Monthly Archives: November 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

We had an interesting day. Joe took the kids to school. About an hour after school started, someone called and said that Gilbert was not feeling well. Joe talked to Gilbert, and Gilbert said that he was hot. We asked the person calling if Gilbert had a fever, and they said that he did not. So, Joe told him to drink some water and try to go back to class.

The switch on the pump in the bottom of the well quit working. So, Joe had to pull the pump out of the bottom of the well to fix it. In doing so, the pipe broke, and some of the fittings went inside the pump. Right in the midst of dealing with that, the school called again and said that Gilbert was running a fever. So, Joe went to the school. He went ahead and brought all three kids home because he did not know how long it was going to take him to get the pump back in working order.

Gilbert has not been feeling too perky for the past couple days, but he had not had a fever up until today. He started having pain in his lungs today. He was doubled over in pain. We went to the pharmacy, explained his symptoms, and got the medicine for pneumonia. He was burning up but had the chills. He was miserable. After a couple rounds of Tylenol and Ibuprofen, his fever broke. We have an air conditioner in our bedroom; so, we had him in there trying to cool him down. The power went off; thankfully it was only off for a few minutes.

Joe was able to get the pump working and got everything put back together. When that switch on the pump is working, we can just turn our pump on up at the top of the hill to get water instead of going down the hill to the well to switch the pump on down there.

A little before supper, Danny said that his chest was hurting. He did not eat much at supper. After supper, he lay down on the couch and started screaming because his back hurt so badly. He has a high pain tolerance; if he is letting us know that he hurts, he really hurts!! We gave him some medicine and rubbed him down with Vicks. He lay back down on the couch and fell asleep. He had a fever too, but it was gone by bed time. Bonnie had a slight fever early in the week and kept saying that her ribs hurt. Hers was a milder case, but she is still complaining of pain off and on. So, it will be a weekend at home for me and the children. Pray for a speedy recovery and that Joe and I won’t get it.

Bonnie was going back and forth between the two brothers tonight to check on them. I asked her if Gilbert had fallen asleep. She said, “Let me go check on my poor Gilbert.” She came back to report that his eyes were still open.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Thursday, November 29, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

Joe took the kids to school. The Fante teacher had something else that he had to do today. So, we went into town to get some Fante practice in. We went to the store that had the Christmas trees first. Then, I went to the market while Joe met Dwayne in front of another store. Dwayne left something at our house last week, and he needed to get that. We all met back at the grocery store and went to Planters’ Lodge for lunch. They are remodeling their restaurant to make it bigger. So, they had moved the seating area to a different building today. They were very slow in getting the food ready. It was good when it finally came. We had just enough time to go to the house to unload our purchases so that Joe could go get the kids from school.

We bought a Christmas tree in town today. When we left Ivory Coast, we had to leave all of our Christmas stuff behind. A sweet lady in our home church sent us some ornaments. The ornaments match our living room perfectly. We found the tree and some lights here. The kids were so excited about decorating the tree tonight. They said, “This is the best day ever!” We had a tree made out of lights last year.

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We started out with the tree in front of the green wall. We decided that the tree was getting lost in the green wall. So, we moved it to the lighter wall. It may be beginning to look like Christmas, but it definitely doesn’t feel like it. It was over 100 degrees outside today and 90 degrees inside the house.

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Gilbert said, “Look! I’m Rudolph the Brown-Nosed Reindeer.” He does not know yet that it is not a good thing to have a “brown nose.” : )

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The parts of the tree that the kids could reach got more ornaments than other parts, but everyone had fun.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

Gilbert was up early this morning. He didn’t think he could go to school because he was coughing. But, he went.

After Joe took the kids to school, he picked up the Fante teacher. I met them on the road. We went to the church for our lesson. We finished the rest of the alphabet today. He gave us several lists of words to memorize. We need to learn the diphthongs (two letters together that make a special sound), and then we should be able to start reading in Fante. Of course, we won’t understand what we are reading at the beginning. But, our vocabulary should grow quickly. When saying the Fante alphabet, the letters don’t have a name and a sound like our alphabet; the name of the letter is the sound that it makes. That makes saying the alphabet very interesting.

Joe took me home and then took the teacher back to school. Then, he ran some errands in town. A few months ago, we bought printer cartridges for our laser printer. The printer was 110 only and got plugged into 220. We tried to get the printer fixed but to no avail. So, we had $600 worth of printer cartridges that we couldn’t use. The store where we bought them usually does not give refunds or make exchanges. Joe talked to the Lebanese owner. He said that he had a newer laser printer that came with cartridges that was the same price as the cartridges we had bought. He let us exchange the unopened cartridges for the printer. That was a blessing!

Then, Joe went to the post office. We had three Christmas packages. It took some discussion to get the boxes out of there without paying an arm and a leg. He charged us more than normal, but one of the boxes was quite large. All in all, we did not have to pay too much; it could have been much worse.

The kids had a good day at school. They all rested for a little while when they got home, but no one went to sleep.

After supper, we went to church. When it was time to start, it was just our family there. But, a few others came just as we were getting started. We had a good service.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

Bonnie was back to her perky self today. Gilbert still has a cough and cold. But, everyone went to school. Joe said that Bonnie went around greeting every teacher in the school this morning telling them how much she had missed them yesterday.

Joe picked the Fante teacher up. I walked out to the main road to meet them. They met me just before I got to the main road.

We had quite a lesson today. He packed a lot into our lesson today. We learned six more consonants. We learned a whole list of verbs, but we don’t quite know what they all mean yet. Most of the verbs have several different meanings depending on how they are used in the sentence. For instance, the word rodɔ can mean “to love,” “to drown,” or “to boil.” We also learned more numbers as well as animal names that are common to Ghana.

The power went off just before I left the house this morning. It was off at the church too. The power company said that it was “emergency load shedding.” It was off for nine hours.

After our lesson, Joe dropped me off at the house. He took the Fante teacher back to his school. We found out that our Fante teacher is a famous man. Everyone knows him. He is a city councilman for Takoradi; they call it an “assemblyman.”

The kids had a good day at school. They are preparing for their end-of-the-trimester exams.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Monday, November 26, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

Bonnie was up several times during the night saying that her “neck” (throat) hurt. She was not feeling very well when she got up this morning. So, we kept her at home today. A couple hours into the morning, she started feeling better. This evening, she was winding down again. Gilbert seems to have the same symptoms now. We always seem to share that type of thing!

Joe took the boys to school. Then, he went into town to run some errands.

Bonnie took it easy most of the morning. Whenever she saw me doing something, she wanted to help. We were folding a basket of laundry. She said, “This is just a little bit, Mom. Don’t you have some more we can fold?”

Martin came this afternoon and played with the boys until supper time. He stayed for supper. We had the last of our Thanksgiving leftovers tonight.

We have just had an episode of sleep walking take place. Gilbert ended up in the office but thought that he was in the bathroom. He scared me, and I scared him. I still don’t know if he actually woke up throughout the whole ordeal.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Sunday, November 25, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

Joe usually makes breakfast on Sunday mornings. He made waffles today so that the boys would not feel left out. Danny could not remember if he liked waffles. As soon as he tried one, he remembered that he did!

We had a good day at church. I had over fifty kids (teens down to babies) in my Sunday School class this morning.

Joe taught the adult class for Sunday School. They have been going through the ABC’s of Christian Growth. They started on the topic of The Church today. Their lesson went a little long because some people wanted to know why we do not believe in a universal church.

We had thirty-nine in junior church today (seven and under). I ended up holding a little girl almost the whole time. Last Monday, I could not figure out why my left arm was so sore. Joe said that it was probably from holding the little boy all morning with that arm while teaching, singing, etc. This girl must have been heavier than the last boy because my arm is already sore. I guess I am out of the practice of carrying a child around the house while working. Maybe I should put the child on my back like the women do here.

During junior church, we call different children up to help hold the pictures for some of the songs. One little girl had a dress on that snapped down the front. While she was holding the picture up over her head with both hands, her little sister pulled on her dress and unsnapped it all the way down the front. She just kept holding the picture.

We had more Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch today. Then, we took naps before heading back to church. We had twelve in attendance tonight.

Joe has been wanting corndogs. Since we have cornmeal now, he made some for supper tonight. The kids and I had a laundry folding party while Joe worked on the corndogs. We had such a busy week this past week that the laundry was about to overtake us. I had done several loads of laundry during the week but just had not found the time to fold them. They were throwing people’s clothes to them to fold. Bonnie did not want to fold the brothers’ underwear, and they did not want to touch hers. : ) We got the job done.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Saturday, November 24, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ?

Yesterday on our Black Friday shopping spree in the Market Circle, Joe found a waffle iron. He bought it. Guess what we had for breakfast today?? Waffles!! Bonnie said, “Mom, can we have these waffles every day?” Gilbert was upset to find out that we ate waffles without him. We had a couple left though; so, he still got one.

Joe went to get the boys this morning. The boys had so much fun. I think that is the first time that they have spent the night with friends. They stayed up late playing games and were a bit grouchy today. I remember going to slumber parties when I was younger, and my mom never liked them because I was always grouchy the next day. : )

No one came for soul winning today. So, Mack Siekbert went with Joe to make some visits. They had a good morning.

We had some children come throughout the morning who wanted to play with the kids. First, Sammy, a boy from church came. When it was time for the kids to do homework, I told Sammy it was time to go. After homework, a big group of kids came up the hill. I told them that they needed to go home. A few minutes later, they were back again. That time, Helena, a girl from church, was with them. She said that they followed her up the hill. I told her she could stay for a little bit but that the others needed to go. Then, it was lunch time. After lunch, everyone took a much needed nap.

When the kids were outside this morning, they turned the hose on in the pool. We asked Danny if the hose was off at lunch time, and he said that it was. Joe went out to check on it a couple hours later, and it was still on. Danny just thought it was off. The holding tank had almost run dry. He tried to pump water from the well, but the water wasn’t coming. So, he went down to the well and discovered that the switch on that end was bad. When he was turning the vehicle around to head back up the hill, he backed into a sand pile and broke the bumper.

Then, it was time to head to church for Christmas Program practice. We had sixteen children there tonight. They seem to be picking up the poems and songs very well. Joe also gave the plan of salvation at the end.

When we got home, the power was off. It was our turn for “load shedding” tonight. I was going to use the microwave to heat up leftovers, but we can’t use the microwave with the generator. So, we used some of the chicken and made chicken sandwiches.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Friday, November 23, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ?

Usually, Danny is up before anyone else, but this morning, he was the last one up! He came dragging into the living room and announced, “I am not going to school today!” Well, he did go to school!

Laura was having some “Black Friday” withdrawals.  Jackie had mentioned that they were going to go “Black Friday” shopping at the market circle.  So, we called the Siekberts, and we all went into town today. Laura, Jackie, and her daughter, Naomi, all had a good time. Laura’s big purchase was some plastic bags for lunches, but she had fun walking around and looking at things.  Mack, his boys, and I all went to some electrical supply stores and then just walked around waiting for the girls to get the “Black Friday” bugs out of their systems!  Shopping at the market definitely puts a new spin on the words “Black Friday!”

We picked up some Lebanese food for lunch, and then we dropped the Siekberts off at their house and came home. Lo got too hot while shopping in the market circle, and she did not feel well by the time we got home. While Lo was taking a nap, Mack called and invited the boys to have a sleepover with their boys.

I went and picked the kids up from school, and then we all went over to the Siekberts’ house for supper.  We had a good time of fellowship, and the kids had lots of fun playing.  It was a load shedding night in their area; so, the power went off about 6:30.  They cranked up the generator to keep the fans going.  

I was worried about Bonnie finding out that the brothers were going to sleep at the Siekberts’ house, but she was fine! When it came time to go, she said, “Good night, Brothers! Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” Then, she marched out the door like she knew what she was doing! Well, Gilbert had talked to her because he knew that she was going to cry. He told her that if she did not cry then maybe she could sleep in our room for this special occasion! What a boy! His idea worked great. She was so happy to come home and go to bed next to our bed in her pink sleeping bag!  Laura went to bed when Bonnie did because she still had a headache.  So, I typed the e-mail once again.

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Thursday, November 22, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ? 

Bonnie and Gilbert were up early this morning chomping at the bit for the Harrisons to wake up. (The Harrisons said that their kids were up early too, but they thought we were still asleep. They should have just let them go outside.) Joe fired up the grill to grill the yams while I made muffins for breakfast. Then, we started on the Thanksgiving feast preparations. Dwayne and Deborah Harrison came in and got in on the action. I kept everyone busy for a couple hours. Then, the men got to take a break while the ladies finished up. The Siekberts came too. Jackie helped Deborah and I get the last few things done while the kids played in the pool. The pool wasn’t full of water, but they had fun splashing around.

We tried a new recipe today – stuffed chicken breasts. They turned out pretty good. We had plenty of food with lots of leftovers. We had lots of fun.

Gilbert won the prize for the worst sunburn. Bonnie won the prize for the first one to fall asleep; Danny took a close second. Bonnie fell asleep on the floor in her bedroom. Danny fell asleep outside in the hammock. Josh Harrison won the prize for the most chocolate on his face.

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The mechanic called this afternoon to say that our vehicle was ready. Joe rode with the Siekberts when they left, and Mack took him to the mechanic. The Harrisons went home in a taxi.

When Joe told those who ride to school with them that they would not be going to school on Thursday because it was an American holiday, the lady who rides with them jokingly said that she was going to come for cake. Gilbert said, “Yes! Come! Bring your whole family!” Mrs. Naomi and her three children came about 5:00 this evening for dessert.

Everyone is ready for bed early tonight!

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

W’apɔw mu ɛ?

Today has been a WAWA day for sure! (West Africa Wins Again!) Murphy may visit other places from time to time, but he lives in Ghana, and his name is Koffi Murphy. Have you ever heard of Black Irish? Well, it came from the well-traveled citizen of Ghana, Mr. Murphy! HA! I sure am thankful we can still have fun on days like today!

I took the kids to school this morning, and for some reason there was a lot of traffic. It took us a lot longer to get to school! On the ride home, there was even more traffic. For some reason, today has been the day of the drivers on cell phones. I lost count of the near misses, and every one of them had a cell phone to their ear even though it is against the law.

Lo needed some flour, and I went to town to get some. I was unsuccessful! I was supposed to go get the flour and then drive to a village two hours away to pick up the Harrisons. However, this is where the adventure started! My clutch master cylinder went out right in the market circle. Well, there is not AAA to call here! I had to drive with no clutch all the way across town to the mechanic. Have you ever driven in a traffic jam with no clutch!?! I wish I could answer NO to that one too! Today was not my first time either, and I doubt it will be my last! The part to fix my car is not in stock here; they had to send off to Accra to get one! So I hope I can get it back tomorrow!

I had to walk to find a taxi to take me home, and then that taxi broke down too! I just walked on home, but it sure does take a long time to walk anywhere here because I have to stop and talk to everyone! HA! Good Fante practice!

I had to call the Harrisons and tell them I could not come and pick them up. (His car is broken down too!) He said that it must be the Lord’s will to cancel our Thanksgiving plans.

I went to pick the kids up from school in the Aarons’ car, and on the way home Dwayne Harrison called to tell me that they decided to come anyway and took a taxi from that village. He wanted me to pick him up from town! We sure were excited! I dropped the kids off at home and then went to pick him up!

We ate supper and then started to get ready for church when the power dipped real low and then went off. I started the generator and finished getting ready for church. We noticed that the power had come back on, and I switched back to the main line when the new problem started! Only one phase came back on! I could not figure out what the problem was because our neighbors were not having that problem.

We went on to church, and Dwayne preached! It was a good sermon, and we had a good crowd of people at church tonight!

We got home, and I started trying to figure out the electrical problem. I got the two phases to come back on, but the lights in the office and the kitchen were not working. Well, we figured out that an outdoor security bulb had shorted out, and that was what had caused all of our troubles. Dwayne wanted to know if our house was wired by the guy who invented Christmas lights! One bulb goes out and the whole house won’t work! We just turned that switch off, and everything works great!

Laura was in the kitchen most of the day.  She was so tired that she went on to bed.  That is why I typed the e-mail again.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and eat some turkey for us!

Nantsew yie!

Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie