Sunday, April 25, 2010

The New Do!

Yesterday afternoon I went to the village with Tawnee and some of the girls (Tawiah, Yawson, AfuaKyere, and Abby) to have sister Okos (one of the cleaners at the school) do my hair in braids. It took about 3 hours to do my whole head. Unfortunately, my hair is really fine and with the small braids she just used some of my own hair to tie them at the ends, so already this morning many of them were coming out. I had some of the girls come to the rescue this afternoon and "beautify" my head...they re-braided some and then braided like 3 strands together. Tawnee and I were laughing b/c it now looks like I was a victim of the lightning storm that hit earlier yesterday! :) haha...oh well, they were fun for a few days!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Drumroll please...

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...the moment we've all been waiting for...the library has opened! :) I'm so excited-- could it be even moreso than the kids? I don't know! haha...they're pretty excited too! We had our "grand opening" yesterday where I went over rules and how they could check out a book, etc. and then they had some time to look for books, read, do puzzles, color, etc., and it was just so fun for me to watch them-- all so intent on what they're doing. I'm so happy that they'll not only have books in their hands, but also that there's now a fun, welcoming place for us to go to do activities. There were many hands involved in this project and we couldn't have done it without you...many thanks to Mama Lorella (who did all the sorting), my mom (who tirelessly cleaned books as we strived to "just do 2 more boxes"!, Kenny (a volunteer who came and made many shelves for us), Tracy and Ellen who also worked extremely hard to clean books, move shelves, etc., the students at Meadowview Primary school who raised money for us to buy the tables, and so many of the kids who were so willing to lend a hand in their spare time to sort, clean, or sticker books!

Ventures with Visitors

It's been such a long time that I've written and so much has happened since then that I hardly know where to begin! So, I guess I'll just begin with letting you know that I am currently feeling overwhelmingly blessed and loved by so many people across the world. It's been so amazing and so humbling to see people come together to bless the kids (and me!) here at Haven of Hope. I'm so blessed to have two communities (both in Waupun & Hong Kong) that are SO supportive and willing to help and show their love.

It's been a couple of weeks full of visitors, which is always full of fun and adventures. Jenn came from Hong Kong, and it was just great to reconnect with her and share stories and adventures together. Some of the highlights were:

- We spent a few days near the coast and had the opportunity to go to a village called Asanfo where we got lessons on how to dye batik fabric. It was so cool to learn how the fabric is made (basically by dipping stamps in wax and then onto the material), but it was also neat to spend the day in the village and see how everyday life there is-- women preparing fufu, all the children sticking around to eat it, kids going to and from school, and lots of hanging out with the kids who are beautiful!

-cooking mashed potatoes and glazed carrots in the village for my friends who taught me how to make the akple (which I mentioned in the previous blog) about 50 of her friends and neighbors! :) I'd say it was a hit!
(Happy, Jenn, me, and Rose getting the fire ready to cook the mashed potatoes. The village women do all their cooking on these little fires outside.)

- The kids were so excited to receive their soccer jerseys and I couldn't thank the ICS family enough for your generosity in so many ways! :)
Then, last week Lisa Grosz came with her mom and daughter and it was so great to have more enthusiastic visitors and people to love on the kids. They helped the kids to paint beautiful murals in both the girls' and boys' dorms, which was lots of fun for the kids. Then, one day we took the students who are pen pals to Lisa's students in Waupun to the pool in Accra...what a fun day that was! It was the first time that many of the kids have ever been to a pool and I think they would've stayed all day if we let them. :) (picture at the top)
It was a sad day to say goodbye, because I love having people visit. However, I wasn't alone for was to the airport in the morning to drop them off and back later that night to pick up Tawnee (my new roommate), who will be serving at Haven of Hope for the next year, and her mom (just here for a few days). It's been a great day getting to know them and I'm so excited to have some more permanent "company"! :)