Instead of “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” here in Ghana we have, “Why does the Sidewalk End?” And who needs a tro-tro when you’ve got two feet. It is a lot faster, let me tell you. And have we told you about the  1000’s and 1000’s of bats? They all nest at “37” the circle near the military hospital—that by the way—is mentioned in the very first chapter of the latest Maya Angelou book I am reading. (Not her latest, my latest read, All God’s Children Have Walking Shoes—or something like that). So I finished, “ Singing and Swinging and Getting Merry Like Christmas,” which is all about San Francisco—mentions the houseboat, Vallejo, that Billy turned us on to in the early 70’s and Herb Caen and other fun people and now the this next one that starts in Ghana. How Ms. Maya (By the way, I wrote to her publicist and got an answer right away on where to send her a letter) got from Hawaii to Ghana, I’ve got no idea, nor why she was heading for Liberia—but I hope to know soon.

 

Halloween is a nothing here—hard on the girls. Though they did participate in being creepies at a haunted house their friends were sponsoring. (Sorry Auntie Nancy—no pics from us, maybe from the Pyschas’ (sponsoring fam)) But it was a busy weekend.  On Friday night we hosted three yung’ins for a Shabbat dinner, a 25 year old Israeli who works for the 29 year old South African, that have befriended the 25 year old American. In order, Moshe is here doing security consulting and instillation working with Derryn—both were in Sierra Leone (intense) and now Moshe is going to Tajikastan soon (?) and Molly is here with Street Aid—an NGO. Molly is the most Jewish, then Moshe, then Derryn—who is only ½ Jewish. We told a lot of jokes, found out the robbers rob houses, then go back and try to sell those same families assault weapons. Nice. (They both still agree a nasty dog is the BEST defense). Molly is loud, and smart, and sharp, and fun, and has a HUGE heart. She is also a Yale grad. And I have no doubt she will leave this earth better than she left it.

 

Saturday was the school’s International Festival, complete with the parade of countries. WONDERFUL, moving and all that jazz. Now I see why it is most folks favorite day of the year. Small and large, big and small, 56 nations in all—some whom have been planning their costumes all year. Lots of drumming, chanting, singing, a plump 9 year old girl bollywood dancing her heart out (could of cried I tell you), food, food, and more food. Chocolate mousse from Belguim, some kind of greasy, sugary doughnut thing from South Africa, TWO kinds of sushi—Korean and Japanese, Italian, Lebanese and Israeli, Chinese, on and on…(I avoided the Ghanaian—however, lots of folks swarmed the joint.) We had our own world cup—5 on 5, good, good time.

 

Sunday was mellow for Allegra, Jeff and I—but not Sarah. OMG. The folks that sponsored the Haunted House, turned around and gave their daughter the most amazing 15th birthday party. 12 kids, three drivers (mom and dad and one friend), 15 cedis per car, 4 red, 4 blue, and 4 yellow t-shirts emblazoned with “The amazing birthday race,” and many envelops with tasks. It was a race to see who could do the tasks in order ALL over Accra. Each car had a video to document the task. Pound fu-fu (huge mortar and pestle that mushes up this HUGE hairy tuber), ride a Fanice guy’s bicycle, sell a role of toilet paper for 50 peswas (!) down the row of cars, take a picture with a chicken, ride a pony at the beach, teach 10 people the “YMCA” song, play a Ghanaian hopscotch game, find someone to teach them a song in Twi, take a picture with mannequins…It was the most amazing and wonderful gift anyone could have given my daughter. I am still crazy about it. Jeff’s big excitement was climbing the school’s receiving tower—about 25-30 feet—to figure out why our internet always drops out. He said it is a boy thing—to climb the tower.

 

So now it is back to the grind. New quarter began Monday. The “visiting” accreditation team is here, Friday is the first faculty breakfast, Friday night we get our two new house guests for the weekend for the Waisal (west Africa international schools athletic league) volleyball tournament—guess that is what our weekend will be, as we have to provide them with breakfasts and dinners. Wednesday I am going back to the babies at Beacon House, darn, I’ll miss a department meeting. Then coaching on our return. Our (swimming’s) Waisal is in Lagos, Nigeria, Dec 4-5—I’ll keep you posted. (Did we tell you our taxi theory? That the how nice the driver is is inversely proportional to how nice his car is…it is a real drag.)

 

Sarah gets asked for her phone numbers to get married at least twice a day. She gets really annoyed. We’ve said, she can say,  “I’ve left my phone in my dad’s gun drawer.” “I left it next to my dad’s machete.” “I’ve had too many Lobotomies to remember.” “I’m Jewish.” But so far my favorite, “is on no, you don’t want my phone number, I only date women.”

 

Allegra is having fun on Facebook, hanging with her friends, Eva and Annik, listening to her I-pod, trying tosee how many things she can get her parents to do for her, swimming, getting back to Taekwando, looking for her next dessert (she is getting sooo tall and lanky!)

 

We love you all—more soon. Xoxoxo Amy and the gang.

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