Friday, 12 December 2014

Week Two-B


We begin week 2, part B as we leave Ankasa Rain Forest to share more of our favorite areas in this beautiful country with our sons! It has been such a blessing having them here.

The following four pictures include some of the fun scenes which seem to magically appear everywhere we look. 

In addition to the cuties above (including the baby goat)....notice the wire cage on the porch. It is filled with cases of 1/2 liter bags of drinking water which sell for about seven cents each  Most of the locals (and the missionaries) chew off a corner & squirt it down. I never get tired of seeing the beautiful children who are always so excited to see the "Obrunis".  Our sons were all so incredible and fun as they interacted with the children. We all wish we could take a few home with us! 

The very unusual (and definitely African) entrance to the Axim Beach Resort


Beach-side restaurant and bar followed by five of our favorite Axim Beach shots..........

Elder J. in his seldom-seen beach attire..........but never without the name badge!

      Back in Sekondi we attended a combined Zone Conference with Pres. & Sis. Stevenson, Elder Curtis, West African Area Pres. & his wife, our 3 sons (taking the pics) and the rest of our favorite sons and daughters. We have quite a large and diverse family, don't you think? We love them dearly.

After the conference, we went to Vienna Beach to take some fun pics and eat very marginal pizza.

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Just three of the children who got the word that the Obruni "Mommie & Daddy" have "Toffee"......their word for suckers.

Cool pic (the next day) on our way to Cape Coast. We love seeing all the colorful scenery....and clothing.

         Shama Slave Castle

We experienced an added bonus at the castle. A funeral procession was in progress and we were able to get a few pictures. Funerals in Ghana are very happy (mostly intoxicated) celebrations of life. After arriving at the castle, we realized we wouldn't be leaving any  time soon....only one road in and out.... and packed with dancing and singing people of all ages.

 Black and red are the traditional colors for funeral attire. The coffin, lifted high, is "danced" through the streets. This picture was taken from the rounded, very steep front staircase of the castle.

These young boys in Shama had all made drums which they played for us. Great rhythm...and smiles.

Along the Cape Coast beach road....

........where Justin discovered some boys who had caught a monitor lizard and were selling it for food. Unfortunately, it was still alive. Protein in this country is quite expensive and hard to come by, so people sell (and eat) just about anything with meat on it.

We stayed the night in Cape Coast at the mission home, leaving the next day (Saturday) for the Accra airport where we said goodbye to Justin and Logan - and a wonderful week with three sons!

Friday, 7 November 2014


Week two begins in Swedru. The four of us (Mom & Dad J., Justin & Logan) arrived at Elder & Sister Ivie's home Sunday where we spent the night with our gracious hosts. Monday morning we went to a local orphanage where the Ivie's are very involved. Justin and Logan brought around 50 books with the plan of reading to the children at an orphanage near or home. We were unable to find the one in Takoradi, so we brought some of the books to Swedru. Justin's family made 150 bracelets  to give to the children. So that was the the books....then hand out the bracelets in a calm, orderly manner. It didn't quite proceed as Justin had planned in his mind, and we ended up running for our lives.

Our arrival at the orphanage.......

Not everyone was excited to see the "Obrunis"

                                                   Justin and Logan reading to the very grateful children.

After Justin gave the bracelets to ALL the "mobbing" kids, we left Swedru, continuing on to the Accra airport to pick up JD!


JD with his dad....and Justin, the great photo bomber.

Grateful to finally have three of our boys safely in Ghana!

                                                                Sights on our way back from the airport.          
Above and below, some of the most interesting caskets we've seen here. From left: (behind the small bird) Child's car, Cobra, (behind the cobra) Chicken, Energy Drink Can, Bird, (far right) Sewing Machine. Justin, of course, wants to be buried in one like the Cobra! 
Below, from left: Cocoa Pod, 2 ordinary caskets and a Fish.

"Breadheads" at the junction in Mankosin. Many women in this city sell loaves of bread which they carry on large metal trays on top of their heads, thus the name "breadheads".

Arrival at the mission home ... with   President and Sister Stevenson. We arranged for Teresa, the mission home cook, to make Fufu and soup for the boys to try.

and JD pounding Fufu.

The result of  a lot of pounding....different amounts for everyone's taste.
The fufu (boiled Casava & green Plantain) is then covered with a wonderful, spicy, chicken soup. Traditionally, you pinch off about 1 tablespoon of fufu and form a small "scoop" with your fingers and thumb which is used to spoon up the soup. The elders & sisters don't use any utensils. Our boys tried their fingers....but we (Elder & Sister J.) use spoons.
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Early the next morning we departed for Ankasa Rainforest. Our favorite site was sitting in the backseat of our truck.
Our route to Ankasa, the infamous dirt road to Axim, eternally under construction

An actual section of completed pavement......about 3 kilometers

Fishing village near Nkroful. It floods during high tide, making the fishing much more convenient.

View from The Frenchman's Farm, near Ankasa, where we stayed.

The 3-bed "bungalow" where the boys stayed, sleeping under their mosquito nets.



Mom and Dad, the next-door neighbors.
We pretty much had the entire forest to ourselves!

Entering the remote and seldom visited Ankasa Rainforest.

John, our "paid guide" who probably should have paid us. We (mostly Justin) located the all the flora and fauna. He did use his machete to clear our path, though, helping him feel useful.

                                                         This beautiful area was called "The Bamboo Cathedral".

Logan, getting in on the photo bombing
Justin, after a swing on the Tarzan vine


Elephant skull displayed near the entrance
Hoped we might spot an elephant, but they are very shy. This track was the only evidence they were actually there

JD in the Bamboo Cathedral

                                                    One of the cooler critters we saw during the day.

We also did a night-time guided tour of the forest. Again, Justin should have been paid the tour guide fee ..... he found and identified most of the cool things we saw and heard.

                              Spider webs are fascinating in the dark, as are the mini mushrooms above.

The road leading out of Ankasa Rainforest.....and also signifying the end of week two, part A. We are finally starting to get the hang of putting a blog together, so hopefully part B of week two will come sooner than later. We loved sharing this beautiful land and it's people with our sons, and, to a much lesser extent, with you.