I really want to refrain from writing an encyclopedia about my trip to Ghana, but every day there are more stories. So let's see where I last left off. Tuesday was my sister Pearl's birthday. Remind me to come to Ghana the next time I have a birthday. I brought her a banana muffin that a friend's mom baked, as it was kind of a last-minute thing. We sang this extensive version of the happy birthday song and all shook hands, and we also sat down and ate dinner together, which doesn't happen incredibly often (especially for me because I get home so late every day). Then, a neighbor David came over in his traditional garb and helped drag Pearl outside to pour water on her. Apparently you don't have to use water, so I suggested Fanta, but we used water. This wasn't just a cup or anything - it was like 3 whole buckets. I got some epic pictures to account for this.
For some more background on Peace and Love Academy, it is both an orphanage and a boarding school, and they all wear uniforms. So some kids' parents pay for them to attend, which means there is a disparity between the two types of children there, but we can't really tell them apart from one another, which I think creates a little awkwardness. Peace and Love is sponsored by an actress from around here named Grace. So, as far as orphanages in Ghana go, I would say that they have it pretty good. We patched up some things that needed patching and did lots of cleaning/playing. That's really the one thing the kids don't have much of: attention. They really appreciate any good ole' fashioned TLC.
Late Tuesday nite/ Wednesday morning I started to feel really sick and on Wednesday at the orphanage I had the dubious distinction of being the first AFS student to get ill from the change in diet/conditions. I pretty much laid on a bench and was tackled by children for a while. The AFS bus was going to come take me home but instead they decided to take me to the hospital against my will. This made me feel a lot sicker than I actually was, but anyway, I went. I could describe the hospital in great detail here, but that would take forever. It was the first time on this trip that I got really scared though. I got some antacids and some rehydration formula and got back on the AFS bus as a hero. PS, I am feeling 100% better now. My host mom is taking really good care of me, I have fruit juice with every meal and plenty of water.
So Thursday I stayed home from the orphanage and slept all day. Friday was our last day at Peace and Love. We gave some gifts to the orphans and we had epic soccer matches of AFS students vs. Peace and Love kids. Our girls' team won (I totally had the assist, thank you) and our guys' team tied. That was really fun to do. Some of the kids were pretty talented, although I was expecting that we would get totally owned, so we lucked out I guess. It turns out that Ghanaians are not immune to my sweet moves.
Friday also yielded the most epic marriage proposal that I have gotten so far. One of the musicians at Peace and Love helping to teach us traditional dances, told me that he wanted to be my friend, so I was like, OK, I like friends. I went to write down my email address for him and he followed me into this classroom with like 1 other person in it. So, I gave it to him and was ready to split (our dance performance was coming up), when he started weirdly hugging me and putting his arm around me, and said, "We can travel the world together and play music... I would like to promise you with a ring before you go back to America." Well, I was something like, "That's really nice of you, but I don't think so." Then he got into this whole spiel of like "Why don't you love me?! Is it because I'm black and you're white?" At some point I finally extracted myself from his grasp and tried to leave, but he was like, "take a picture so you can remember me". Well, I definitely want to remember this story, so I agreed to take a picture. It was pretty weird, he didn't even smile.. but OK. So I ran back to my friends to tell them what happened and be traumatized. But this was not the end.
While I was waiting for the bus with my friend Kerry, the dude came back. I had my sunglasses on and tried to stay incognito. He began talking to her about how I was so beautiful that I could be the queen of the United States. Then he started talking to me again and telling me the same thing, to which I was like, "Well... that's kind of superficial." Then Kerry pointed out to him that I'm taken, which he totally didn't believe. So, our friend Angel, as we had agreed before, pretended to be my boyfriend. Crazily, this did not even deter the guy. He also told me that he was 19, despite looking like he's probably at least 25 or 26. While I was standing with Angel and Kerry, he hid behind the corner of the building and looked at me creepily for like half an hour. I don't remember what finally made him go away, but maybe it was that I doubled over with laughter right in front of him. It was hilarious, but also really creepy and I am glad to be going to a new orphanage and not seeing him again. I seriously hope he doesn't email me.
Yesterday we went out to eat and I bought some fabric to have some clothes made by a seamstress. I tried Ghanaian pizza for the first time, it was actually quite good, and they have the best fruit juice here. This morning I finally went to church. We were there for maybe like 2.5 hours. It involves a lot of singing and praying which is not like what I have experienced at church back home. There was a bit of dancing, but not a ton. Luckily, it was in English for 95% of the service, so I was able to understand everything. Also, it was my first time ever taking a taxi to church, so that is exciting.
Well, I'm embarking now on my second week of service work. My host mom is leaving for London to visit her sister sometime this week. After that, we have our 5 days of travel in other parts of Ghana, and then one more weekend with the host fam before I have to go home. I can't believe how quickly time is passing. It is hard for me to get to the blog during the week since I get home at like 7 every day and go to bed around 8:30 or 9, but my host sister Afua has said that she might write something for me. We'll see :). I hope you all had a nice week, maybe with less marriage proposals than mine. See you soon!
Afua and I got a new high score on Free Water :)