Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Dog's Life

Hi! Since Maakum has not written a blog post for a while, I thought I would. My name is Ruby, one of Maakum's grandpuppies. Ruby is short for Ruby human dreams about food a lot! I am also known as Ruby Slippers, Rubik Cube, Baby Girl and Monster, although I don't know why anyone would call me a monster!

I often visit Maakum, especially when my human is out and about. I have been known to whine at her front gate until she lets me in. Then, she feels sorry for me. (YAY!) So, she brings out my water bowl and my toys!

So, I start to play with bunny. But, then I realize that I am not the center of attention. Imagine that! Maakum is drinking coffee and reading her Bible! So I whine...a lot. And I look at her with my big, Eeyore type eyes. And, it works! I am now comfy on her lap, ready for a small nap!

After my nap, I decide I am a tad hungry. So, the eyes and the whine go to work again. Maakum grumbles small, but I know she is only teasing...she loves me...and she goes inside to bring me some summer sausage! Do I have Maakum trained or what? Then, I let her know I want more. She goes inside again, but, this time she comes out with banku with fish, one of my favorite Ghanaian dishes. I dig in!

I am just a bit messy when I eat! Now...time to play again...and she says, "I'm not a dog person." Huh! What am I? Chopped liver?

My visit to Maakum is almost human is on her way. But, one more thing Maakum lets me do....

somehow I got on Maakum's bed. I don't know how it happened...maybe Scotty beamed me up. :-)

That's all for now. I need to do my duty as "guard puppy." I'll be back again if Maakum forgets to write!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I Lied

It is true. I have been lying to you. I have finally come out of denial. My knee pains me a lot. It keeps me awake at night. It shoots sharp pain up my leg when I drive my moto because of the angle I need to have it to drive. It makes travel very challenging. I limped from my kitchen workspace to my refrigerator today. I cannot wait a year for a knee replacement. I have called my surgeon to find out what my options are. (Two years ago he told me that he would do surgery whenever I wanted…it was that bad!) It is like a constant toothache or worse.
So, pray for me, for my knee and for health decisions that need to be made. (Surgery has been scheduled for Friday, October 17, 2014.) I cannot live in Lawra like this and do what I need to do/want to do. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Life in Lawra - Cow in Hole

So here's the thing...I almost had fresh beef today! The chief's cattle were grazing through my front yard as I was disposing of some leftovers from my grandpuppy, Ruby. I heard a SPLASH. " What was that?" I wondered? I looked up and saw a cow in a cement water collection hole. The cattle were being herded by some small children, so I called to them. Then, I told my neighbor, who is a daughter of the late chief. She KNEW who to call. And, she called PLENTY of people!

A man who Beatrice, my neighbor, called "uncle" came. He tried and tried to free the cow, pulling this way and that, even putting his fingers up the cow's nostrils to get good leverage. Eww! When some small boy came, the boy pulled at the cow's horns and Uncle pulled the cow's tail. It looked like it would hurt. (Can a cow's tail get broken?) Needless to say, the cow did not get out of the hole.

Finally, the Fulani man, who is to take care of the chief's cows, came. Uncle jumped into the hole and pushed the cow up, while the Fulani man and children pulled up from outside the hole.

The final result? A freed cow...who was not very happy to have been in the hole. Needless to say, those of us watching, watched from a safe distance. No beef for dinner tonight!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Life in Lawra - Sunday

Yesterday was Sunday. In my mind it was a "day off" because I didn't have to preach. I woke up early and made croutons to serve as a snack later in the evening when I was going to have guests. After that, I made a tuna macaroni salad to have after church. If I made it before church, it would have time in the refrigerator, so it would be cold when I ate it.
I drove my motorcycle out to Kalsagri so I was there by 9:00. Church was not starting until 10:00 because the Superintendent Minister was coming to do a Thanksgiving service for a woman who had died two weeks ago. Plus, he was preaching and serving communion. Thus, my "day off" feeling.
When I arrived at church, the benches were set out, but nothing was ready for communion. The plates and cups were so dusty and dirty. So, I sent a couple of people up to the borehole to fetch water. I had a few anti-bacterial wipes in my backpack that we used to wash the things needed. When the water arrived, very cloudy and dirty looking, we rinsed the dishes. Then, we were able to set up for communion.

Since most of our singers and drummers had traveled south to try to earn money, our song leaders and drummers were young this week. They did a fine job. 

Later, as others arrived, the children went to the children's service and the adults took over the singing and drumming.

We sang plenty yesterday. The pastor had to preach and serve communion at the Lawra church before he came out to Kalsagri. He had told me that he would "fast track" the service in Lawra. Someone finally came who could translate for me, and we started the service. Scripture was read, songs were sung, visitors were introduced and welcomed, prayers were prayed, announcements were announced, the offering was taken...still no pastor. The "day off" feeling had long since left me. Where was he? Oh, one more song...he finally arrived, at 12:15! He once again welcomed the family of Afie, the woman who had died. People stood up and gave testimony of how Afie's life had touched theirs. The pastor did the Thanksgiving part of the service, thanking God for the life of this precious sister in Christ.

Now, it was time for the sermon..."Come to Me all you who hunger. Come to Me, all you who thirst..." Then, communion. The service was over by 1:30. So, I am thinking, "Yeah! Naptime!" WRONG! Someone had delivered a letter to Rev. Baiden early Sunday morning. It told of the death of a man in Techiman. He and his wife were from one of the villages of Kalsagri. Would the pastor please visit the widow and do the widowhood rites for the deceased man's wife. So, first we had to find someone who knew the family and knew directions to the family house. According to Tradition, the man was already buried, but the funeral and grieving were still going on. So, we "hopped" on our motorcycles, in search of the bereaved family. We did find them, but, then, we had to search for the man who had visited the pastor that morning. As we walked from here to there and from there to over there and from over there knee was paining me with every step because of the arthritis. We did find the family house. We greeted everyone and sat down. We shared our mission of why we had come.

Then, the widow was found and brought to us. Again, greetings and sharing our mission. There was much discussion on when the widowhood rites would be done because the widow wanted to return to the south before she moved back north to the family house. She finally agreed to have the pastor do the rites now, while he was there. I didn't understand most of what was said because it was in Twi and Dagaare. So, I looked in my Liturgy book when I got home. First the pastor gave thanks that the two has said their marriage vows and were true to them. He had the woman put her hand in the hand of a male relative who would represent her husband. The pastor talked about the vow of living as man and wife until "death do us part." Now, death has separated them and freed her from that vow...and the hands were separated. He prayed that God would be with her during this time and again thanked God for their marriage.

He had the widow kneel. Then, as he prayed for her, she was anointed with oil. It was a short service filled with symbolism. I was glad that we could be there for the family.

I got home at 4:00 in the afternoon. I was exhausted. And, I was having guests at 6:30. So, I quickly ate and rested. Then, the sky was getting dark. I received a text, "Can I come early? Looks like rain." "Sure, come on over now."

So, Sarah and Sydney came over at 6:00 for our "girls night out" with Hassan, the three year old son of Sarah's fiancé. We watched it rain small, and watched the sky get dark and watched the candles glow as we talked and got caught up on each other's life.
The evening ended about 8:15. I was tired. I brought the things in and collapsed on my bed. It was a busy, but good, day in Lawra!