plastic pearls, among other things

I cannot believe that we are already in September! I’m sure that those of you in the States are beginning to see pumpkins, apples, and candy corn in the grocery stores. We are starting to experience a bit of a weather change too, as Minor Rainy Season commences in early October. We have already had a few cooler days and a couple of rain showers, which were most welcome to these American folks who are still adjusting to life without AC.

Those of you who follow us on Facebook hopefully saw that the money transfer went through with NO problem on Monday, and we were able to sign a contract for the next two years, beginning on October 1st, 2013. We LOVE this house and can’t wait to share pictures with all of you in the coming weeks. Thanks in advance to everyone for being patient with us as we cope with the speed of Ghanaian Internet :)

On Saturday we were able to talk for about thirty minutes with some of our Eight Oaks family after their weekly meeting. It was so good to hear their voices! We have missed them since we left and are constantly thinking of them throughout this experience. They have scarcely noticed our absence and are blazing full-steam ahead. If any of you in the Wichita area are needing help in any way, they meet on Saturdays and are always looking for opportunities to serve the body of Christ.
Teddy and I have been preparing for Landon and Kate’s arrival for the last week or so. We will leave for Accra on Tuesday and pick them up from the airport on Wednesday. YAY!!! We are so anxious for them to get here, to show them the house IN PERSON and introduce them to all of the friends we have made. Their flight leaves on September third, so be praying for safe and smooth travels!

I have to take this opportunity to share a story that touched my heart. I mentioned in a previous post that many of our neighbors fetch water from the well in our courtyard. This has allowed us to get to know lots of the kids and the parents who live around us—most specifically, we have become friends with a quartet of sisters: Peace (14), Hanna (10), Bless (5), and Millicent (4 months).

(Allow me to go on a brief tangent here and say that the Ghanaian women put my skinny little T-Rex arms to SHAME. They are STRONG. Hanna is 13 years my junior and would easily defeat me in arm wrestling. Peace carries immensely heavy loads on her head for miles at a time on Market Day.)

Yesterday afternoon, Hanna came over to fetch water. In place of her normal studs, she was wearing some dangling plastic earrings that were made to look like pearls. She was clearly very proud of them. I said, “Hanna: your earrings are BEAUTIFUL.” She beamed and asked, “You like them?” to which I nodded emphatically. We talked and she went home. Later that evening she returned with Bless and Peace, giggling and whispering in Ewe. When they had their water, Hanna came over to where I was sitting and silently put the plastic pearls she had been so proud of earlier into my ears. I smiled because I assumed she was letting me try them on, but then she picked up her bucket to leave. “Wait, Hanna!" I said, gesturing to my earlobes. She shook her head and grinned, “For you!” I protested but she stubbornly, sweetly insisted that I keep them. I gave her a hug and she left with her sisters.

I own a lot of jewelry, but the most precious might be the plastic pearls that were given to me by a little girl in Akatsi who fetches her water from a neighbor’s well.

It goes without saying that I am humbled and overwhelmed by the love that has been shown to Teddy and me. Thus far the people of Ghana have taught me more than I can begin to articulate—and we’ve only been here for three weeks!

We will (fingers crossed) have access to WIFI in Accra, so I will hopefully be able to post again in the coming days. As always—thank you for your support, your words of encouragement, and your prayers! We fall asleep every night feeling blessed beyond belief. Love to you all-

Ellie and Ted

Bless. Don't let the smile fool you--she's ornery:)
I found a dead lizard in our water one morning. A thrilling way to wake up!
I experienced riding in a Tro-Tro for the first time last week.
Our neighbor's door.
Edith, Emmanuel, and Godwin
Ghanaian sunset.
Sweet Hanna
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