Malaria, Bamboo, etc.

I think I'm becoming repetitive, but we have had another crazy week!

Teddy had been feeling off for several days, occasional headaches, nausea, etc., but figured it was dehydration and continued chugging along. This is, after all, the guy who cut off his casts in high school so he could play basketball with a broken ankle and a fractured thumb. Around Tuesday afternoon he became really, violently ill. To make a long story short, he was diagnosed with malaria and we spent three days, two nights, at the clinic in Akatsi. 

It was a terrifying, wild couple of days. I would not have managed without the endless prayers from our family and friends. So many people, both in Ghana and the US held my hand through the whole process and I am eternally grateful to each and every one of you, from our faithful parents to the boy in pajamas that walked me to the gas station in the middle of the night so I could buy Ted some juice. God is good! 

I recently listened to a sermon by Tim Keller in which he described the difference between JOY and HAPPINESS. Joy is buoyancy; happiness is circumstantial. Joy comes from deeply rejoicing in God, and true joy is not fleeting because it comes from focusing on Christ--who does not change. I have been reminded of this difference on an almost daily basis, and it was especially poignant during our stay at the hospital. It was 7:30 in the morning, I hadn't slept at all the night before, Ted's IV bag was empty, his headache had come back full-force, and I was feeling pretty dejected. The clinic doors had just opened for the day and I trudged down to the reception desk to see the "lobby" filled to the brim with people: some bouncing crying babies on their hips, some lying on the floor because all of the seats were taken. One of the nurses, the "matron," stood at the head of the room and said something in Ewe, and then led everyone in a prayer. AND then, as if I was not feeling humbled enough, they burst into song, singing "Cast your burdens unto Jesus, for he cares for you, cast your burdens unto Jesus, for he cares for you: higher higher, lift Jesus higher." And even the mothers with sick babies and the people on the floor stood up, and smiled and clapped and sang. Needless to say, I received a much-needed attitude adjustment. I have not understood the distinction between "joy" and "happiness" for much of my life: I am grateful for the Ghanaian people who have illustrated this concept to me so beautifully. 

Ted is on the mend, taking about 16 pills a day and feeling better and better. Thank you again for all of the prayers and kind words sent our way! We feel very, very loved.

Our bamboo furniture arrived on Tuesday, but obviously blogging was not high on my priority list:) However, now that everyone is happy and healthy I am thrilled to share some pictures of the inside of the house!

We bought most of this stuff on the side of the road in Accra. Guys sit outside at all hours of the day building wicker and bamboo furniture. Our shopping experience consisted of sitting under a mango tree and discussing with Sammy what we needed for the house. After we agreed on a price he walked us down the street to pick out the fabric for the cushions: and when I say "pick out" I mean that the seamstress deemed my first two selections "no good" and I agreed to what she suggested:) I took dozens of pictures of this process but they were all on my phone and I didn't get the chance to upload them before it was stolen, so you'll have to use your imagination! The fabric is hand-dyed and stamped, and is so lovely and wonderfully irregular. 

We love having the opportunity to support Ghanaian businesses. Sammy has been making furniture for about 15 years (despite only being 25) and took over "the business" when his Dad passed away a couple of years ago. As Teddy says, you don't normally come away with a nice story and a new friend when you walk out of a department store with some furniture.

And now, the pictures!

The kitchen, before.
After!! Yay! The carpenter is finishing up cabinets for below/around the sink this week.

a stove! The pantry is to the left.

Girls' Bedroom, before.
AFTER!! :)
Bamboo bunk beds. And pink mattresses, of course. 
Closet. Their room has lots of built-in storage, which is fantastic.
Main room/living area before.
Annnnd after. 
We have LOTS of seating now. The dining table will go where the photographer (aka, me) is standing in this photo.

One of the bedrooms. The Before pictures I took of this space had terrible lighting, but I assure you it's a glorious transformation.