Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 6....Bolgatanga

I have no idea who these women are - but they were in the girl's family compound area. B didn't know who they were. I didn't want to post pictures we took of their extended family, because I am not 100% sure it is OK.
These are the neghborhood kids at the well getting water.

This is the entrance to the compound, I think our girls lived in the second door on the right. We did not see the inside of any of them.

OK...this is going to be an exhausting post. It was an exhausting day.
We got up at 3am, got ready and then sat around for 30 minutes. Then the hotel van took us to pick of the girls at Beacon House. We went to the airport (met up with Bernard) and caught the 6am flight up to Tamale (TAM-eh-lee). Our driver met us at the airport and we drove straight to Bolga which was about 2 hours. We all kind of snoozed the whole way up there. The scenery was eactly what you would expect from "Africa". It was very Savannah, there were ginormous ant hills, sparse trees, goats, pigs and cows roaming in the street. We went through several villages with dilapidated shacks on the side of the road ad women selling weird looking food off of their heads. My favorite is the battered and fried fish that still has scales and eyeballs on them...and that was the thing I recognized.
We saw lots of giant trucks with people just piled up in them and hanging off of the back, there were tro tro's with goats on top of them. We passed a world vision headquarters....yeah worldvision. We also saw a UNICEF mafia member in a suite being picked up in the UNICEF SUV...I didn't see them run over any children on the way out of the airport...but I wouldn't put it past them.
The girls' family lived in Bolgatanga, itself, that is kind of the big city...although it didn't feel like it to us! Because it was the big city, the visit ended up being a lot shorter than other people's just kind of went on around us. In smaller villages when you show up with the kids, there is a lot of ceremony and a party. This was just us talking to the family...2 uncles, and aunt and a grandmother.
As soon as we got off the airplane, B got really animated, talking about seeing her grandmother and she got really excited about it...she was the most talkative I had seen her ...then she went to sleep! When we got there, she didn't really want to get out of the car. When she did, she didn't want to talk to them at all. I finally coaxed her into some pictures. We had brought a bunch of little toys for her to give to her friends we got them out and I said lets go over to the well and give your toys to your friends. She walked over to an area on the other side of the car and just stood there and pouted and said I want them to come here. I convinced her to go over to where the kids were. That interaction kind of confirmed for me that this visit was not exactly how she had dreamed it would be.
I don't for a second know what she is going through...but I do know you can never go backwards and it is never the same when you try to go matter where it is that you are going.
After the family house, we went to Mama Laadi's foster home. It is a christian foster home/orphanage that takes children who need help. I couldn't tell exactly, but I don't think our girls actually ever live there. I think that because of V's health their family brought them here and Mama Laadi contacted Romana and they went to Accra and Beacon House very quickly. Anyhow, it is great to meet a woman who lives her life for children....she has quite a generous spirit and I was very impressed with what she is doing and how she is doing it.
Then we headed 2 hours back to Tamale where we were staying. The drive back was HOT. Yes, I am a baby. We have been staying in this hot country for the last 6 days and there is rarely any A/C. Our hotel room and the Accra Mall is about it. The car that picked us up at the Tamale airport had A/ was so nice...but it broke about 20 minutes into our drive back and I was hot. 4 people in the back seat with a 20 month old on my lap the whole time. The guest house we stayed at was nice-ish. I kept feeling like I was in an Indiana Jones movie...that has really been the theme of this week. We did have A/C in our hotel room...we also had a giant multi-colered iguana thing living in our a/c unit and it kept scurrying around and every once in a while I would look up and see it's ginormous feet. We braved the dinner at the guest house, it was fried (thoroughly like...dry)chicken and white rice with Peppe sauce. Yum. I love the spiciness here.
Breakfast did not get eaten by me...the girls ate was an omelet and toast...Keith and I did eat the toast. Then it was back to the airport and back to Accra.
I may do some more posts throughout the day on the experience. It was interesting to say the least and there are lots of little stories that don't really fit into this sort of narrative. Anyway, we are back and I appreciate our awesome little hotel even more today than I did before we left!


Shannon said...

What an adventure. I'm sorry to hear that B had a hard time with the visit. I can't imagine the internal struggles she must be having. Seems she has a strong spirit, though, and that's a great thing! I'm sorry you had to cross paths with UNICEF. I probably would've lept from the car and started hurling things at them. I'm impressed with your self control. Can't wait to hear more about this leg of your journey.

The Blaske Bunch said...

Welcome back to Accra....Glad you made your Bolga trip....the pics you have of the area will be soooooo important to your kids as they grow to be young adults...this we can not put a value on! HOT is an understatment when you speak of Ghana! having kids on your lap and back packs on...stuffed in cars/vans....sweaty for sure! GREAT job trooping around the country! BLESSINGS as you REST and enjoy the AC and the last few days with your sweet girls!

Michelle said...

I heard that the Blaskes were the biggest troopers right off the plane into a bus for 15 hours up to Bolga...I think Romana used the term insane! Hahah

landonspc said...

It's wonderful that you got a chance to meet the relatives. I'm sorry it was hard for Benedicta to process. Just keep in mind that she was happy at the opportunity to see grandma even if she was shy and unsure of how to react. It's important for you to take part in her history even just a little part of it. You now share more understanding of her roots and that will be valuable as they grow up.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power