Wednesday, January 8, 2008
Bats: Good; Rats: Bad
Greetings! I hope this note finds you well (unless you are my sister, in which case you will no doubt be irritated at my throwing around the word “note,” but I hope you are well in every other respect).
Perhaps you’ve heard about the horrifically high temperatures we endure here in Ghana. Well. I won’t say it’s cold precisely, but I will admit to appreciating my blanket at night, enjoying a light sweater in the morning, and wishing my shower had a hot water option in the evening. Or at least a luke-warm water option. Oy.
It is the dry season, you see. This means temperatures are a little lower and anyone who doesn’t drink enough water may evaporate on the spot. It also means I’m combating nosebleeds, much as I do during winter in Ohio. We also endure a phenomenon known as [insert name here], which is when sand storms from the Sahara send their dirt down this way to dust our floors faster than we can mop them and to fill the air such that it looks like fog at dusk.
I arrived in Nasuan a few days ago and have spent the time moving in and unpacking, deciphering Karissa’s school curriculum, and getting settled in in general. My little house is quite quaint, with a nice-sized bedroom and bathroom and a larger main room divided into sections for kitchen and eating area, living room, and office. Sarah Esala has a few plans still underway for improvements—they include a few more curtains (most notably in the bathroom), a new bedspread that matches the curtains, and a few wall-hangings to add that homey touch (the height of luxury, no?)—so I will send along pictures once these little details are in place.
I have not yet ventured into the village (we live sort of on the edge), so I haven’t met many people besides the Esalas and a few other missionaries who live “nearby.” On Saturday, however, I’m going to meet [pause] The Chief [insert forbidding music]. Apparently, anyone who wants to live in the village has to be introduced. So Nathan Esala, as head of the household, is taking me. It also works out that Nathan happens to speak Konkomba and so can communicate with The Chief. Otherwise, The Chief and I could stumble through one basic morning greeting (with the stumbling mostly on my part probably; I suspect The Chief speaks Konkomba fairly well). Then I could say “thank you,” and we’d be out of phrases both of us would understand. Anyway, Chief. Saturday. Something to look forward to. Right.
And Saturday is also Market Day this week, so I’m excited to see how that goes as well.
I need to wrap up and get out because it’s almost Radio Time (not sure what that means, but it does involve switching the electricity to a voltage my computer won’t like), so I won’t have time to tell you how I conquered my gas stove in 15 matches or less while sustaining only one second-degree burn, how I enjoyed eating yams (the white kind, not the sweet potato kind) very much but okra less so because okra looks like snot, and how I often have the pleasure of cows (and the occasional donkey) in my front yard, and the cows may eat from any tree except the tree to the left, lest Sarah throw things at them.
Today’s Suggested Prayer Topics include Karissa’s schooling, which will begin next week; Baby Aili, who doesn’t feel very well; death to mice living in my house and the Esalas’ house; and life in general. I’m praising God for my health: no malaria, and regular bowel movements. Life is good. And the night watchman shot a rat the other day. Plus also, I’m enjoying the bats because they eat mosquitoes and make cool sounds at night.
Hope all is well with you. I’ll hopefully be reading all the emails you’ve been sending, but probably not until after I’ve sent this (so I may not reply until next week).