About the Blog

United Hearts Children Center is located in Bawjiase, Ghana. It is currently home to 25 children, who are excited to move into their NEW home in the next few months. We are continuing fundraising to complete the project and have just started to fundraise for the United Hearts Community School. Check them out in my links!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lack of Title

I went to a funeral on Saturday. And by went I mean that I showed up for about an hour, all of which was a sermon, in Twi, which Iddris kindly translated for me when he felt like it and when I listened. It was actually a very sad occasion, honoring a 29 year-old man Iddris went to high school with who was shot and killed at the beginning of January and only buried now due to the police investigation, which is still not finished. There were many times when the hundreds of people gathered began cheering, which obviously confused me. In the words of Iddris, "they yell when they like what he is saying." So what was the pastor saying that caused such passionate cheers and amen's?

He was cursing the man who killed Joshua, the man's family, and anyone who had information and was not coming forward with it. I have a lot of mixed feelings regarding this, as I understand the anger felt by the huge number of friends and family gathered in remembrance of Joshua, yet I couldn't help but think about how this would be different if I was home. Luckily, I have never personally known anyone to die in such a tragic way, but I imagine a funeral service to be focused on the positives about the person and their life and not filled with hateful wishes regarding the people responsible for the death.

I also found the passionate yells of the crowd particularly interesting because of the way people are encouraged not to show emotions here. Iddris told me that Joshua's wife and child were not in attendance because they would cry "too much" if they were there. Given, the pain they must feel is unimaginable, but I have never heard such a thing before coming here. The night before the funeral Iddris worked hard to keep the conversation about me because he was worried he might start crying and would never stop.

On a much lighter note, I learned that "Africa Teeth" are different than "America Teeth" when Iddris' friend began eating the bone from the goat soup he bought me. And I mean eating the entire thing. I ate some of the meat off of it thinking that was enough, and when I made a feeble attempt to break the bone, he grabbed it from my hands and proceeded to just... eat it. I sat there in horror, imagining how much it would hurt my teeth and how disappointed my dentist would be, while the men laughed at me.

On an even lighter note, I went down to see the kids yesterday and found some of them sitting around hot coals, burning the ends of sticks. I asked them, in Twi, what they were doing, and assumed they responded in Twi since I didn't understand what they said. I asked again in English and got the same response, and after each individual child said it to me at least five times, I realized they were saying "China fork." First of all, the way they pronounce "fork" is horribly similar to the four letter word also beginning with F, which caused me to respond with "WHAT did you say?!" Again I received the same response: China "fock."

Have you figured it out yet?

They were making chopsticks. I then proceeded to gather as many small, relatively straight sticks as I could find, and engaged the children in a chopstick lesson.

Finally, and I hate to be doing this, but I would lovelovelove if you are reading this for you to leave a comment, anonymous if you so desire, and saying anything at all, ranging from "hello," "oh hai," "you are the coolest person ever," etc. A lot of times I really don't feel like blogging, and although my mother gets out of bed everyday just to be able to read this, I talk to her a few times a week anyway and she would survive perfectly fine without this. So basically, if you are reading and want to keep reading, just give an anonymous (or not anonymous) shout out, because I need some motivation to keep up with my increasingly boring posts.


  1. Hi Becs!

    "China foc", hmmm? where did they see or learn about chopsticks? Good thing I wasn't trying to teach them since I can hardly use them myself. I try but usually regress to a real fork.

    I'm assuming shootings and murders are usual in the area you are living in,which makes the loss of someone that young much more traumatic.

    On an American side note, "Christina Aguilera's now-famous faux pax topped the Super Bowl celebrity news". She botched a few verses of our national anthem but she sure sounded good.

    I'm getting very excited about seeing you and exploring Ghana. I'm getting my last innoculation tomorrow. Mom just made some reservations for the three of us by the coast!!!!

    I'll write again ealry this week-

    Love, Dad

  2. Hi! You are the coolest person ever! lol I love that you had a chopstick lesson. You should totally keep writing. I like hearing about how things are different there. Also it's like having story time with Becca whenever I want. Right now the baby is making so much noise in her crib it sounds like it's going to come through the ceiling. I hope you are still having a wonderful trip! Miss you!

  3. Hi Bec,

    I hope Dad meant that murders and shootings are unusual in your area. I didn't ever realize that kind of think happens in Ghana.

    Also, I'm with Dad on this one - how in the world did they learn about chopsticks?? Movies? Books? Local Chinese people? The more I read the more I'm fascinated by Ghana!

    Also, I need a lesson about posting - not that it makes a difference. Seems like I needed some sort of connection with internet stuff so using my old AOL name which, thankfully, works!

  4. BECCA! I live for your blogs!I love knowing what is going on in Bawjiase when I cannot be there! Don't quit! They are always funny and fascinating! Love to everyone, Jenna

  5. Uh oh, and so the desperate plea for comments begin. Hahaha. Your wish is my command. I'm so glad that you are giving the kids culture lessons. Maybe next you should teach them the difference between China and Asia. LOL.

    I love you Becca Z. Love reading your bloggie. Thanks for making it.
    <3 Megan

  6. Hi Becca,
    I am the mother of the newest volunteer, Gus, and I have been reading your blog anonymously for the past month. Sorry for not commenting earlier! I love your blog and find everything you do fascinating. So even if you think it is dull, trust me, it's not! Thank you for doing this.


  7. Becca,
    When Amy was in Brazil last semester, she also felt like people weren't reading her blogs. Periodically, there would be a flurry of activity/responses, which made her very happy. I think you just have to know that people are reading them, and for whatever reasons, they don't comment. Please, please keep it up - I love your postings. And, they are really interesting; not in the least bit boring (that was Amy's worry too).

  8. Hellooo Becca!

    You are soon such a great jogb at telling your tales that I hope you keep it up. I'm not sure if you know but Melissa (Julia's soph roommate) is living in Korea and it's been so interesting to me to see how differently our 3 adventures on 3 sifferent continents have been.

    I'm excited for you that you are extending your stay because it sounds like you really hve made a great connection with Ghana. I'm sure you picked that day to come home so you wouldn't miss the always important first Seder and the awesome 23rd birthday of yours truly.

    Sending my love, the cold, and some precipitation southward.

  9. Hi Becca!!
    I am living vicariously through your adventures while I am still trapped within institutional learning. This blog is way more interesting than reading about the history of education. I hope I get such an eye opening learning experience someday soon (ahem i want to live in Africa too).
    Hugs. Jaimie

  10. Thanks so much for the comments, everyone!

    Laurie, please do not worry about not commenting. I hope my blog has helped give you a little bit of a picture of some of the things Gus is now experiencing here!

  11. Hey Becca, it's Alex! I just have no idea which account to choose. I just want you to know that I have read every, single word on here. I look forward to you putting up new posts. I am sorry to be sending this so late—February was difficult, and I just got caught up now with your blog (and my New Yorkers!). I hope you are doing AMAZINGLY well. I think about you all the time. Truly.

    With love,