Adopting Ghana

Ghana: Day Six

In Journal Entries, Photography on October 23, 2009 at 10:04 pm

I awoke early to go with Kingsley and Vida, one of the newly adopted orphans who was to be going home next week, to an immigration appointment downtown at the Embassy, but traffic was really bad so we left later than planned. We drove all around, avoiding main streets and traffic. On the way by the coast, we passed by some type of lagoon/outlet into the ocean that had simply the worst open latrine smell I had ever smelled in my entire life of going to Boy Scout encampments.  Even plugging my nose and trying to filter the smell out through my hand and t-shirt, I could still “feel” it on my skin.

Traffic in Accra

Traffic in Accra

Fishing boats along the Gold Coast, Accra, Ghana

Fishing boats along the Gold Coast, Accra, Ghana

At about that point, Kingsley bought lunch from a street vendor as we waited in traffic. It was a couple of rice balls wrapped in banana leaves with Banku spicy “dip” sauce and fish.  Well, what passed for fish. They were about as big as my thumb, seemed to have been “jerked”, so were tough and chewy and scaly, and were complete with head and tail.  As I ate them, I hoped and prayed they hadn’t come from anywhere near the lagoon I just saw.

Next on our route was the “slave castle”, which is a common tourist attraction for Europeans and Americans trying to make sense of the travesty that was the slave trade.  Ironically, instead of seeing it restored as a historical landmark, it has been restored for use as a prison.  James Fort Prison is on a non-descript sign over a nearly hidden doorway you pass as you drive by.

Lighthouse that guided slave ships to the coast now guides more modern commercial boats

The lighthouse that guided slave ships to the coast now guides more modern commercial boats

James Fort Prison

James Fort Prison

Non-descript door

Non-descript door

After the Embassy, we stopped at the market so I could buy Seth some pencils and notebooks for school.  The kiosk owner there sells some Pearson Education books, which, as a Pearson employee, jumped right out at me.  I mentioned that I work for the company and she asked me to bring her some books the next time I came.

Back at the orphanage, I took a late nap until school let out, which was a convenient and loud alarm.  I took Seth and Samwell into the infirmary to re-dress their injuries.  Around that time I got an email from a doctor and adoptive parent in the U.S. saying that Seth’s sore is the aftermath of a Leishmania or “sand fly” bite that will eventually heal on its own (with proper attention).  Nevertheless, that diagnosis came with the recommendation to go ahead and treat it with antibiotics since he’s had a slight temperature the last two days. Better to be safe than sorry.

He didn’t like the antibiotic solution.  I had to bribe him with an extra helping of bread to get him to drink it (which he needed anyways since it was an antibiotic that needed to be taken with food).

I snapped a picture of Samwell and his mom and siblings to send to Samwell’s adoptive mom in the States. I missed Kingsley’s arrival and departure in doing another round of errands by a few minutes, though, so I couldn’t take him to get a tetanus shot.

Later in the evening, Kingsley returned and had brought a visiting physician to administer tetanus shots.  She gave them to Seth, Samwell, Abeku, and Aninda (orphans) as well as Marion, Jean, Donald, and Junior (Kingsley’s biological children).  Earlier I had told Kingsley I would pay for it and made the offer again at the time the shots were administered, but he said he had it taken care of somehow.

Things we take for granted #249: Easy access to tetanus shots.

Things we Americans panic about #923: Not remembering the last tetanus shot date for our own kids and rushing them to a doctor for quick and easy treatment.

Things African kids overcome with God’s help alone #1,302,309: Tetanus.

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