4/16 – Hike to Tamale

Today was Michelle’s day off from working in the market, and so we all decided to take a walk all the way into town, just to go to the bank. But of course, from 11-3 was just too hot to even step outside, so we were all doing our subsequent work on our computers until then. In between bursts of writing, I got to see pictures of Becca’s huge, 11-child family on Facebook! Coming from a household with just one mom, and one older sister, that life seems so foreign and wonderful to me! Their family photo was replete with happy faces that loved and supported each other. It was great to also show the girls pictures of Austin and his own trip to Ghana (the photos are still on the little netbook he let me borrow), and connect lives like that.

Soon after, we geared up to walk into town! It was about an hour’s trek in the sweltering heat, cutting through racing cars and motos, maneuvering around a freshly dead goat in the path and dodging animal excrement and various piles of rotting rubbish. We got to see all the sights and smell all the smells of Tamale on our way to the Barclay’s bank, but thankfully we missed the corner where they sell chopped-off full heads of cows, right next to their hooves and other random body parts, all open o the air and flies, and in various states of decay. We even cut our way through the market–yes, they have market every day, with permanent stalls! The stalls are so close together, and actually roofed, so the market is literally a maze. It’s so different than little small-town Saboba with its once every 6-days market, with relatively wide open spaces.

For a quick stop at the bank, two-hours round trip on foot  seemed a little excessive, but we were getting in the exercise we had been talking of doing all week, and so it was worth it… Especially before our dinner of hot dogs and French fries! We all ate plenty, and had hot chocolate for dessert after. I enjoyed our after-dinner conversation as usual–those girls are just so easy to talk and get along with. Then we waited for Michelle to be done with her mandatory weekly discussion with Di to fulfill her practicum requirement, and popped in Becca’s DVD pick–Radio, a movie I’ve always wanted to see. It really was an endearing movie, and we all fell in love with Cuba Gooding Jr. as Radio, just as Becca predicted we would.

Before the night was over, I said goodbye to Michelle and Dzifa. Becca volunteered to get up early with me to head to the STC bus station at 6:30 and send me off to Kumasi! I was so touched. We all said a sweetly sad goodnight, and I spent the rest of the evening writing Dan and Di, and Michelle and Becca their letters of thanks and appreciation. I had such a wonderful and relaxing time with them in Tamale after all the stress, disease, and death at the hospital. It was truly a blessing to be with all of them there at the Dzokotoe household. In the trajectory of their lives, I could clearly see that God had something special in store for them for the future, which was pretty amazing to behold. They are all three very special girls that I will miss and continue to remember in my prayers. I definitely want to keep in touch with how their ministry at the school is doing! God is working great things there, too, and I could see it just from that one day of teaching with them.

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