Spending Resurrection Day weekend with my host family

Spending Resurrection Day weekend with my host family

        This past Easter weekend was a special one.  As with the Christmas holiday, I spent the Easter weekend with my host parents in Tema.  It was a great time for catching up, rest, and reflection.  Here’s a look at the weekend.

Everyone in my department (myself included) had been looking forward to the holiday weekend.  Some people had plans to head to the Eastern region to watch “the White men paraglide off of the high cliffs,” some would travel to nearby villages to visit their loved ones, and others just planned to catch up on rest.  I especially had been looking forward to a six day educational tour of Ghana.  Adult Education students and professors had planned to visit most of the regions of Ghana and learn about community development initiatives around the country.  Three days before the trip, when my classmate and I went to our professor to pay the trip fee, we learned that the trip was cancelled.  Apparently, no one had paid the trip fee yet, and since a deposit hadn’t been put down on the bus, the bus managers decided to rent the bus to another group who had their money ready.  Let me tell you, my classmate and I were extremely disappointed.  I had even planned to make it to the last three regions of Ghana on that trip and visit my friends in Cape Coast.  Right when I thought I’d be stuck at home for the long weekend while my new roommate headed to Israel for a week long trip, my host mother called and invited me to hang out with them for Resurrection Day festivities.  I happily obliged and headed to Tema on Friday afternoon.

After I entered the compound, my host father met me at the door.  We had a good conversation around the kitchen table and caught up on the past few months (we hadn’t seen each other since December).  Ms. Joanne came home shortly afterwards and began preparing dinner.  I kid you not, we ended up chatting from 2:00 in the afternoon ’til 10:00 at night!  It was great to hear about their children, grandchildren, and her plans for heading back home to visit family.  I was glad to have a fellow American to vent to about power outages and loads of school work.  I went to bed that night in the familiar old bed, the same one I slept in the night I first landed in Africa.

The next day, we woke up, had breakfast, and talked some more.  Mr. Ako went to play golf for the day and Ms. Joanne and I ran some errands and had lunch at the new mall in Tema, “The Junction.”  We enjoyed a tasty barbecue chicken pizza in the food court and then strolled around the clothing stores.  When we went to the ice-cream parlor and found that the ice-cream was “finished”, we were determined to find some.  On the way home we drove around Tema until we arrived at a gas station that sold ice-cream pops.  On a hot April day, they were quite tasty.  
That night we enjoyed hamburgers and yam (sort of like potatoes) chips with all the fixins while we watched the last two discs of “The Bible.”  Watching the stories was very sobering and provided a good time for reflection for the special weekend.  I went to bed early to be ready for church the next morning. 
Buns, burgers, and yam chips!  April 4, 2015
Burgers with all the fixins, April 4, 2015

        Resurrection Day church service was great.  Ms. Joanne was the worship leader.  She along with the singers and musicians did a nice job with getting the congregation excited through music, and at the end of service, a couple people even danced.  The pastor talked about whether or not Jesus Christ is relevant in our world today, or if we should just look to human beings for inspiration.  The difference, he explained, is that while human heroes provide inspiration, only Jesus’ sacrifice provides eternal salvation.    


(Clockwise) Wild rice pilaf, collard greens, cauliflower casserole, baked chicken, and cream-style corn pudding–this is what I call good American eatin’!

After church we enjoyed fellowship with hot chocolate, tea, iced cookies, and wafers.  We took the beach road on the way home and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  That afternoon, Ms. Joanne and I watched some earlier stories from “The Bible” while we had dinner.  Abraham returned from his Rotaract trip to Togo shortly before I headed back to Accra.  We chatted for a while and he shared with me a gift he received from someone on the trip—several bars of high quality anti-bacterial soap.  Ms. Joanne and Mr. Ako joked that someone was trying to tell him in a nice way that he needed to wash!  Shortly later, my friend came to give me a ride back to Accra.  After saying goodbye to Ms. Joanne, Mr. Ako, and Abraham, my friend and I parked along the beach road, sat on the rocks and watched the tide come in. 

Enjoying the view along the beach road, Sunday, April 5
         Easter weekend was so relaxing and wonderful.  I always have a great time with my host family and am very thankful for them and their warmth.  
This ends this week’s post.  Next week, I’ll discuss taking weekend vacay to region number eight: the old capital city of Kumasi in the Ashanti region!

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