Still in Maase (through my birthday!)

Blog 3-9-14
I have been in Ghana for over a month now! Given the adage that it takes 21 days to create a habit, my life here has become very familiar. I know how to get around town, have my favorite people to greet, and know back roads a bit more each day. I’m used to sleeping under my mosquito net, untucking/retucking it to climb in or out of bed. I’m quite used to eating my host mother’s delicious meals. Always washing my hands in a fresh bowl of water with dish soap which is set on the bottom shelf of my small plastic eating table.

This is not to say there aren’t still surprises. Saturday when I went for my morning run, I ran into about 30 local teenagers also out running. It was fantastic! I ran an extra mile so I could chat with them in “Twi-nglish” and enjoy the unique experience. Apparently they come from the neighboring village and run on Saturday mornings. I hope our timing allows us to cross paths again next weekend. Other than the obrunis (foreigners), very few people here run/jog or if they do it’s not on my schedule. Most people are readying themselves for school or walking to farm when I run at 6am/day break.

Next Sunday, I will have my first birthday in Ghana. This is also the date of our language proficiency test. I am confident that I will pass, but will spend time pushing myself in order to pass with a high rating, even though passing is passing. I really enjoy the challenge of communication, but appreciate that each day it gets a little easier and I am able to say a bit more. Just yesterday when someone asked if I was married. I could respond in Twi that I am, my husband is a teacher in America, and will come to Ghana in May (the month of the crab here). That was fun!

The months here are named in phrases that suggest the tone of each one. January is the driest month, so is called big dry. December is called small dry, as it is the beginning of dry season. July is hold your hand, since that is a time when supplies are low and one might be tempted to steal in order to eat. The poetry of this language makes it enjoyable to learn. The flowery nature makes it difficult for those who want everything to directly translate. Thankfully, I love it. I will miss my 6 hour language training days and will have to find a reasonable alternative tutor once I get to site. Alex, my current instructor, is very knowledgable and structured, so that will be hard to replace.

For now I will sign off. I have written this in the early morning and hope to be able to post later today. First I will have a full morning of laundry and school work. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and hope you are enjoying your washing machines. I will never again take that luxury for granted!


3 thoughts on “Still in Maase (through my birthday!)

  1. Arnie Hegler

    Celebrated Dylan’s Birthday today, missed you and Michael badly. it’s on to baseball for Eli. Courtney is here for spring break. what a day. thank for all you are doing there in Ghana, SC or is it SA.

  2. Michael G. McGough

    Hey kid, it is wonderful to be able to read your post and get a glimpse into your new life; so please continue to update the folks back stateside when time allows. Not only does it sounds as though you are embracing your new environment but thriving in it. It is ironic,

    Not that my writing will be as ellequent as yours (in English or Twi) but here is a little taste of how our lives have been going. The Biggest news was Fredanna received official word that she received tenure, and couldn’t be happier. It is a huge relief and allows her to set her sites on the next steps (whatever that may be). We are in full swing with the wedding plans. Having chosen the venue (as you knew), the caterer, the DJ, the cake (baker person) and the photographer. It all seems to be going well, yet at times also feels like pulling teeth… We have met with the priest twice now and twice Fredanna came out unscathed while I got hammered (go figure).

    I have reached out to your husband (still fun to use that term) and we are trying to get together. We were going to hit the Marsh Walk in Murrells Inlet for an event (until he convinced us it was canceled) only to find out later it wasn’t. LOL… Then he decides to flea to Ohio during spring break so there will be no St. Patricks Day celebration with him or with anyone else for that matter! After speaking to Michael, he convinced me the shots weren’t that big of a deal and nurse Pat (the poke-a-potomous) administering them was really good. So reluctantly I am currently up to date with my shots and ready (as much as I can) for our big trip this summer. Unfortunately, I had a massive headache afterwards but hay could be worse, I could be bathing in a bucket!!! (which I will be doing soon no doubt – lol). There is discussion that there is an outside chance that we might try to make it to you before Freetown (Michael doesn’t even know yet, figured I’d break the news to you first). Let us know your thoughts as we do not want to overstep as we know you will not have seen Michel in a long time, but we would love to see you.

    I have decided the science thing just isn’t for me so I am going to be bailing on the PTA program, which I have come to terms with. I think Fredanna knew loooong before I did. I am however excited to redirect my attention back to the wonderful world of business where everything just makes sense.

    You are missed very much missed, not to mention I lost my St. Patricks Day partner in crime this year. Know we think about you often and are in our prayers. I have been given the ok from my proof reader (Fredanna) to be able to post this. She did however call me (the parentheses) (King)…. lol oh gosh, we all need a little CT in our lives! lol

    Much Love,


  3. Jen (Smart) Johnston

    Hi Chris – I enjoy reading your story, and can’t begin to imagine what your future will include! As I write this, today is your birthday, as well as test day … I sure hope you have a great day all around. So happy to reconnect with you my long lost friend! Take care – Jen


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