So much to post but before I go into it all we have been away since yesterday afternoon (all very last minute!) and have only just got home so want to make this short as there is rather a lot for me to catch up on!
Before I go into where we went etc. just wanted to share this quick story with you from our journey.
We all travelled together (our new neighbours & ourselves) in a small bus and on the way had to drop into a couple of places for Aubrey and Dom to deliver/sign papers.
One of the offices we went to was at the airport site in a town called Takoradi (the main town and port off which oil has been found in Ghana). We went through the security gate and parked up outside the offices whilst the men went to have a quick meeting. Whilst waiting the kids got a bit jittery as they had already been in the bus for over an hour and it was getting hot and stuffy.
So we opened the doors and they got out and stood next to the bus chatting and bouncing around but not going any further than the parking space next to us, when up pops the wonderful looking security guard, complete with full on green uniform, gold buttons, stripes on the lapels and the obligatory dark glasses. He comes rushing up to the bus ‘Madam, Madam, please you must keep the children inside the car as it is VERY busy here. There are plenty vehicles and helicopters coming all the time. Please it be very busy in this place’. I must admit I did play up to his it’s ‘very busy’ by repeating it a few times to see if he could see the wisdom (or not) of his words!
To give you an idea of how ‘busy’ this place was: One car had been parked four places down and had left. There were two mini buses on the other side of us which were parked up. About 100ft away were some old disused aeroplanes. There was a lone woman sweeping the ‘road’ wearing a dust mask over her face, and the sound of the wind blowing through the vehicle imitated that of the wind you would get if all alone in the desert. I’m only guessing at the desert part but it was definitely an eerie kind of sound you hear when surrounded by nothing. Even one of the kids asked disappointedly ‘where are the helicopters? I can’t see any’.
Not long after telling us, a large lorry drove past at the top of the road, at which point the security man came leaping out in glee pointing to it for us as if to say ‘I told you so’. It was only 200ft away.
Maybe you had to be there to find it an amusing situation but it is very typical of Ghanaians to be incredibly cautious where children are concerned. ‘Please madam to not let them stand on the wall (one foot high), they will fall, balance on one leg, climb the tree, swing on a rope, climb onto the roof of the Landrover. OK maybe the last one they have a point (especially as they were three and two years old at the time) but as a rule their judgement of risk is very different to our own. They would allow a five year old to go down to the local shop along a busy road and buy the groceries, or a nine year old to have full care of the baby, but would not let that same five or nine year old climb the fence, wall, tree.
Perhaps we have something we can learn from each other.
This week we have mostly been drawing: