Monthly Archives: June 2012

Saturday, June 30, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

No one came for Bible Clubs today.  The soccer fields are too muddy from all of the rain.  Dan nor Joe felt very well anyway.  

I have been busy packing, doing laundry, and trying to make sure that I haven’t forgotten anything.  I leave Monday morning to head to the States for almost three weeks.  

I videoed the kids saying verses and singing this morning so that I can take some video to the grandparents.  I was going to do a tour of the house on video, but I didn’t get that done yet.

The kids scrubbed the pool this afternoon.  They will do some more cleaning on Monday and then fill the pool back up.  

All three kids wanted to help me make supper.  After supper, I played a game of Cadoo with the kids.  Then, Bonnie helped me fold laundry.  Gilbert came in to put his pile away.  He came back and asked, “Did Bonnie help fold?”  I said that she did.  He said, “Well, she folded my shirt inside out, and she didn’t fold my pants right either.”  I told him that she was still learning and that he could refold them.  He didn’t like that suggestion.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Friday, June 29, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

Gilbert’s eye was fine this morning.  It must have been an allergic reaction to something.  Bonnie got into the peanut butter and must have touched a place that I didn’t see.  Gilbert is allergic to peanuts.

Joe is still not feeling very well.  He may have to take something for parasites.

Joe took the kids to school this morning.  The road is getting worse and worse with all of the rain.  It rained most of the night last night.

I worked on financial reports this morning.  I got them all ready; then, the printer was out of ink.  Oh well, at least the hard part is done.  

Our computer has been acting strange the past couple days.  I found a virus on it today and got rid of it; now, it is working better.

The kids were all excited when they got home today because they found out today that Monday is a holiday, and they won’t have school on Monday.  Joe was not so excited because I fly out of Takoradi on Monday morning at 8:00.  (I will have all day to kill in Accra; my flight does not leave Accra until 10:15 on Monday night.)  If we would have known sooner, they could have taken me to Accra.  Oh well, I am sure they will find something fun to do.  Bonnie said that they could go to a restaurant since it would be a holiday.  Gilbert said, “We can’t go to a restaurant without Mom.”  I asked him why they couldn’t go without me.  He said, “Dad can’t go to a restaurant without his beautiful wife.”  I told him it was okay for them to go to a restaurant without me because I would be going to some while I was gone.

Danny has been busy writing notes to send back with me.  Gilbert and Bonnie colored some pictures.

The kids and I played a Memory game tonight.  Danny kept pointing to the one that he thought we should turn over.  The first few times, he was wrong.  I said that we shouldn’t listen to him.  Then, the next couple times, he was right.  He said, “See, Mom!  I am a good thinker!”  Bonnie played for a little while and then moved on to other things.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Thursday, June 28, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

Joe felt better this morning.  By this afternoon, he was back down again.  He has taken it easy today.  He took the kids to school and then picked them up from school.  

I did some cleaning and laundry this morning.  I unpacked all of my framed pictures that Joe brought back from Ivory Coast.  I also made some cookies to freeze for lunches.

It has rained off and and on all day today.  This afternoon, the kids were playing in the living room.  The boys built a castle with the Lincoln Logs.  Then, Bonnie, the great destroyer, knocked part of it down.  Gilbert said, “Mom, Bonnie ‘intentially’ knocked our castle down.”

All of the kids worked on pictures and letters for me to take to the grandparents.

Gilbert’s eye is swollen tonight.  It looks like an allergic reaction to something.  He took some Benadryl and went to bed.  

Bonnie was about to fall asleep on her feet.  Her class hasn’t been taking a nap at school this week for some reason.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

The kids had a good day at school.  Bonnie said that her class practiced for their presentation today.  Danny and Gilbert were both back to their school DVDs.  They were on Lesson 162 today.  They are almost finished with the lessons.  Then, they will have exams and get ready for the end-of-the-year program.

I got some things made to freeze for the kids’ school lunches while I am gone.  I am leaving Monday to go to the States for a couple weeks.  I am excited!  

Joe got home this evening and was sick when he got here.  There seems to be a lot of sickness going around right now.

We were excited to see the things that Daddy brought from Ivory Coast.  Danny got busy building something with the Lincoln Logs right away.  Bonnie had a new doll to play with.  Gilbert put a car ramp together.  I got some treasures too.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Groceries

Missionary ladies on the Baptist Missionary Women blog are comparing grocery prices this week.  I will give you an idea of grocery prices here in Ghana.

We live in Takoradi, Ghana, which is about five hours from the capital city of Accra, Ghana.  In Accra, there are many large grocery stores, much like you would see in the States.  But the prices there are not much different than they are in Takoradi; some things are a little cheaper there.  Here in Takoradi, we have three grocery stores which carry cold products as well as other groceries; they are not much bigger than a convenience store in the States.  There are many little hole-in-the-wall stores that have two or three small aisles, and it is very hard to navigate in them.  These little places usually specialize in a certain type of product – One will have paper goods (napkins, paper towels, paper plates) and plastic bags.  Another might have diapers and baby products.  Keep going, and you’ll find one with cleaning products.  Some sell the basic food staples.

If we are making a one-stop shopping trip, we go to Garden Mart, one of the three air-conditioned grocery stores.  On other days, we do bulk shopping and market shopping.  We have found that it is cheaper to buy some things in bulk – powdered milk (There is not any homogenized milk here.), flour, sugar, cheese, and some canned goods.  I usually buy plastic bags, tea, mayonnaise, and oil at one of the places along the market circle.  It is also cheaper to get the fruits and vegetables at the market too.

We buy 25 kilo bags of powdered milk, flour, and sugar.  That much powdered milk lasts us four to five months.  The flour and sugar usually last about two months.

The Ghanaian currency is called cedis.

25 kg powdered milk (makes about 85 gallons of milk) 270 cedis = $140 ($1.65 per gallon)
   Our kids drink that milk like it is going out of style!

25 kg flour 40 cedis = $22

25 kg sugar 38 cedis = $20

Cheddar cheese (1 lb.) 20 cedis = $10.50

(The prices mentioned above are bulk prices.  If we do not buy them in bulk, the price of all of those items is at least 30% more.)

Most canned goods are around 4 cedis per can ($2.10 each).

The Heinz brand of Cream of Chicken soup or Cream of Mushroom soup is sometimes available for 5 cedis per can ($2.60).  I usually make my own creamed soup.

Sometimes Crisco is available.  It has come down in price from when they first started selling it here.  It is 15.50 cedis ($8) for a 3 lb. tub.  They have a little tub here called Blue Band which I use for everyday things; but if you bought 3 lbs. of it, it would come out about the same as the Crisco.

Pringles jumped from 3.50 cedis ($1.80) per can to 7.00 cedis ($3.60) per can.

Cake mixes are available for just a mere 10 cedis ($5.20).  I make my own cakes.

The other day, we found Blueberry Muffin mix for 5 cedis ($2.60).  We splurged and got a couple!

Occasionally, we can find Dr. Pepper (my favorite) for 1.80 cedis ($ .95) per 12 oz. can.  Those are bought sparingly for a special treat.  They have not had any for a while.

There are certain things that at times can be found everywhere, and sometimes they cannot be found anywhere, such as powdered sugar, vanilla, tomato sauce and tortilla chips.

There is a little store in Accra that gets items from bulk stores in the States.  The prices are about three times what you would pay for them in the States, but it is nice to get a couple tastes of home whenever we are in that area (once or twice a year) – chocolate chips, graham crackers, etc.

I will have to take pictures of the stores later.  My husband is out of town, and I do not feel like venturing out in a taxi today.  It can be quite an adventure!

If we ever see anything that we really want and that we have never seen here before, we buy it because we might never see it again.  : )

As the exchange rate continues to fluctuate, the prices continue to rise.

I hope you enjoyed a look at Ghana grocery prices.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

The taxi was on time this morning.  The other riders were a little late because it was raining.  

I started several different projects today.  I think I only finished one of them, but it was a pretty big one.  I unpacked the rest of the stuff that Joe brought back from Ivory Coast last time to see if there was anything else I needed to have Joe get.  I unpacked all of my china and got it put away.  To do that, I had to empty the china cabinet and find a place for all of those things.  I was looking for my good silverware but didn’t find it.  Joe said that it wasn’t there either.  Oh well, I guess I didn’t need it.

Last night, the boys both told me that they were going to have a “presentation” at school today to find out who was moving on to the next grade.  Their teachers said that some would not be moving on, and both boys were all in a dither about it.  They will have a program at the end of July, and they are beginning to practice for that.  After they got home today, they said that they get to be in the program.  That’s what the “presentation” was all about.  Bonnie said that her class is doing a “potation” too.  She said that they practiced their song today, but she couldn’t remember what it was.  Gilbert said that Danny’s class got to practice today, but his didn’t other than the whole school (K4-5th grade) singing the Ghanaian National Anthem and saying the pledges together.  They don’t have many more lessons to go.  School isn’t over until July 26; I think they will all get plenty of practice in before then!

I gave the boys a hair cut before supper tonight just in case it was another “load shedding” night.  

Bonnie did not take a nap today.  She fell asleep before 8:00.  Danny fell asleep in the chair shortly after that.  Since Gilbert was the only one awake, he wanted to sleep in my bed.  I told him he could start out there; if he is snoring, I’m going to carry him to his bed.  On Gilbert’s way to bed, his foot found some staples that Danny left on the ground when he was loading the stapler.  Gilbert said, “They went into my skin, Mom!  That Danny!  I’m going to talk to him about that in the morning, and he’s going to have a lot of explaining to do!”  We put a band aid on the injury, and Gilbert scooted down the hallway on his bottom to the bedroom.  He said, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to go to school tomorrow, Mom.  I’ll have to walk on my tippy toes.”

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Monday, June 25, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

Thank you for praying for Joe today.  He made it to Ivory Coast safely.  Tomorrow he will get another load of our stuff in the vehicle and get rid of the rest.  Then, he plans to head back here on Wednesday.

Joe dropped the kids off at school on his way out of town.  

I got my normal Monday duties done – laundry, filtering water, etc.

The taxi driver who normally picks up the kids when Joe is gone had car trouble today.  So, Dan had to find a different taxi.  They got home about thirty minutes later than normal.  Both Danny and Bonnie had fallen asleep on the way home.

The kids played outside until supper time.  Just as we were finishing up the dishes, the power went off for load shedding.  I walked out to the other building to start the generator to discover that someone had locked that door.  I went to get the key ring that has most of the keys on it, but it didn’t have the key that we needed.  It had just gotten dark.  So, Danny was holding his flashlight.  The light was bouncing all over the room because Danny can’t stay still for long.  I called Joe to find out where the key was.  After a few more tries, we found the right key.  Then, the generator needed fuel.  Once again, Danny was holding the flashlight.  I had just gotten a steady stream going into the generator when the light left me.  The light reappeared, and we got it filled up.  We got the generator fired up.  Then, we went inside and flipped the switch.  Gilbert and Bonnie had accompanied us too.  Gilbert was in his underwear.  Bonnie was sure to sound the warning to plug their ears when I was about to start the generator.  Danny tried to plug his ears while holding the flashlight.

Bonnie was the only one with homework tonight.  She was printing “K.”  Each time she wrote it, she was saying, “Straight stick, slant, up, slant down.”  After writing three rows, she said, “I’m tired of talking, Mom.  That’s why I’m not saying it anymore.”  Imagine that!  She was tired of talking!!  

I was going to give the boys a hair cut tonight.  We checked to see if the clippers would work with the generator, but they wouldn’t.  So, we’ll cut their hair another day.  I trimmed Bonnie’s bangs.  

Now, I’m just waiting for the power to come back on so I can turn the generator off.  

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Sunday, June 24, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

We had a good day at church.  There were eighty in attendance this morning.  I had thirty in my class; my helper came toward the end of Sunday School.

One of the girls in the church recently graduated from high school.  I guess some schools do not allow them to wear hair extensions; so, she has never had much hair.  Now, that she has finished school, she can wear extensions.  When she came to church today, Danny did not recognize her.  He asked her what her name was, and she told him a different name.  He said, “Well, you sound like someone else.”  Then, I passed by, and he said, “Mom, who is that?”  I told him that it was Ordeth.  He said, “Oh, she has a different face.”  (I have done the same thing before because they change their hair style or hair color so frequently in Africa.)

We had a meeting for the Sunday school teachers after church today.  We are going to try something different for a while.  Only the children seven and under will be dismissed to their own class; everyone else will stay in the auditorium.  Several of the teachers have only been coming on Sunday mornings, and they don’t hear any preaching that way.  This will hopefully help them to grow spiritually and encourage them to attend all church services.  I will continue doing the class and rotate with a different helper each week.

Three of the five teachers were there for the evening service tonight.  We had eighteen in attendance.

After church, the kids were running around playing with some of the neighborhood children in the church yard.  When we got in the car, Gilbert said that those kids were playing rough tonight.  Joe asked who had started the rough play.  Gilbert thought about it a minute and said, “It was Danny.”  Danny said, “Well, I was just playing flying monkey karate guy.”  : )  Bonnie was trying to pick up the kids her size by wrapping them in a bear hug.

Pray for Joe as he will be traveling to Ivory Coast tomorrow.  He plans to return on Wednesday.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Saturday, June 23, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

Joe and Dan did Bible Clubs this morning.  They had sixty at one of them.  They also went to visit Brother Blay; his health continues to decline; he is going blind now.

The kids did some work inside before heading outside to play.  Bonnie came in and said that the boys broke her fort.  The boys said that she did not have a fort to break.  Then, a few minutes later, the boys came to tell me that Bonnie broke their “whole town.”  The kids who came for Bible Club came about 10:00.  Our kids played with them until Dan and Joe came for Bible Club out here.  

Someone purchased a plane ticket for me to go to the States for a couple weeks.  I will leave a week from Monday.  I am trying to get some things made up ahead of time that Joe can just take out of the freezer.  I worked on pizza pockets for school lunches and also made some cookies.

The power went off at 10:00 this morning and stayed off until 6:00 this evening.  That put a damper on my plan to get lots of laundry done today.  I got one load done before the power went off.  It takes about two hours for the washer to wash one load.  We turned the generator on about noon, but the washer doesn’t work on the generator.  Oh well, there’s always Monday!  : )

The kids played a game with Joe while I got pizza ready for supper.  

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Friday, June 22, 2012

W’apow mu e, 

Joe took the kids to school.  The school is a little under four miles away, but it has been taking almost an hour to get there because of the road conditions.  

Joe helped me hang some of the wall hangings around the house today.  I got some laundry done too.

This afternoon, a couple of the kids who ride to and from school with us came back to the house to play for a while.  The kids had fun with them.

On the way home from school, Bonnie was telling Joe that they talked about foxes today at school.  She said, “There is a daddy fox, a mommy fox, and ‘cabes.’”  Joe asked her if she meant “cubs.”

This evening, we went into town to go out to eat.  We stopped at the bank first.  While Joe went inside, Danny asked me, “Is this the good bank or the bad bank, Mom?”  I asked him what he meant.  He said, “Well, is it Catholic or what?”  I told him that banks do not have a religion.

Bonnie always wants to know where we are going.  She calls Planters Lodge “Pizza Planet” for some reason.  She asked if we were going to Pizza Planet or somewhere else.

Danny ate and ate and ate.  We ordered a cheeseburger and a pizza for the kids to share.  Danny ate most of both.

As we were getting ready to leave the restaurant, Bonnie was asking the same thing over and over.  Joe said, “How many times do I have to tell you?”  Bonnie looked him right in the eye and held up three fingers.  That girl is a mess!   

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie