All by myself…

Well, Chrissie and the kids are off again – this time making tracks to a cooler climate, Australia. Actually, the heat here has backed right off and it is contstantly threatening rain. Its very pleasant.

Seperating is hard. The kids were choked up as the car pulled away. It was a pretty emotional farewell – giddy euphoria is an emotion, isn’t it? The choked farewell (I should add) was from barely being to be able to breath, laughing at me through the back window of the car, flipping birds and casting moons and wheezing “Sucker!” at our diverging immediate futures.

To say the kids are keen to see their Australian friends is understatement. Its only been five months since they got here, but a lot of their understanding of how the world works (and how they work) has been put through its paces. Constant, sometimes significant differences in culture, resources and surroundings is hard on their receptive little brains. So they’re keen to see home. They’ve certainly got a few stories to dine out on. Luckily for me, my brain is all calcified and inflexible – so I can just plough on regardless.

A general lack of ‘stuff’ has meant that the kids have had to find new and inventive ways to play – usually with what’s available. Jock pretended this stick was a snake for ages.

Even without getting ready to leave the country, it’s been a big week. School finished and presentation day was in the internationally recognisable format with a few local twists. It was  good! No-one is shy about singing and dancing in this country! The drummers were loud and enthusiastic. The speeches were thoughtful. The various plays and songs and were locally themed and amusing in all the right places. The program positively raced along – mainly because – gasp! – not everyone gets a prize!

School has been a good thing for the kids. They’ve made some firm little friends and have largely worked out how everyone ticks. It is also, however, their front line for cultural differences, and they have had to make sense of that. Needless to say this has had its challenges but the experience has been, generally, a positive one.

Presentation day – prizeless!

We managed to wedge in some well-timed markets at the Kumasi Craft Centre. Next time you’re in town I can recommend it. Very colourful, adequately chaotic. Like anywhere, there is a lot of generic stuff – paintings, knives, carved masks, skins and beads – and then there are the occassional gems. And for anyone whos spent any time in markets in Sydney or Newcastle – no – the Turkish Golzeme stall was not present.

Assorted beads. Hand made by someone in a factory in China

Lil and a little friend.

We even got a couple of decent rides in on the weekend. We got up to one of the villages a few km north and then cut though the cocoa farm trails to get home through country I’m pretty familiar with because of work. The village is dirt poor and off the beaten track. Chrissie was pretty challenged by it – even after a 5 months – particularly the school. Regardless, everyone still waves and is (I think) happy that you’ve gone to the effort to get there and apparently OK with what they’ve got (I think it’s because they didn’t all get prizes when they were at school).

If you want to envoke the weather gods – get on a bike. I can only imagine what happens if you go camping at Easter.

So, with a bunch of experiences on board, everyone is winging across the Indian Ocean. I’m sure they’ll have a great time.I’d love to be a fly on the wall when they relate their experiences.

As for me – I don’t think its possible to be all by yourself here – so I’m sure I’ll push through.

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