Having Nana Yaw & his mother here has been such a great experience already....it is actually kind of hard to put into words. They are both so kind and welcoming....I know that sounds weird since we actually welcomed them into our home, but their personalities are very considerate, appreciative, and comforting. I feel like I have known Esi for years!
This morning Esi went with me to my women’s bible study at church, and she said it was ‘very enjoyable’ for her. She said that in Ghana our type of church is termed ‘charismatic’. She mentioned that the youth of Ghana are very drawn to the style of the church we attend (Cornerstone Church of Ames). She said Nana Yaw is going to love it, especially the music. In Ghana they attend a church about 10 minutes from their home which gathers around 200 people each Sunday.
After church we met back up with the boys for lunch at the house, and then Esi, Jayla & I made a trip to the grocery store. We decided that Esi will cook us a traditional African meal on Saturday night, so we picked up the ingredients for that….beef, tomato paste, potatoes, rice, and a LOAD of spices…especially cayenne pepper. She is going to show me how to make everything, in particular the sauce that they put with almost every meal. I am so excited to have a traditional dish to make for Solomon when he comes! I think it is going to be quite spicy! We also picked up 2 items specifically for Nana Yaw at the store…..grape juice, and cocoa puffs! Esi said they are some of his favorites!
Last night over dinner Jake and I received a crash course on the Ghana way of life….everything from how the government works, to loans from banks, to the education system, to shopping, even to flavors of ice cream! I wish I could have written it all down because everything was SO interesting. Esi is very well-educated, and was able to firmly and in-depthly answer every one of Jake’s questions….and he asked a lot of questions! I asked him to do a little write-up for the blog regarding what he learned from Esi about the government and economic situation of the country….so hopefully I can post that sometime this week.
We learned last night, that not only does Esi work full-time at the customs area of the airport, but she also owns and manages a small grocery store in Accra. She and her husband are also working on setting up a foundation to help the uneducated & impoverished children in their area, especially what she calls the ‘girl child’ or young women. This project is all in the beginning stages, but the goal is to teach the young women a ‘trade’ such as basket weaving, or how to dye and weave cloth so that they can provide for themselves. She said there are not many opportunities like this in Ghana for the uneducated. As you can tell, we have learned so much over the past few days...I am really trying to soak it all in!
Lastly, in the spirit of the NCAA Men’s tournament starting today, I just have to post our Final Four picks! Here we go:
National Champs: Pittsburgh
National Champs: UNC
National Champs: Villanova
National Champs: Connecticut