“So far my favorite part of this trip has been seeing the same children who attended camp last year. It has been so fun playing soccer (football) with all of them. It has been a very fun experience because they have improved majorly from last year. I’m looking forward to the monkey reservation and hopefully the cultural market once more. At the cultural market earlier this week, Sara and I ran into David, our drum-making friend. It was really cool that he remembered us from last year.
Mabel also remembered me from last year when she told me that she was thankful for me. If anyone read the blog last year and remembers the incident with Moses and the burulei ulcer, then you will be happy to hear that he has recovered. On the first day he was proudly showing off his scar and he acts just like normal Moses.”
Ian is not the only male on the team. Zach is teaching and will write tomorrow but Bruce Neumann and Scott Lyons also traveled with us. Their mission was to repair the playground, made by PlayMart, USA. The high impact plastic has split in two. They have admitted to faulty manufacturing and sent replacement posts to us in Maryland. We had to ship it to Ghana and bare the cost of the shipment as well as send two people to do the repairs.
“This is my sixth trip to Ghana. I’ve come as a Cursillo team member, to paint and help with construction, to assist with a reading camp, and this time to repair the playground at St. Paul’s preschool in Akramaman.
We had sent repair parts ahead in a container. The container, even now, sits at the port, so I was concerned that we would not be able to do the job we had come to do. I needn’t have worried. When we arrived at the school on Monday we saw how badly the plastic supports had failed. It was far worse than I had imagined.
Since our tools were also in the container still sitting in the port, Scott and I went scavengering for tools. We visited local hardware “stores” (think garden shed sized buildings), and found a pickaxe, a shovel, and a sledgehammer. We examined the footers at each leg, and found 18 inches of concrete buried under 5 – 6 inches of soil. The soil was nearly as hard the concrete, requiring the pickaxe to break it up.
We were able to remove the climbing deck and make repairs so the slide can be used. Our other successful repair was to the climbing wall, which we removed so we could repair the supports. That also required a trip to a local lumber seller to get 4x4s. Two 4×4’s each 8 feet long (and specially shaped for us) cost 10 Ghana cedi’s (roughly $6.70 U.S.) We also bought concrete from the concrete seller.
Scott and I were able to concrete the new support in place, and leave a lasting impression in Ghana (our handprints in the concrete around the new support). We hope to find screws tomorrow so we can complete the repair to the climbing wall.
All along the way I can see God’s hand at work, providing what I needed to get here, and the materials to do the work he had for me here. I thank God I can be Christ’s hands in action to those who have so little materially. ”
From Scott Lyons:
” This is Scott coming to you from Ghana, West Africa to tell you a little bit of my experiences working on the two member construction team of Bruce Neumann and myself. Our original goal was to take down old swing set and rebuild it with new materials we had sent over in a container months ago. Red tape and new governmental regulations has tied up the container for another month at the port of Tema.
After several hours of digging , swinging sledge and pick ax. We were at a point of freeing old main support. The problem was we had many children dying to play on the jungle gym and wanting to watch two old white guys swing a pick ax and wondering who was going to collapse first; the jungle gym or the old white guys. To their disappointment, we had to leave for the night and told them no one is allowed on the gym.
After two days, we completed our task and the kids rejoiced. So now on to the next problem. Two broken toilets. Doesn’t that sound like fun. Tomorrow we tackle the problem of buying toilet flush valves and no Home Depot. Gods just loves giving me these challenges but with your prayers, we will overcome.