We are back in Accra. I LOVE it here! Obed smiled as soon as he saw 1st. junction (right near Eban). We are staying at Rye Manor tonight. I don’t have much money left, so I can’t afford Dutch Hotel. I think all of my money has gone to taxis. I have almost nothing to show for it and we’ve spent very little on food. Dutch Hotel is not worth the extra $75 anyway. I actually feel a little safer here. There are more mosquitoes inside the rooms though (by more, I mean two). Kami is in the room next to mine. She’s got three girls with her from Eban….long story. It’s just temporary, but I don’t envy her. I heard some major wailing in there a minute ago, so I went and knocked on the door. All three were crying. Poor Kami was trying to soothe them all! I took over Sylvia, so Kami could get Evelyn and Kendi just went to sleep, once the others were quiet. I like that you can hear the Ghana night life here. It’s a nice white noise. Hopefully I’ll feel the same way when I try to sleep in a sec. I take that back, I’m going now. Night!


I had a great sleep. Obed slept almost ten hours. We got up and everyone (except me) had breakfast, then we went over to eban to take Kendi back and to see if we could hitch a ride to the hospital for kami’s girls. I told an auntie how long Obed slept and she was shocked. She asked if he was ill. I told her he was, but that he was on an anti malarial. Right then he comes up to me and says he wants to go to sleep. Instead he just puked, and puked. All the aunties were feeling his head. I said “he’s not hot, I gave him tylenol.”. Obed was NOT looking good. The aunties all wanted me to have him seen. When we arrived at the hospital (which was quite a drive away), we had to wait maybe 2 hours for all 5 kids to be seen. The doc wanted Obed tested for malaria (not like the “touch your forehead test” from the other hospital) and yes, this is a blood test. Yaaaaaayyyy! So, in Ghana they don’t really tell you what’s going on, they just do and you go where they point you. The poke his finger for a smear test (the most accurate way to diagnose malaria) and tell us to wait 15 min. by the way, Obed FREAKED! More than any kid I’ve ever seen. Boy was he maaaaaad at me. Staring at me with evil eyes! We spent the next twenty minutes waiting while Obed glared at me from a distance. Then Abby (one of the aunties) told me he needed a shot. Double yaaaaay! We take him in and they are prepping the needle right in front of him. He starts crying (a big no no for a child his age here), which progresses into a more physical display of disapproval and then to an all out yell. The nurse had me and Abigail hold him down, this kids is freakishly strong. We had a really hard time. He was screaming screaming screaming!! I've never ever seen a kid so freaked out. The nurses were a little angry and Abigail was kind of shocked. We absolutely could not hold his butt completely still for the shot. He knew that that was where he was getting it so he was flexing and unflexng and moovin that little tush everywhere to get away. The nurse ended up pricking him more than once, because she couldn’t really get the needle in there. Abigail said she had never seen any of the kids act that way, even the little ones. Obeds kind of wild. He’s used to being alone and not interacting or being messed with. I get him
Anyways, when we get to the car Abigail tells me that he doesn’t just have malaria, he has malaria plus. She said that is pretty bad. There are three levels which get progressively worse. You can die from all three. Malaria plus plus can make you lose blood somehow and malaria plus seems to be a pretty big deal because. When she told Daniel, he got all serious. All the aunties were pretty serious about it too, I must’ve looked worried cause Joha was like “don’t worry, he has had a shot. He should feel much betta very soon.”. I LOVE Joha! The guy is soooooo nice! We talked for a while and then kami and I were going to “the ultimate” for lunch and asked the girls and Obed if they wanted to come. They all said yes and then Obed and Sylvia decided to stay. So kami and I went with Evelyn. I had fries!!!!!! Yummy yummy fries!!!! A little bit “fishy” but who cares!
We went back and got the kids. I decided a couple days ago that I would get Obed a haircut before we got home, so that I can check for and if needed treat ringworm. So we stopped at a shop in front of eban and asked for a cut “very short” it was 2 cedis. Obed was sooooo proud! He sat up straight and totally straight faced. For the first time, he was looking at me for approval. I would smile real big and he’d give a very little smirk and quickly look away. This happened a bunch. They relaxed his hair with some cream relaxer (which takes FOREVER) then washed it out and said “finish”. Apparently they thought “I want it cut really short” meant “brush it and wash it”. Oh well, Obed was giddy. When we came back to get him tonight, it was like a whole new Obed. Whatever they gave him at the hospital is already working I think.
Evelyn has malaria too, but they gave her suppositories. I thought “poor kami, has to give her suppositories?”. She had already given kendi had seem kami do this the night before. Anyways Evelyn was whining, holding the box of suppositories saying “mommy, I want you do this”. Whining and whining. We were laughing. It was weird! So finally kames like “okay okay just a sec.” “noooooooo mooooommy eeeeeehhh uuuuhhhh!”. So kami goes in the bathroom with the girls. Next thing I see is the bathroom door open and a little Evelyn with a smile ear to ear skipping out giggling. She kept grabbing her tush and laughing. Soooo weird! Even funnier, like an hour later I think it started to burn cause she was grabbing her tush a gain, only this time she said “mommy I want you to remove it”. Ooooohhh it was soooo funny!
I’m going to bed now. I need to remember to write about the poo

going on down

we are leaving cape coast today. we are going to accra and we fly out on saturday night. i may not have access to the internet until i land in amsterdam. i will post everyday and save it on my computer so that i can publish when i have access.
love you all!!!!!


obed and i were a little bored tonight, so we went to the hotel restaurant for some sweets. we shared a coke and got ice cream (8 cedi each!). obed scarfed (as usual) and got a major brain freeze! oh it was soooo funny, but i couldnt laugh, poor guy. anywhoo, now obed officially does not like ice cream. for the first time since landing in ghana, im not hungry.

i want a casa mia pizza!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"deya lode jesus
gratin fattin
com to ah tabo
an bwed dis food
inyo nam i pwey
obeds prayer before eetin. obed wants a new name in america. i asked what new name do you want? he says he wants to be called daddy.
he is feeling muuuuuuch better. i got him to take some tylenol.....finally! if he can do it himself, hes good. he swallowed his pills himself too.
today we went to global mammas in cape coast................loved it!
i asked the driver to stop for lunch. he asked "whey do you wan to stope" i said "you choose.". OOPS! uh, i didnt eat. to call this shop unsanitary would be a major understatement. obed was all but drooling. how do they not get food poisoning? well......there was a funeral going on in front of the stop, so maybe they do? we were in an alley deep in cape coast town. by alley i mean like you see on tv when the old dude is in a third world country asking you to sponsor a child. it was like that kind of alley. im not making fun, im serious. it was sad. one really old lady got excited like a child when she saw me. waving and telling the other ladies while pointing at me. sitting in someone house entry obed happily ate, bobbing his head with the funeral procession music. obed got rice, black eyed peas (i think they were) and and egg. hard boiled, but it did not look right. oh and of course shito. he choooowed!! i just cannot understand where he puts it?
i got some totally sweet stuff at global mammas...thank you kristin! obed picked a green batik shirt with a cow on it.
the funerals here are like something i would pay in america to see. they dance and play instrument on the street in one big crowd of people dresses in black with red accenting peices. they sing like a weel rehearsed choir. this dirty meal and beautiful funeral procession will never be forgotten. one of the highlight moments of my life. seeing obed as happy as can be, eating what i wouldnt feed my dog. our elderly cabbie washing obeds hands and the whole alley dancing. it was very real. very humbling. i wanted to tape it but i thought that it would be dissrespectful. im sure they wouldve let me. please lord dont let me forget today!
obed wants a large drum, real bad! theres a rasta dude down the road who sells them. hes outside playing every night and as soon as we get up there, obed loses his nerve. "i don want to go.".
this post is for earlier this morning:
i took obed to the hospital this morning. he woke up at 4 a.m. reeeeeally hot. his skin was burning. i couldnt get him to take tylenol. so i took him to the hospital. it was not what i expected. we are in elmina, a small town, outside of cape coast. so it was a small and very dirty building with no walls. it cost 2 cedi to see the doctor. he was weighed and his temp was taken then we moved like cattle and one by one we all did the same things. when it was obeds turn to see the doc, she touched his head and gave him anti-malarial medication.
i have seeeen soooooo muuuuuch soooooccer thiiiis weeeek!!! we have 5 channels and two are only soccer. i didnt even know usa had a team. i had a dream during my ten minutes of sleep last night that i was a totally amazing soccer player! oh yeah right
we are going back to accra tomorrow. i got a hold of our driver. things are looking up!

what to do

its 7 a.m., obed and i have been up since 4. the kid is burning up. hes telling me his head is burning. and i can feel it! the one thing i forgot was a thermometer, so i cant take his temp. the room is really hot (even for ghana) but he still wants a bunch of covers. he was hot last night too. he took tylenol twelve hours ago but refuses to take it again. he has eaten CONSTANT , im only slightly over-exaggerating. every 10-20 min. "mommy, i want to eat!". hes also had very frequent diarrhea. i havent changed his diet much, hes eaten mostly fufu and bottled water. he's got a cough and i think the overeating is his way of soothing an upset stomach. im not sure if hes just dealing with transitional anxieties, or if its something more serious, like malaria. its POURING down rain here. when it rains like this, it washes roads out. im 4 hours from accra (where we fly out), my ride wont be here until friday. ive pretty much decided to eat the cost of two nights prepaid at the hotel, to get to accra so that we can fly out early or go to a better hospital. still, i have to wait for the rain. im waiting for anita to tell me if she thinks i should take him to the hospital here. i hope it isnt expensive. im in auto drive. i have had no sleep since i got here. obed does not sleep very well or very much. im complaining. sorry! ill save it for my husband!
yesterday we went to the canopy walk. i wasnt scared at all. it doesnt seem very high because your in the canopy, which gives the illusion of ground. the walk was also shorter than i thought. "abrunis pay nine and if you are "black" you pay one" the cashier told me. the driver insisted on coming with us, he had me pay for him. then, he insisted on holding obeds hand, which i did not like. when we got to the canopy he put obed in front of him and was pretty far away from me. at the third bridge i told him to get in front of obed and go ahead because i wanted to be with my son. the driver kept telling me to take video of him. when we left, the driver asked me to send him money from america. i had a 30 minute talk with him about the difference between ghana and america and how i'm not rich. we dont have money flowing out of a well in our back yard. so then hew moved on to asking me if i could get him a "friend" in america.
after that, we went to the monkey sanctuary. its run by a dutch man and his wife. obed was pretty happy....until we got to the first monkey cage. the monkey went nuts. he was a baby and very excited to see his owner! obed got real scared and started crying. the dutch guy was like "come on. you are o.k." and my driver was irritated that obed was upset. i was ready to leave. obed stated throwing a fit and the driver heavily insisted for me to go and obed to wait in the car. i did. which was really dumb, i realised later. i just dont really know what to do when ghanaians get soooooo PERSISTANT! im starting to learn that ill just have to be rude. sometimes people wont take no for an answer here if they dissagree with you.
we stopped at hans botel (crocodile restaurant) on the way back. i bought our driver lunch. saw some crocs. the driver kept, very passionately, trying to get me to go out and touch one of the HUGE crocs. "you go touch him. he will not bite you. they are very gentle. it is safe. go and touch." on and on, with me saying "no thank you, i dont want to" "no thank you" "no thank you". at this point i was irritated with the man for being so pushy most of the day. so i told him "you want someone to touch it so bad, then go out and do it yourself.". he looked at me for a minute and laughed. good, because i felt bad immediatley after saying it.
we had agreed on thirty five cedi before we left the hotel. we made two stops on the way back, so when we got to the hotel he hiked it up to fifty. this new fee did not include the luch i bout for him for 9 cedi. cost me almost as much as my drive for four hours from accra. he said he raised the price because we stopped twice. mind you our stops were both on the same road going to the hotel. aaaaaaaaaahh. i now see why the mall and koala mart are soooo crowded. id much rather pay more than to go through all this haggling and dishonesty. I CANT WAIT TO GET BACK TO ACCRA!!!
of course after obed woke me up at four, hes sound asleep now. poor little guy.
enough bad news and complaining.
better update later.....i hope

boiled poo

of everything ive smelled and seen in ghana, fufu is by far the worst. its obeds favorite food! sorry buddy! say goodbye to fufu. the restaurant here did not open until 7 and when we got there, all they had were weird "foreign dishes" i asked if they had anything more "local" and the server said "yes, like fufu?" and i said "perfect!". we waited.......and waited......and waited. here it comes. uuuuuuggghhh! i can not accurately explain the senses i experienced! Obed was THRILLED! "one fo you, an one fo me.". trying to be a good sport, i wash my right hand in the dish and pinch off a piece, dip it in the soup and eat it. it smelled like horse fart (yes, i have smelled horse fart, i grew up in finley), im not kidding....just like horse fart. and tasted like gelatinous sweet and salty cream of wheat with a hint of potting soil. obed DEVOURED it in record time! then he went for the the pig hooves, i think they were. "crunch, crunch, crunch!" i came this close to puking, im not even kidding. ick!!!!! i was nauseas for the next three hours. obed had the smell on him.
gotta go, obeds demanding attention by being naughty.


Obed and I are at cape coast, in our room waiting for the restaurant to open in 2 hours for dinner. He was sooooo hungry so I let him have powdered milk. He insisted on showing me how its done. “you put de wata in de cop. Yes mommy dat ees plenty wata. Den you put dat in de wata. An use da sponk.” “what is a sponk?” “da sponk! Da sponk! Right daya” “oh! This?! No obed that’s a spoon.” “no. sponk.” “no it’s a spoon” “spoon?” “yes. Spoon.” “I no like eet. Is not sweet. We need da sweet” “this?” I hold up a sugar packet. “yes das sweet.” “hows it now?” “is good. I like eet.” 5 minutes later…….”mommy my tummy is burning.” “it’s the sugar obed. I told you that was going to make you sick.” “mommy can I poo poo?” “yes, go in the toilet.”. then he came out with a smile. Praise God he can wipe himself, cause I refuse to go in that bathroom. That’s is one of thee foulest smells ever.
We had our first big emotional blowout in the taxi on the way here. he thinks that I am here to give him anything he wants and that we will always be having fun, which is understandable. That’s kind of the perception of americans over here. so he asked me for something from the street vendors and I told him no. boy was he mad! Glaring at me and then glaring at the floor. I offered him to play with my phone (the music on it). He grunted at me. So I said “alright. That’s fine. You can sit there and be mad by yourself.”. then he started bawling and moaning. I felt real bad for him so I tried to pull him over to me but he held on to the front seat with a death grip. He has absolutely no idea what to do with his emotions. They are trained here almost from birth not to cry and to deal with their emotions alone. So I tried to pull him to me very softly and spoke slowly and quietly. This may sound a little weird, but obed seems to respond better when I speak with a ghanaian accent, so I did that too. He came over to my lap reluctantly. He cried and cried, covering his face because he was ashamed. So I told him “its o.k. you are sad” over and over. Eventually he let me wipe his tears away with my hands and uncovered his face. Then he started to make eye contact again and stopped crying. Then he fell alseep in my lap curled up like a baby. I feel so bad for him.
We were walking down the road in cape coast, he had his new shoes and clothes, wearing his blades and backpack, everyone stared at him and commented and asked me questions. Obed did not like the attention. In a way I wish we were home because we wouldn’t get this many stares out in public. He wanted to go back to the room so here we are.
They had a little party for obed today at and asked me to say something. I was caught very off guard so all I could come up with was “uh….uhhhh. um, I guess I just want to say thank you to the aunties. Um obed do you want to say anything?” and he just waved goodbye. That’s obed.
I caught him 2 hours ago standing in front of the floor length mirror with all his new gear and his blades, flexing. Hes soooo happy right now. Id say every two hours he gets withdrawn. I know itll get worse but at least I know him well enough to notice and we’re here in a more secluded place so he can have a little time to bond with me.
Oh and another thing to mention. Obed LOOOOOOVVVES the New Kids On the Block! I have to say im really happy about this. Now I wont be the only one in the house who likes them . also the driver…..i swear we were going over 80 most of the drive. No seat belts in the back seat either. He was passing cars, with other cars coming at us. I was freaking out inside I seriously had to hold my lips together. I wanted to say something. We stopped so that our driver could get some bush meat (its illegal, but they sell it outside the city). I saw him chowing down behind the car. It took him what felt like forever! We didn’t have air cond.
I better go obed wants to talk


that was NOT ratatouille


Obed and I went to Osu today. I didn’t shop, didn’t feel like it by the time I got there. Our driver was Seth. The same guy we had last time. He drove us around trying to find a prepaid international card. Got one at the fourth place. When I asked the lady “how many minutes?” she said “eh” and then shoed me off. So I got an international calling card with eh minutes. I got Obed a pair of shoes. He is beyond excited about having his “own” shoes. He showed EVERYONE at Eban. I took them back to the hotel with me. I bought all the staff dinner from “the ultimate”. Tomorrow is Obed's going away celebration, then we leave for cape coast. I’m so hoping it isn’t crowded there. I also need to stop at a grocery store. I hope there is one on the way. Obed bawled when I left today. I keep thinking of a way to describe him but just can’t figure out the right words. He doesn’t bond very easily. He’s mature, EXTREMELY patient, very affectionate (with me and the aunties only). He’s really smart, he loves to sit and figure things out, including what people say. I really love him. Oh and he is super strong and tuff. That kid can take a fall!
I have eaten 3 energy bars and a handful of rice since Thursday, its Saturday night and I’m about to have my first meal. I’m not too fond of Ghana food. I got rice with “ratatouille”, doesn’t look at all like ratatouille. I think my trip to Osu and the new mall burnt me out. I’m feeling a little homesick. Probably the lack of sleep too. I went to bed at 11 and slept 2 hours…..then fell asleep after my alarm went off at seven. I hope I can sleep tonight. I need to get up early in the morning.
I saw a shop called “patience-fast food” today. Also found out that Obed’s favorite food is jollof rice. I haven’t taken any pics yet!! I just realized this today. I’ve been sooo preoccupied that I forgot! I will bring the video camera tomorrow.
Ok that’s all for tonight. My brain is done.

6 mosquito bites

I forgot to mention that on my flight from Amsterdam to Accra, I had THREE SEATS ALL TO MY SELF!!!! I slept for half the flight! I saw my little baby today. He spent 4 hours on my lap and Jukat took over the other 3. Obed is soooo cute…..and very tough. Nobody messes with him. Even the bigger kids. Axle and Obed are going to have a few battles. From what I know of Obed so far, it won’t be too bad. I guess we’ll just have to see. It gets dark here around 6:30, so I left Eban at 6. When I got to my hotel at 6:10-20, I got a lemon fanta and went to my room. Organized my new room……..sat on my bed………looked in out the window. They swapped me cause nothing works in my first room. Although the t.v. doesn’t work in here either, this explains why I’ve killed time taking self-portraits and organizing. I may not get to post this tonight cause the wireless connection isn’t very strong and unconnects every 10 seconds. I just missed Anita when I got to Eban today. And Kamille hadn’t come back when I left. Tomorrow, I plan on taking Obed to Osu for some fun. I haven’t made any plans that are concrete. It all depends on what I think Obed can handle. So if he’s up to it, we’ll go. Obed wants to see his daddy soooo bad! He keeps asking me “where is my daddy?”.
Subject Change:
They have these things in Holland called “sultana” that are surprisingly super delish! They’re like a saltine cracker sandwich with fruit leather middle. I bought a bunch for Ghana!
Back to original subject:
Obed was very curious about my arm hair today. It started to make me feel a little self conscious, so I had to distract him. He calls candy, “taffy”.
It’s 8:46 here and I’m seriously thinking about going to bed. I guess I could read the really horrible book I got before I left……

slumber party

I’m in Ghana!!!! I got here last night. It had been raining all day when I arrived and when it’s raining, the traffic is nuts!!! It took two hours to get to my hotel. I had to wait in the lobby for 30 minutes because the front desk told me that there was an “insect” in my room. What kind of insect??? Nothing works in my room. I told the desk and supposedly they can fix it all….we’ll see. Nothing like an ice cold shower in the morning. There was the most disturbing commercial on last night. This hugely buff man, who was all greased up, running down the beach in slow mo. He stops to take a slow motion drink out of a dewy juice box. It was a “sexy” juice box commercial. Then it shows “wealthy” Ghanaians at a board meeting all sucking out of them. Weird. I couldn’t get my video camera out in time. Dang!
I’m leaving for eban in a minute. I set my alarm for 8, but I was just tooooooo tired. Hopefully I can find it. My driver, Daniel took my by the new place this morning, but it was real dark and raining so….. I’ll try and post again tonight. Aaron got a laptop for me to use before I left, so I will be writing everything ahead of time and posting it when I can get access


It’s 1 a.m. T.C. time. I’m in Amsterdam at the airport, where it’s around 10 a.m.. I landed at 9 from my 9½ our flight. TORTURE!!! I know a lot of people love the direct flight, but I just cannot handle it!!! I go nuts and I get real sick after about 7 hours! Plus I always end up sitting next to weird people. This flight, the person assigned to sit next to me didn’t show so I thought I’d have two whole seats to myself……..nope! The people sitting behind me were both wanting isle seats, so the flight attendant solved the probe by sticking the very opinionated Dutch man (with no concept of hygiene or awareness of food etiquette) next to me. He passed time by telling me how stupid Americans were (throwing in a lot of “s” bombs), how the “blacks” are all over Amsterdam, and ripping raunchy toots. If you know me, you will see why it was such torture. The flight from Pasco was odd too but it was so short I didn’t care. I’m sitting in a HUGE McDonalds on the upper level, watching people walk around down below. Amsterdam restaurants are all about eggs, sausage, and gouda….I had no choice but Mickey d’s.
I’m bored…this is my 6 hour layover. I miss Obed. I can’t wait to see him. I love looking at all the stuff around here. Lots of chocolate and tulips. Um um um. Not really much else to write. I’m just killing time. I guess I could go walk around again. The euro exchange rate has changed since last time I was here. 1 euro is equal to 1.50 now! My happy meal was 4.25 Euros! Better than an egg, cucumber, gouda and butter sandwich for 12.50 Euros! It’s 50 degrees F here! Coooold.
o.k. bye!

leaving on a jet plane

leaving tomorrow to see my munchkin. i'll keep you posted!