Kidd's on a mission

July 25, 2011

The Chief’s

Filed under: News Updates @ 3:18 pm and

Since the arrival of the boats on Thursday, we have been working almost nonstop until dark every day. We have an audience of 50 or so people at any given time. No one can walk by without stopping to look at these vessels and their workers. We have many helpers young and old. The young children can’t stop touching my white legs to see if they are for real. This stuff is priceless! The local garage mechanics who I have befriended, love to help during their spare time. They know the reason for the boats is for bible translation as I have told them the whole story of our mission. Most of them are Muslim and some practice traditional African religions, yet they are very willing to help with the Christian boat project. The auto parts store owner told us today he is thinking about switching from Muslim to Christianity!

Word has gotten to the village chiefs about us and the boats. There are a total of 9 chiefs in Kete Krache and they invited us to meet with them today after lunch. We arrived at the main palace and were given the VIP treatment. All 9 chiefs were present and we assembled outside in their meeting hut. We were served cold malts and followed their traditional greetings and introductions. They expressed their appreciation for us and our team leader, Mark and project manager, Paul explained the whole Lake Volta Language Project process to them. We were given traditional Ghanaian dress and posed for a few pictures. This was huge and an amazing time for all. On the way back to the guesthouse, I told our team, this sure beats sitting at home, watching TV!

Have you allowed God to stretch you today?

Filed under: News Updates @ 3:17 pm and

Today I wake up excited to know that the boats will be arriving. I have made many friends and they too are eagerly waiting to see these boats I have been talking about. I came here to serve Christ, open minded to what challenges await me and whatever jobs he threw my way. Things weren’t crystal clear as to what I would be doing when I came. I have visited many people, tried to be a positive role model for Christ, become friends with the neighbors, I have helped our linguist Mark with excel computer information, taught another linguist Matthew new things on the copier, and bonded with Oksana, a linguist from Russia who has been here for 5 years and needed a woman friend. So far these are all things that I feel comfortable doing. So the day began as usual, 7:30 breakfast and then we scurried around in preparation for the container to arrive at 11 am. I was to be in charge of inventory and guarding the gate. I soon relinquished the guarding, I couldn’t handle that task and do my inventory. Shortly into the unloading a 2×4 fell on a guys head and cut his forehead. They yelled for me to help him. I am not a nurse and I had no clue what to do, the guy continued to work and so I did the same. But in the back of mind was this nagging thought, this poor guy, so I ask Joe to see if Oksana had a cloth he could use to wipe up the blood. She didn’t understand him I found out and she didn’t do anything, so I figured we didn’t have to do anything.  Nag nag, my conscience tells me to do something. So I talk with Oksana and she watches the inventory while I go get my 1st aid kit. Now I quickly walk up the hill to my house to realize my room is locked, so I go back get the key and climb the hill once again. Now I am very hot and sticky, but gosh how does that guy feel? We get the guy in our storage room in a plastic chair and assess the situation. So I get what little supplies I have, put my only pair of gloves on, clean the wound with peroxide, put some antibiotic cream on it and put a bandage over it. Now I need tape and I have no scissors. Oksana my assistant cuts the tape with her teeth and we are glad to have one long piece to cover the bandage. Now I have an ice pack that I decide he needs for the swelling. Shoot I read the directions and can’t get it to work. Run out and ask someone to help. Ok another problem solved. I put it on his forehead and tell him to leave it there for a half hour. The guy says he has a headache and asks for medicine so I give him some ibuprofen and tell him to be back in 4 hours for more medicine and I will change the bandage. Inside I giggle, I feel like this is a dream,  this guy is trusting me to make him better, and I am thinking there isn’t a person in the world that would trust my nursing skills. 4 hours later he arrives and is feeling better. The wound looks better, I put another bandage on, thank the Lord I found a box of gloves in the container, give him more medicine, and now instruct him how to care for it at home. He continues to work the rest of the day, helping to get the container off. These guys are tough, they don’t stop for anything.  It is early evening and I am approached by another man, holding up his hand, he had cut it, could I help him?  The expert I have become, I quickly go in get my stuff and fix him up. This nursing stuff makes me remember when I was about 14 and I thought I wanted to be a nurse. I became a candy striper and was a nervous wreck walking into people’s rooms thinking I was going to get some disease. I soon realized I wasn’t cut out to be a nurse or work in any type of medical situation. I have traveled to Senegal 3 times and during the medical clinics there was always people way more qualified and I always chose the other task to do. This time I didn’t have a choice and God used me to make a difference. I am someone who faints easily and has no clue about medicine or the medical field.  I couldn’t have done this without Christ giving me the strength. Just read Phil:4:13 and that will remind you what kind of God we serve. I just had a knock on my door, I have someone else that is sick. James had seen me earlier and wanted to know if I had malaria medicine, he thinks he has malaria. I gave him ibuprofen for his headache, and he took some mango leaves that help with pain and I am encouraging him to get to the hospital. He says his family has a card, I am assuming insurance and he left it back in his village, so he is trying to get his family to locate it, then he will go to the hospital.  I pray it will be soon. Meanwhile I will let God continue to stretch me; it is quite an exciting way to live.

Breaking News……

Filed under: News Updates @ 3:16 pm and

I interrupt this broadcast and take you live to Krachi. Four white people have been roaming the area for the past two weeks and now a tractor trailer has arrived with five shiny new boats. Hundreds gather to witness this amazing sight.  Many are joining in to unload the container, making a difficult job easy with so many hands. Now we look at the task of unloading the container from the truck. A task in the US would only be done with heavy equipment, but here they don’t have anything, but man power. Relentlessly they devise ways to remove the container, finally getting a tractor to pull on the 18 wheeler, with metal poles dug up from various neighbors and put under the container, the truck rocked back and forth. After hours of pulling and tugging, darkness upon us, a loud bang informed us that the container is finally released and on the ground. Oops, it landed on the neighbors property, but here in Krachi they are such a loving community that it isn’t a problem, everyone is happy. Krachi will be changed from this day and we pray that as things unfold many will witness Jesus presence and have their lives changed eternally.

Did you say brownies?

Filed under: News Updates @ 3:15 pm and

Anyone who knows me well or even just a little knows how much I enjoy my sweets.  Well in Ghana the people here do not usually eat sweet things or really have them available to them. So when I visited Oksana on Saturday I was surprised when she baked me brownies. They were so good. Then the following day she made us an albrony meal, mashed potatoes from “new” yams and a vegetable medley of fresh vegetables and meat that we hadn’t seen all month. I was so grateful and my stomach was very satisfied. We take food for granted at home. Have you ever looked in your cupboard and refrigerator and think there is nothing to eat in here? Maybe you haven’t been shopping in awhile? They only have a few choices here and they all eagerly eat when meals are served. It reminds me how fussy I am and how wasteful we are in America because we have so many choices.

Power

Filed under: News Updates @ 3:13 pm and

About 5 years ago, I was on Erie blvd in Syracuse and wanted to purchase a cold drink. I stopped in a convenience store and made my selection. The power was out and they could not sell me anything as the cash registers required power. I tried two other stores before I gave up. No power, no sale! This is not the case in Ghana. The power goes out almost every day. The town of Kete Krachie never missed a beat. The total sales for any purchases are calculated in the vendor’s heads. The women cook outdoors over fires as usual, the seamstresses us their hand or foot operated sewing machines and iron with hot coal powered irons.  No power. No problem.

Uncle Eric’s Team

Filed under: News Updates @ 3:13 pm and

Eric, the security guard from World Vision invited me to see his soccer team that he coaches. Theresa and I walked to the field to see the 8-12 year old athletes. The field is dirt with wooden goals made from long tree branches. There are no lines on the field, bleachers or concession stand. The team was practicing drills. The main problem I saw was the fact that they had no soccer ball. I asked where their ball was and Eric said an opposing team took it after a match some time ago.

My high school dropped football and we picked up soccer in the late 1970s. We were a poor class D school and we could no longer afford all of the football equipment, however soccer was considered an inexpensive sport so we went with it. I remember we had two ball boys to keep track of all the soccer ball and equipment. I think we must have had around 25 or so balls. Uncle Eric’s team has none. When I learned of this, I reached into my backpack and handed Coach Eric my soccer ball (with Jesus Saves printed on it) and told him it was theirs. The children squealed and then they got down on their knees and kept saying “Thank you sir and God bless you!” This was way cool…..made the hair on the back of my neck stand up!

Eric invited us to the big tournament on Sunday. We arrived and were given the royal treatment with VIP seating (not on the ground.) There were three teams in the match. The athletes’ played for over two hours when Eric gave them water from recycled soda bottles from a gallon pail. There was not near enough for all the players on Eric’s team and the opposing teams received none. There is a large mango tree on one side of the soccer field and the kids must play around it. The ball often gets stuck in the tree. Most players have bare feet and they kick feverously around the large, roots. Ouch!

The ref had a plastic toy whistle in order to keep the games under control. Eric’s team eventually won the tourney and we took some photographs. When I got out the camera, chaos broke out, but we eventually got a couple of shots.

 

JK <><

July 16, 2011

Filed under: News Updates @ 3:11 pm and

Paul bought a goat for our lunch today. As the guys were butchering the goat Matthew got a cut. Normally they just take care of it with tree leaves; they have one tree that is good for pain. You can put it in tea or soups and I don’t know for sure but they can probably put it directly on wounds. Joe got the first aid kit and put a band aid on it after cleaning it. They aren’t used to that kind of treatment unless they go to a hospital.

Disappointment for our team once again, after paying customs and being told the boats would be here Thursday, and then Friday, we are realizing we aren’t getting the truth from these guys in customs. So we will wait through the weekend and then Paul is going to call the US Embassy to see if they can help us. We do not know really why they won’t release the boats, they are giving us different excuses, we are afraid they don’t have a way to get the container to Krachi as stated in the contract we have with them. We are having a prayer meeting this afternoon concerning the boats. Joe and I continue to pray that God show us where he is working and let us join in. We don’t want to miss out on an opportunity because we are preoccupied with the boats not being here

July 15, 2011

Filed under: News Updates @ 3:09 pm and

As I sit here preparing to write this blog a boy approaches me to see if I like football and gets Joe to go to his field where his team is with no ball. Then he asks for 10 cedis for shoes. It is not uncommon for them to ask for money or things. You learn quickly there is much need here and you have to do a lot of discerning. Mark and I have been talking about working on his excel spreadsheets, but our attempts have been disrupted by power outages. Today we actually got in several hours of work learning how to do formulas and organizing data. Mark is a linguist with GILLBT, he is from the northern part of Ghana. He is in charge of the boat project as well as being our host and overall in charge of all the other workers. His family currently resides in Tamale, but they used to live in Krachi. He is very helpful in helping us with whatever we need while we are here. Hang on, a bull just walked in front of me, it reminds me that I am in Africa, anything can happen around here.  Joe just arrived back without his football and a big smile on his face, so he is now going to town to buy another ball.

July 14, 2011

Filed under: News Updates @ 3:08 pm and

Joe and I decided to regroup today. We took time to reflect on our journey and read. News is the boats are getting out of customs, duty is paid. We have a lot of work to do when the boats arrive since they are so delayed in getting here. The days are hot and sticky and it gets dark shortly after 6 so we will have to do as much as we can in the daylight hours. Paul and Pete are working with Mark to figure out how we will unload the container when it arrives. They have found a large piece of machinery locally that might work, but it is still not a crane which is what would be ideal. We have many men that are willing to help and will be needed as everything in the container is heavy and it sounds like the way we will do it is risky and unsafe. I pray that God will give us the guidance to know how to handle the container when it gets here.

July 13, 2011

Filed under: News Updates @ 3:06 pm and

I arranged to attend a primary school today. I got to sit in on a science lesson taught to grade 6 about food poisoning. I found the topic quite relevant to this area. I learned a lot about how to be careful here in Ghana. Then I got an hour to talk to the children about why I came here, where I am from and answer their questions. I was pleased to find an inflatable globe sitting outside a classroom. I asked for permission to use it. After it was inflated one of the questions was what is the blue area? The basic means for learning is chalk and board no props. What is so amazing about these children is their sincere interest in learning. There were 50 kids crammed into a room the size we would use for 20 children in America.  Also grade 5 next door did not have a teacher and the kids still attended that day and studied without adult supervision. Point to ponder, being rich isn’t all it is cracked up to be, it tends to make people feel entitled and spoiled. Today take a moment to think how you can make your life simpler and a poor child’s richer.

We got to see our new friends that we met in the airport. They had just gotten back from the village of life and were going to meet up with George.(The guy that works rescuing children from their masters on Lake Volta) We had to get going, so we still haven’t met George. God willing we will get to meet him soon.

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