What Not To Wear ~ How Not To Wave

Yesterday we had our first pre-trip meeting to get through preliminary info about going to Ghana Africa. Wow!
Curry, from Signs of Hope International (SOHI), his assistant Heidi, Derek (Alex’s Dad), Aaron, Robi (my sister Rebecca’s husband) and I were all there. The only Signing Time Foundation team members missing were Alex and Leah, they were in school.
SOHI and Signing Time go to Ghana (I’m taking the picture)
Left to Right around the table: Heidi, Curry, Robi, Aaron, Derek

We went over so much information! But here is a quick rundown:

The guys can wear shorts and t-shirts, the girls need to wear dresses or skirts with t-shirts.

Shorts should be long.

Wear open shoes or sandals, but not too open. Think Crocs.. ooh maybe I could get Crocs to donate!

Do not bring too many different pairs of shoes, shirts or pants… or bring a number of shirts that are identical. The children only have one outfit and are very distracted by people showing up in numerous outfits with all kinds of shoes.

Most anything you bring will come back orange (from the red dirt)

Do not bring shoes with a soft or material insole. You will be walking in mold after 3-4 days.

Do not bring jeans or anything that will take a long time to dry.

If you are bringing something for the children, you had better bring it for all 250 of them.

Do not pay more than 12 or 13 cents for a loaf of bread. They will try to get you to pay up to 30 cents when they realize you are an American. (FYI I could drop 12 cents in a parking lot and never think twice!) But OK!

The children will come up and press on your skin to see it turn whiter and then back to normal. Their skin doesn’t do this, so it’s quite novel. They will pet the hair on your arms and if you have hairy legs (especially women) they run their hands on it and say “It’s SO beautiful!!!”

Girls wear small earrings. All of the children have their heads pretty much shaved because of lice. So the only way to tell the girls from boys is by their earrings. When an American girl is not wearing earrings, they get such a kick out of it “Are you a boy?” They tease. My husband Aaron always wears tiny silver hoops… so we will see what teasing HE gets! Heidi is guessing it might make Aaron the most popular guy there…

I am sure he would be, but then they told us this:
NEVER use your left hand to wave, shake hands, eat… basically just don’t use your left hand or you will offend everyone. There is only one thing your left hand is used for and it is offensive to use it for anything else. For example SOHI had a group who volunteered for more than 2 months. Their final day some of the volunteers waved good-bye with both hands in the air. Curry later received a letter letting him know how offended the headmaster and teachers were. Just to make it fun I would like to mention that my husband Aaron is a lefty. This should be interesting.

Oh and if you are walking down the road and a large black man comes out of the forest with a large machete and holds onto your arm, don’t worry! They just like to make sure you are getting, wherever it is you are going, safely. Ok, sure, uh-huh, I’ll try and convince Alex and Leah not to run and scream. Just throw all stranger danger training out the window!

Now you probably want to donate just to see what happens!!

7 thoughts on “What Not To Wear ~ How Not To Wave”

  1. MACHETE!?! No one told me about a deranged black guy with a machete. Now I’m scared for you. I’m going to have nightmares for weeks!

    Thanks a lot, Rachel! ๐Ÿ˜›

    (When I wake up in the middle of the night, I will send you the drawing of my dream. I draw nightmares. And FYI, I was being sarcastic, again!)

    YAY SARCASM!!!!!


  2. It sounds like this will be a trip to remember! If for no one else than for your white-skinned, left-handed, earring-wearing hubby. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Since some signs require using both hands, will that be offensive? Or can you modify all signs to a one-hand version?

  3. I did ask about signing with both hands and was told that is not a problem. I asked about deaf applause as well, since that consists of both hands waving in the air. They said it is not offensive, but they have not witness much applause happening at the school.

  4. Well I guess that means Aaron won’t be teaching the “Macharana” to the students or villagers on this trip!

    I still think you should have a PBG (Personal Body Guard) when traveling in foreign countries.

    I must say if a large man with a pen knife(let alone a machete)came out of the jungle after me I’d be looking for something to hit him with!

    The one thing you will come back with is a new appreciation for what it means to live here in this country. Even with the crooked politicians, hign taxes and no major sports team in SLC (Okay, JAZZ)It’s still a pretty awsome country to live in.

    I see tea-tree oil shampoo and nit combs in your future!

    Come back safe. You are all amazing people!!!

    Our love to you all.

    Robert, Kei and Family

  5. Just don’t come back with a shaved head! I don’t think the Signing Time kid-fans would recognize you! Have fun, be safe! Best of luck – Robert is right, you are all amazing. ROCK ON!

  6. LOL I imagined you, alex and leah were walking down a dirt road, a man in a white shirt and navy blue pants comes out of the woods and grabs your arm, Alex and Leah run down a hill to the deaf school below.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top