Outside Outside – Ghana 05/2008

Sunday May 11th 2008 – Evening

Today has been the longest day ever! It is hot and humid! Actually it is SO hot and SO humid! The tro-tro picked us up at the airport. It was interesting to take the drive to Mampong again. It wasn’t so foreign this time.

When we arrived, Marco was waiting. He helped us unload our bags. He had already set up the bunk beds for us. Everyone settled in and took naps. It is really hot… did I already say that? We are sweaty and yucky!

After the nap we went up to see both headmasters and let them know we are here. As we came up the road, the children came running. I don’t even know that they necessarily recognized me. I just think that they hug first and ask questions later. I wish I remembered more names. There were a few name signs I magically pulled from the deep recesses. 🙂 They didn’t all remember my name – so I guess we are even. Remember the little girl who took my hand and led me up to the classroom where the picture was of me and Alex and Leah? She ran up to me. I asked her name. She showed me her name sign, a “T” tapping at her hip. She doesn’t know how to finger spell her name and her name is not written on her dress. I asked her age and she looked away. Another little boy told me, “She is new. She doesn’t know sign.” (SIGH) I smiled and told him, “Good! You can help her learn!” “T” tapping at her hip stood in front of me, then turned her back to me and wrapped my arms around her so she could swing from my arms. I’ve spent hours thinking about her, trying to figure out what it would take to give her a useful and meaningful vocabulary. I guess like always I would need to show her the sign, the word and the image.

We stopped by Dora’s. She wasn’t home.

Right as we returned to the cottage, it started to rain. Then it started to pour! I heard a familiar but unidentified sound. The sound was like an Australian didjeridoo. It was familiar because it had kept me awake a number of nights in January. Turns out it’s a frog.

Dinner was a familiar chicken and rice and Malaria pills.

Chicken and Rice Again

I gave Marco his Rubik’s cube and a DVD of a documentary called “Acts of God” that he had been interviewed for a few years back. Small world, a production team named Kineto worked on Acts of God and they flew to Ghana and interviewed Marco, and yes Kineto is the same Utah based group we hire to produce Signing Time!

We walked to the high school when the rain stopped. Large toads were all over the road and they were very skilled at avoiding the oncoming taxis. Most of the high school kids were having a meeting. They run their own meetings since there are few adults around. It was dark. We walked back. We stopped to check out the giant snails. Brian thought they might make fabulous escargot! Or shall we say escar-gross!

Big Snail and Brian

We lost power today. It went off for 20 minutes and then came back on. We stayed up late talking about deaf children in the US. We talked about Deaf Culture. We talked about the issues that face hearing parents of deaf children. The power went out again and we kept talking with flashlights. It was such an exciting conversation! Then we started brainstorming how to deliver non-biased facts to parents of newly diagnosed deaf children, so that the parents can quickly and easily make a completely educated choice for their child’s future.

The facts are there. The research has been done. What is missing?

The power was still out when I went to brush my teeth in the bathroom. As I reached to unlock the bathroom door I noticed a giant spider on the wall right by my hand!!! I SCREAMED and ran around the locked bathroom with my flashlight. I could hear everyone laughing at me. I got out of the bathroom. Curry went in next. He searched for the spider by flashlight and finally gave up. Moments later he too was locked in the bathroom with the spider. “It’s on the door!” he yelled from inside. Now it was my turn to laugh.

Big Spider

I sprayed down my sheets with OFF and tried to sleep… in a pool of sweat. I was hoping that the power might come back on in the middle of the night so that the ceiling fan could cool us down a few degrees. (It didn’t) I put in earplugs. It REALLY helped. I guess I didn’t use earplugs last time because I wanted to be able to listen for Leah each night.