trip about twenty minutes later.
Pray for Joe as he goes to the Ivorian Embassy in the morning that he will be able to get the visa all in the same day without any problems.  Sometimes they will issue the visa that day; sometimes you have to go back the next day or on an appointed day.  
Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Going to America (Just for Pretend)

Gilbert came rushing inside to ask if they could walk down the hill if George went with them.  I asked why they wanted to go down there.  He said, “We’re going to America, just for pretend.”  
All three kids had a backpack and were ready for their “trip.”
They talked George into going with them because they knew they couldn’t go down the hill by themselves.

Monday, May 28, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

Happy Memorial Day!  Thank you to all of those who have fought to keep our nation free.

Joe took the kids to school this morning.  Then, he headed to the electrician.  He had to wait a while for him to get there.  The electrician thoroughly checked everything while showing his apprentices everything he was doing.  He wanted to rule out anything else before just assuming that it was the battery, but the battery was bad.  Joe bought a new battery, and the vehicle is back up and running.  It is quite muddy with all of the rain that we have been having.  Joe said that in the area where he went to get the car fixed, a road maintainer had gotten stuck in the mud.  Joe didn’t know if he would ever get out of there.

This morning, I made a potato salad and an oreo dessert for our Memorial Day supper.  I also did some laundry and filtered some water.  

Mack Siekbert needed help transporting his group to the ocean.  We took half of them out in our vehicle and stayed for a couple hours. Joe went out into the ocean with the guys.  I sat underneath a palm tree and read.  We took the guys back to the Siekberts’ house and then went to get the kids from school.  

The boys have been eyeing some slingshots at one of the little stores that we pass on the way home.  Joe told them yesterday that he would get slingshots for them today in honor of Memorial Day.  That little store didn’t have anything that Bonnie would want; so, we found a doll for her before we picked the kids up from school.  They were all tickled with their “surprises.”

The vet was supposed to come this morning to check on the dog.  He finally came this evening.  Thumper is starting to get the big lumps that he had a month or so ago.  He just lies around.  Joe waited around for the vet to come.  Then, Joe had to go to town.  We waited until he got home to eat supper.

It was raining outside.  So, we cooked hotdogs on the griddle, and I made hotdog buns.

Pray for Joe as he travels to Ivory Coast tomorrow.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Sunday, May 27, 2012

W’apow mu e, 
When we went out to head to the church this morning, the car would not start again.  Joe is thinking it might be the battery.  We had to push start it and made it to church.  We had 83 at church this morning.  I had 29 in my class.  My helper wasn’t there for Sunday School, but he came for church.
We had to push start the car again this evening when we left for church.  We had a good service this evening with 22 in attendance.  Ten of the neighbor kids came again. I think they were expecting cake like last week because they all stayed seated after church was over.  I told them that we didn’t have anything to eat tonight, and they all went outside.
After church, Joe talked to Bright and Harriett about getting married.  They both seem to be serious about living for the Lord.  
The Siekberts had invited us over to their house after church tonight.  They have a group visiting from their church in Ohio.  We got to their house before they did.  Our church is closer to their house than their church is.  The kids played outside while we waited.  We had a good time of fellowship.  Bonnie was a little afraid of all of those white people at first, but she warmed up to them quickly.  After supper, I helped Jackie with the dishes.  Then, we headed home to get the kids in bed for school tomorrow.  The kids thought that we should be out of school tomorrow since it is an American holiday.  
Joe had planned to leave for Ivory Coast in the morning.  He is going to pack up the rest of our stuff that is still there.  Because of the vehicle problems, he is going to postpone his departure until Tuesday.  Pray for his safety as he will be doing a lot of traveling in the next few weeks.
Thumper is sick again.  The vet came, and he thinks it is sleeping sickness caused by being bit by a tsetse fly.  The vet is going to come again tomorrow to check on Thumper.  
Nantsew yie!
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Saturday, May 26, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

When Joe went out to head to the church this morning, the car would not start.  He thought that the alternator had gone out.  He got it started and went on to the church.  It started raining; so, they couldn’t do Bible Clubs today.  They went to visit Brother Blay; his health continues to decline.  Then, Joe went to the mechanic.  It must have been just a loose plug because they fixed the problem and did not charge him anything.

Our big cleaning project today was deep cleaning the kids’ rooms.  We had a huddle and went over our plan of action.  (My mom used to have huddles with us on Saturday mornings.)  The kids enjoyed the huddle and were really into sorting and cleaning for about ten minutes.  I told Danny to get everything out from under the beds.  He kept pulling wet rags out.  I asked him why there were wet rags under the beds.  They informed me that they were cleaning their tools during nap time yesterday.  I asked if the tools were dry, and they said that they were.  A few minutes later, I reached for something under the bed and put my hand in a puddle of water.  Their “tool box” still had about two inches of water in it. I carried the box to the bathroom, dumped out the tools, and made the boys dry every tool before they put them back away.

The kids went out on the pavement in the rain for a few minutes.  They had their umbrellas.  The wind was lifting up their umbrellas.  The kids were hoping that they would be able to fly.  No such luck!  : )  They had their rain coats on but still managed to get wet somehow.  They came in and changed their clothes.

After we finished cleaning, it had stopped raining.  They went back outside for a few minutes before lunch.  When they came back in, they had mud everywhere.  Joe said that we had the three little pigs. Gilbert piped up and said, “And we have two big bad wolves!”

After naps, the kids swam for a little while.  I worked on supper, and Joe watched them swim.

Bonnie was telling us what she had learned in school this week.  She said, “Do you know what my new number was?  It was the letter T.”  

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Friday, May 25, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

The power came back on about 2:00 this morning.  Then, about 5:00, it went off again.  It went off and on several times and then stayed on from 6:00 on.  The kids were up bright and early since the power went off.  It rained most of the night and most of the morning.  The kids went outside for a little while.  Gilbert got stung by a tiny scorpion.  That ended their outside time until it stopped raining.  The rain seems to draw the scorpions out.

The kids enjoyed their day out of school.  We went into town for lunch.  We went to Planter’s Lodge.  After we sat down and ordered our food, all of the kids decided that they needed to go to the bathroom.  The bathroom is in a different building.  I went with them.  We went down some steps to a walkway.  The walkway is like a giant checkerboard with squares of grass and stone.  The boys said that we weren’t supposed to step on any grass.  Bonnie couldn’t skip over the grass squares as well as they could.  

Toward the end of lunch, Danny needed to go back to the bathroom. He said that he could go by himself.  Watching him try to avoid the grass squares was funny.  We were just certain that he was going to fall flat on his face because the stones were slick from the rain.  He made it back inside without any falls.

On the way home, we drove past the ocean.  The kids enjoyed seeing the oil platforms and the big ships.  

We called my mom for her birthday.  Then, it was nap time.  After naps, the kids watched Joe vacuum the pool.  Then, the kids swam for a while.

Thumper went exploring, and the kids went after him.  Joe told Danny that the dog would come back on his own.  But, Bonnie and Gilbert had already gone after him.  They were all muddy after chasing the dog.  Joe sprayed the kids off with the hose.  They had to play outside until they dried off a little.  Then, they came inside to take their showers before supper.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie