Getting Settled in Ho
We've lived in Ho for a whole week now and we're starting to get a feel for how everything works (or doesn't) around here. There aren't a lot of street signs and definitely no "grid" system like we're used to in Utah, but the people here are more than happy to jump in our truck or call a friend to show us where to go. Landmarks like billboards, large trees and even termite hives (more on that below) serve as perfect turn indicators. We've already perfected the African way of giving directions to our own house, letting visitors know to turn right at the cornfield after passing Renetta's fruit stand!
|The chickens and goats like to take the road to our house as well|
We arrived in Ho during the rainy season which helps to cool down the always-hot temperatures, but it also brings other challenges. The rain falls torrentially for an hour or two and quickly floods most of the main roads and makes the dirt ones somewhat impassable. When it rains hard and long enough, the water also floods the termite hills, driving them out of their hives to guess where - yes, our home. We found this out the hard way after a downpour the other night left the flying termites looking for a home. The power was out (more on that phenomena below) and when we started the generator to get the lights back on, our well-light interior must have looked like the perfect party place for our flying friends. In a scene out of Hitchcock's The Birds, hundreds of termites came flying through the one-inch crack under our front door. And two brooms, a mop and some high-pictched screaming are no match for flying termites! Luckily, we had all 14 elders from our zone over for a birthday party and Elder Ehiozuwa, who's from Nigeria, knew what to do, since these types of termites are a delicacy in his country. We turned off all the lights in the house, set his flashlight on the ground and, lo and behold, all the termites flocked to the light like ants to a picnic. Elder Ehiozuwa then filled a gallon-sized ziplock with the tasty treats and took them home for midnight snack.
|The 22-foot tall termite hill at the end of our road. We think this is where most of our party-crashers came from.|
|There's never been a bigger need for the "zip" in Ziplock bags - thanks Elder Ehiozuwa!|
One of the other major changes we're still adjusting to is how frequently the power is out in our area. Based on what we've read, Ghana only has 25% of the power it needs to run their country. Most areas have a 24/12 schedule of "light-off" meaning that each 12-hour blackout period is followed by 24-hours of power. So far, we've been in Ho for nine days and we've experienced light off six times. While the generator helps, it's too loud to run at night, so we've resorted to propping-up our, battery-powered, hand-held fans in order to circulate a little air as we try to sleep.
|We'd turn on a light for a better picture but there wasn't any power! 2:00 am fan wars are the best!|
Even with these challenges we wouldn't want to be any other place. We have learned first hand that the the Lord answers our prayers, calms our fears and anxieties, and gives us the guidance and inspiration we need to fulfill our callings as full-time missionaries. He wants all of us to rely on Him more fully in everything we do and especially through the challenges, heartaches and dilemmas of everyday life. He loves us unconditionally and wants us to do the same in our families, with our friends and neighbors and wherever we may be throughout the world.
|Say "ekwaba" to Elorm, one of our new friends from the Ho 1st Branch.|