Tuesday, December 4, 2012

From My Travel Journal Day 2

Day 2

Sometimes I feel like my days here are a big puzzle. I know what I want to accomplish, but as I rely on friends for transportation and knowledge of where to go,  things get complicated. I am so grateful though that I don't have to figure these things alone and help is just a phone call away. Yesterday, I bought a cell phone to use. But it didn't work Because the SIM card must be registered at an office before use. The office was closing by the time we were going there, so instead Mary gave me her SIM card to use. And we stopped by to load some cedis on the card, which was another stop on the way. And I don't want just to rush around, but also cultivate friendships and spend time with people who do the work I admire so much. So it feels like days are short and time goes by too quickly.

Today, we planned to visit our daughter, take donations to the Fern House and then hopefully connect with a friend who will be taking us shopping over the weekend. But TIA (this is Africa) so sometimes the plans change, actually they often do. We left to visit our daughter later than planned. Once we got there, we were allowed to stay for over 2 hours. What precious time with our sweet little one! I was able to understand her special needs even more. And I am glad that she can hear, see and make sounds. It may seem like basic things, but we really weren't sure. Unfortunately, we also discovered more medical needs but I view this as a blessing also as we can get medical care lined up ahead of time. Some of those things will need lots of medical intervention, but I see the potential that is inside this little one. The entire visit, she was content on my lap although she moved her body to indicate which way she wanted to sit. Her smile is beyond description, it warms my heart.

By the time we got back, I realized the store to register the SIM card would close soon, so we walked to one near our hotel. It's funny to see people's reactions especially to tall Emmi. One guy walked passed us and said to her "marry me" and then kept on going. Then we took a taxi to take Mary's SIM card back to her only to find that she was back at the Fern House. Auntie Comfort went with us and we had a lovely visit on the way. Before we left though, she was in the middle of braiding a girls hair and I got a wonderful hair lessons from her. 

At the Fern House, Emmi was surrounded by little ones who adore her quite a bit. We learned about the different things grown there from okra to watermelon. I rocked babies, visited with the moms and soaked in the wisdom from Auntie Comfort. She spoke with Emmi about life and making right choices. We ate fried plantain, which is such a good meal for me, Emmi's first time trying it and she loved it. This place is so special and I feel privileged to get to visit and learn about all that they do. 

Emmi and Auntie Comfort

I told Comfort about the sexual education in America and she was fascinated by the computerized babies that high school students take care of  in some programs. I also told her about how I had to carry an egg around as my "baby" before computerized babies came about. We had a good laugh about my cracked egg (somehow I have managed to keep 4 kids alive without broken bones). In some ways teenage pregnancy is a similar issue here as it is in the US.  In other ways the cultures are different and belief systems are different. Either way, seeing a young mom tend to her babies while being a baby herself is hard knowing she is giving up so much. And here, education is key to getting out of devastating poverty. So devastating that it can lead to the hard choice of relinquishing a child. At the same time, these women have hope, because they have auntie Comfort and the Fern House. 

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