9:30 - 11:30 AM Pentecostal Church. I did not have time to actually find out what this means, so if anyone knows, feel free to comment.
Stand up. Clap. Sing. Sit down. Sermon?
-Praise the Lord
More singing. Head down. Individual prayer?
Stare at the oburonis. Laugh. Sing.
This is what I learned at church yesterday. Considering I only hate half of my breakfast (egg sandwich) and one bag of Via (1/100th of the amount of caffeine in my 5-shot espresso Starbucks beverage) AND was jet lagged, I think this is pretty good. Things I also learned: Oburonis can sit/stand on the wrong side of church without being stared at (at least more than normal). It is okay if your head is not covered. Some obibinis didn't have their heads covered. Everybody stands or everybody sits, but you can come and go as you please. You are allowed to write during church. Next week I will be bringing my notebook.
I am as far from being religious as you can be, but religion isn't just part of life, it is life in Ghana. Religion makes its way into everything the people do, and in order to survive here you must be accepting of that. I think I may be doing some sort of church update every so often, as I would like to keep attending, especially because the orphanage rotates churches they attend every Sunday, and getting a taste of different ones of varying sizes sounds like something I must do in order to get the full experience.
In other news, I have clearly arrived in Bawjiase.
It is so very familiar, and even after two and a half days it barely feels as though I have ever left. Just today, waiting for a tro-tro, a friend of mine from my last stay ran up to give me a hug. Everyone likes to be remembered (I think), but to be remembered by a young man I knew for just six weeks in a town I only started to think of as home felt amazing.
I have adjusted very quickly, and although I am currently living with two volunteers I just met on Saturday in a different house than before, it feels the same. Ghanaian time has come back to me quickly, and leaving for church at 9:30 after being told to be ready at 8:45 felt totally natural. The heat is easier to bare than I had expected, especially coming from such cold weather. I am already used to being dirty and sweaty, and only two days later I barely notice the smell of my clothing. I am still in the adjustment phase of remembering how much water I must drink to stay hydrated, but it is easy to buy a bag of water whenever I am out of the house, so I am able to stay somewhat on top of it.
The children are still absolutely wonderful. I was tackled upon my first visit to the orphanage, completely blown away at hearing them all yell my name. The youngest ones were skeptical at first, but they warm up to new (old) people quickly, and already there is no problem. I became very close to one of the orphanage workers, Sister Hannah, during my last stay, and we gave each other a giant, sweaty hug when I got there. Her three year-old daughter, Ernestina, lives at the orphanage, and I printed out the picture I posted of her last week to give to Hannah. Seeing the other staff was also wonderful, and I was ecstatic when Pastor woke me up from my jet-lag nap to give me a hug and catch up.
Things are much more organized than they were when I left, and although I will not be writing too much about that right now, it is something I plan on getting into in a future post. We try to do activity time every day with the children and are sitting here trying to figure out what exactly to do, as it sounds like coloring is one of the few activities that usually takes place and branching out is a necessity.
Until next time!