We have been so blessed. We were able to spend 9 days with our son Blake. It was so great. It was great to see him and have the opportunity to spend time with him! I hope he enjoyed his time here. We kept him pretty busy but still had time to enjoy!
You heard about our first few days in the last blog so I will start with Monday. Blake is pounding fufu for our farewell dinner for 3 of our missionaries.
Now he is eating the fufu like the Ghanaians with his hand. Fufu is cassava and plantain pounded together to make a soft ball of fufu. You pinch a piece of with your fingers and then form it into little spoon. Then you dip it in the soup (we had light soup) and you swallow it down without chewing. He was a champ!
After dinner we had our little farewell meeting and heard the testimonies of those leaving. That is almost my favorite of the evening. My favorite part are the hugs I get from the missionaries. I waited two years to get these hugs. It is so sad to see them go…but I love the hugs they give me!
These are the missionaries that finished their missions. Elder Kalahiki-Anthony, Elder Harris, and Elder Hansen. We love these young men.
On Tuesday morning we headed for Accra to take the missionaries to the temple and send them off on their flight home.
A great picture of father and son! Love these two!
Tuesday evening we met our 18 new missionaries and Wednesday morning we were off to the mission home.
So Blake went through the whole transfer with us. On Wednesday we had our orientation meeting, then lunch, then we sent the missionaries off to their areas and we got to play with Baby King Benjamin (Theresa’s baby-Benjamin nicknamed King). Isn’t he cute?
Thursday morning President Shulz and Blake went on the “Tree” walk. Kakum National Park Canopy Walk. It is a series of 7 rope bridges at the top of some very tall African trees.
Because I love heights so much I chose not to go on this tree walk again. I did it once 12 years ago and tried it 3 different times in the last 2 1/2 years and I have decided it is okay not to walk on something that terrifies me!
I forgot to mention Wednesday afternoon. After things had settled down we took Blake to the Cape Coast Castle. No matter how many times I go to this place it still leaves me with an unbelievable feeling. This is where they used to hold the slaves until they put them on boats and shipped them away to be sold in different countries. It may be a shock to some of you but America only received a small portion of these slaves. Something else that was surprising to me is that the slaves were captured by African people. It could have been through tribal wars one tribe would capture some of another tribe and then take them to the castle for “trade”. They would trade them for goods. In my mind…as small as it might be…I thought that the Americans actually came to Africa and captured the Africans and brought them to America to sell them. That is not how it happened. Well here are a few pictures. It is a very solemn place and a lot of sadness took place there!
This is the door to the Male Slave Dungeon. There are 3 chambers in this dungeon and in each chamber there were as many as
This is the door that the slaves were taken out of and put on the ships. It was dubbed the “Door of No Return”. Such a sad commentary.
This is what we saw as we went out the door. It is a fishing village with all kinds of fishing boats and nets. It is a fun little area…not quite what they saw years ago!
As you turn around you see this above the door “Door of Return”. It is an invitation for all to return and find their roots.
This is one of my favorite things at the castle. The slave trade was a tragedy. When I hear how the slaves were treated and how many died, not being able to withstand the conditions of the castle or the ships, it truly was a sever injustice against humanity.
On Thursday morning we went to Praso to see the Schiffmans. I feel bad that I didn’t take any pictures of them! On our way there we stopped at Forever Young…a school that Billy Johnson started. It is named after Steve Young. Billy Johnson was one of the very first Pioneers in Ghana. These little children loved Blake the Obroni!
This is the grave site of Billy Johnson. He died in the year 2012. He wanted his final resting place to be at the Forever Young School.
On the way home we stopped at the Hans Cottage and of course we talked Blake to pet the alligator. You can think that these alligators are very ferocious…tee her!
Have you ever touched an alligator?
We also stopped at Sella’s vegetable stand. These two wanted a picture with Blake. Or was it me who wanted the picture.
On Friday we went up to Takoradi and I honestly can’t believe that we have no pictures but this one. We went to Bushua Beach and stopped at Agona Branch and stopped at this soccer stadium and they were having a track meet! That was kinda fun. We didn’t stay long though!
On Saturday President had to spend the day in Swedru preparing for a Swedru District Conference. So Blake and I just played. It was a fun day. We found this wheelchair basketball game. It was fun to watch for a minute.
We went shopping for souvenirs and found this cute little girl sound asleep. She wasn’t for sale! Too bad! :)
We walked down and saw these boys playing on the beach. They are just below the castle restaurant and they like to “perform” for those in the restaurant. Funny!
On Sunday we had the blessing of attending the Swedru District as it became the Winneba Ghana Stake. We could not be happier! It was one thing that President wanted to be sure to accomplish before we finish our mission and it was quite an accomplishment!
One special thing that happened is our friend Maxwell was called to serve as a Bishop in the new stake. President Shulz giving him the Melchizedek Priesthood. Now they share Priesthood lines. That is way cool. Of course he shares that with his sons as well.
Maxwell, Shawna, Angela and Abigail Acheampong. We love this family!
After church we went to the Helping Hand Childrens Home which is an orphanage which has about 40 children.
This young man took a liking to Blake. If I remember right, he is the oldest in the orphanage and I think they said he was 14??? I’m not sure.
It was a fun time. The children are so cute and they all love the boron’s.
The ran to Blake as soon as we drove in. It was fun!
I don’t know what they were all excited about with this truck but they were back there for several minutes.
It was fun to see Angela warm up to Blake. She just kinda clung on to him for the day. She is a cute girl.
This is a woman who is sorting the clothes that had come to the orphanage through Humanitarian Aid. I’m not sure where it came from.
These three girls were there volunteering and helping at the orphanage. I think two were from Holland and one from Norway. What a great experience for them!
Then we had to take him to the airport and say goodbye. It was very hard but we were so grateful that he could come! And look at these two little sweethearts waiting for him at home! They have their African clothes and drums and are happy as ever. Thanks Blake for coming! Aly we missed you! We love your little family!!!
After Blake left we had a fun filled week with missionaries…This is in Assin Foso.
President did interviews while the Assistants, the Ivies and I instructed.
It is always a great time to spend with our incredible missionaries!
These are our AWESOME Assistants to the President. They are great teachers. We love them.
This is part of the Cape Coast Zone
Elder Larsen and Elder Daynes….great young men!
These are our two extreme elders. On the left we have Elder Mngoma and Elder Mosweswe on the right. They are not companions but it would be funny if they were. They are great elders!
On Sunday we attended church at Axim Branch. They have been having a few problems so President went out to get it straightened out. When we pulled in this is what we saw walking towards the building. It is a sight that brings such joy to my eyes! Elders Moleme, Hackmeister, Cavaness, and Larsen. AWESOME!!!
I hope you can feel the love that we have for these young men and young women. They are such great Ambassadors of Christ. We are so grateful for them and for all they do to move this work forward! The church is true! Much love, President & Sister Shulz