Strollin’ – Ghana 05/2008

Monday May 12, 2008

If yesterday was the longest day ever, today was the shortest day ever. I woke up, showered, had a protein shake, then Deb and I met up with marco to walk to town. It was already 3:00PM. Curry, Erin and Michelle went to Accra this morning to meet with folks at the Department of Special Ed., talk through the agenda and to make sure everyone expected was going to show up. Brian and Amy went to the internet cafe. The internet cafe is now just up the road at the YMCA! It costs 40 cents for 30 minutes.

We stopped by the internet cafe but did not see Brian or Amy. I hopped on-line and sent out a few email messages – to Aaron, Emilie and my mom. I tried to blog but the site would not load. I could only get on yahoo. The funny thing was not all of the keys on the keyboard were in the correct places, so if you are someone who looks at the keyboard to compose a letter, you are hosed!

Deb, Marco and I walked to town. Deb bought a bath towel. Actually Marco bought it, on Deb’s behalf. We bought oranges, mangos, and bread. Marco bout the things he needed for his dinner that night. While he bought his groceries I asked the woman there if I could take a picture of her store. She said, “no.” Oh well.

I also bought fabric. There was the coolest fabric! I am going to make baby quilts out of it and sell them on Ebay for the Signing Time Foundation. Yes, I am a quilter.

When we came back to the guest house we saw Brian and Amy heading to get cokes at the Shanti Store. We all sat down, had a round of cokes and went back to the house. Since I was the last one out of the house, i had the keys, so they couldn’t have gotten inside anyway. When we went inside the fans were all working!!! YAY! The power is on! What a nice surprise.

We cut the rinds off of the oranges – after we washed them with last night’s boiled water. We washed the mangos and ate them.

We all sat down eating oranges and mangos and continued our discussion on choices in deafness. What other conversations could we have considering the company we kept 🙂 Remember Brian is the head of Deaf Studies at Utah Valley State College, soon to be Utah Valley University. Brian read us a remarkable quote by Alexander Graham Bell, who is considered the Father of Oralism. (Teaching deaf children to speak rather than sign) Here is the quote: “If we have the mental condition of the child alone in view without reference to language, no language will reach the mind like the language of signs.”

EXCUSE ME??? He is the most influential oralist in the world! And here he is saying that no language will reach the mind of a deaf child like signs! I was floored.

Wow this has already been a summit for deaf children in the US too!

Dinner was spaghetti noodles, red sauce and hot dogs. Not the short hot dogs, regular sized ones. There are only 7 of us staying here and they brought 25 hotdogs! Brian tried one and said it was crunchy in a “sand” sort of way. Yummy! Then he hit something harder than sand, I suggested it might be a knuckle. Then he stopped eating.

Curry and crew arrived REALLY late. They spent 11 hours in Accra in meetings, which was really a good thing because they ironed out some miscommunications and also discovered that if they held this meeting they were expected (culturally) to feed everyone! Those arrangements were made and other issues were settled, BEFORE the meeting. Then to top it all off, their taxi was backing out of a one-way street and hit a pedestrian. The pedestrian got up and yelled at the driver and walked away.

Luke stopped by with a letter for Aaron. We offered him some hotdogs and he and his friends devoured them, but kept pulling hard pieces out of their mouth and when they put those pieces on the plate they made a clinking noise. I asked Luke, what those parts were. He said, “I don’t know, they are just too hard.” And he kept eating. At least the high school boys will be well fed while we are here.

Aaron had sent some of his t-shirts for Luke, I brought them out and he asked, did you bring a photo of me? I didn’t know what he was referring to, but he and Aaron had been in touch via email and he had asked Aaron to print one of the pictures we took of him and bring it to him. It is pretty novel to have a printed picture of yourself. I felt like a complete toad having travelled all of that way not knowing he had made such a simple request. Of course I could have brought him a picture, if I had only known. (kick, kick!)

Luke

Luke asked if I would leave the bottle of honey for him when I take off. He said he likes to drink it. Now here is the question, if he is drinking it, should I leave it? LOL

I showered again tonight. It is still hot and sticky. I really have a hard time pouring cold water on my head.

Tomorrow is the meeting.