Happy New Year!!!

My first week and half in Bawjiase has been awesome, with lots of different fun things happening for the holidays.  After we did Christmas for the kids, we had two different churches come and donate food/money/clothes/shoes etc, so that was awesome!  It’s really great to see Ghanaians helping other Ghanaians, it’s ideally the way things should be.  There was even a local news station that came and shot the whole event, so that was pretty cool… I awkwardly had Meshack wrapped on my back, so I looked a little silly being the one Oboruni (white person) among many Obibinis (black person).  But I’m pretty sure Vlad and I were on T.V., so that’s fun!!!  The orphanage now has a lot of food to last for at least through January, and TONS of clothes and shoes. VICTORYYY!

Let’s see, what else has happened… For New Years, Becca brought glow-stick bracelets so we gave those out to all the kids, and then we lit some fireworks, and the kids loved it!  The little ones got scared though, but it was really fun 🙂  Fifi thought it would be a good idea to literally hold on to the firework until it was about to explode, so that made us all nervous, haha.  After that, all the volunteers went to town and counted down to New Years.  In Ghana, everyone goes to church through the “crossing over” into the New Year, so it was really cool to see all the churches full of people singing and dancing.  Oh Bawjiase, how I love everything about you. 🙂

We also decided to have a staff party for all the workers at the orphanage, since they work like 24/7 and never get breaks.  So Vlad, Becca and I set up a bunch of tables and put white sheets on them, and nice plates so they looked really fancy 🙂  My parents also gave all of the staff bonuses for Christmas, so they got an envelope with their name on it on their plate.  Then Vlad and I made a nice little speech about how much we appreciate everything they do, how we’re so happy they are all at the orphanage, etc.  They are some of the nicest, hard working, all-around-wonderful people I know, and they deserve to know how appreciated they are!  That was really fun, and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves 🙂

Some random/fun/exciting things:
-The volunteers now fetch all of their own water, which is great because the kids fetched it the last time I was here.  So I’ve gotten pretty good at carrying a bucket of water on my head, a skill I did not acquire the last time I was here!  Next goal: Carry water on my head WHILE having a baby wrapped on my back. I am determined.
– Becca is another volunteer here, who is also keeping a blog, which I think is a lot funnier than mine.  It’s basically her take on everything that happens in Bawjiase, so if you want another perspective, you should read it!  beccainbawjiase.blogspot.com
– Today, we went to church, which was really great (I like going to church here a lot!)  It got a little awkward though when they called Becca and I up to sing a song that we didn’t know…especially considering Becca is Jewish. But apparently we have to learn it by next week, so we’ll have to have the kids teach us 🙂
– Meshack (Pastor’s son) used to be a crying/whining/very sad little boy.  But I’m happy to report, he is much happier now, and cries a lot less frequently and does really funny things!!  Like taking a mini bucket of water and carrying it on his head while the volunteers fetch water:)  But in some ways he’s still the same… he still enjoys taking off all his clothes for no particular reason, and still poops his pants occasionally 🙂
– Fundraising is still going GREAT, thanks to all of you wonderful people!  I haven’t talked to Nyla and Amy since being here, but I’m pretty sure we’re over $20,000! VICTORRYYY!  Thank you so much to all who have contributed, I can’t wait to continue to report to you on the status of the building!  And, as always, you can still donate if you haven’t yet 🙂

Overall, Bawjiase is still the best place on earth… and I can’t see myself ever leaving. 😉  My next post will be about taking the kids to the beach, which we’re doing tomorrow!! WOOHOOO!  I wish you all a very happy new year, and hope that 2011 brings only good things for you:)  I’m definitely starting my year in the right place. 🙂

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