My birthday was on Friday, and it was a fabulous day. We all went to Kumasi to celebrate/use the internet (which was down in the city...again). Instead, we went to the cultural center and looked around for a while. We even got to eat at the restaurant there. I had Red Red, which is fried plantain with spicy beans, and chicken. It was super yummy, but there sure was a lot of it. I justified everything by saying it was my birthday. So did everybody else. If someone wanted to buy something but tried to restrain themselves, everyone else would say, "It's Amy's birthday...it only comes once a year." Inevitably, that person would agree and indulge themselves. I used the justification to convince me to buy not one but two Fan-milk treats--Fan-choco and Fan-ice. They are basically like frozen chocolate milk and frozen marshmallow ice cream, respectively. My favorite. I have to find a way to imitate them when I come home so everybody can try creamy Fan-goodness.We came back from Kumasi, and in the evening Christiana made my favorite for dinner (tomato stew and rice with a fried boiled egg). For my birthday celebration, my group made salsa (both regular and mango) and fried up some pitas, so it was like nachos. It reminded me of watching movies with Devin. I loved it, though. We got lots of great pictures.
Other than that, I continue to observe in the schools. My kids are so funny. They teach me Twi and lots of really cool hand games. They are so coordinated. Fortunately, in my day I was the hand game queen, so they are always really impressed at how fast I learn. The girls love to play with me. The boys are really funny. They all want to take me to wife. They kiss my hand all the time, and the teachers have to shoo them away so they don't suffocate me. Thank goodness I'm not claustrophobic. This week, the kids are doing a town-wide athletic competition. It's so cool, and it really works well with my project to see them engaging in physical activity. They play football (soccer), net ball (like volleyball but not), volleyball, and track. I am amazed at how hard they trained the week before, too. They play football without any shin-guards, so it's not so much about contact as it is in America as it is about ball control and skill. For the track events, the students wear socks but not shoes. They run on the rocky ground, too! I can't imagine being that awesome.
Last Wednesday, one of the teachers at the school asked me to preach to the students. Every Wednesday, the students have a worship service. I love listening to Ghanaians sing, and they REALLY sing! They shout really loud, but it sounds beautiful, especially with the drums. Anyway, I preached to a whole Presbyterian school. It was really scary, but I'm glad I did it. The kids loved it.
Speaking of worship, funny story. Last Sunday, when we went to Church, the taxi driver had some music on. They always put on Sunday appropriate songs when we go to church...and sometimes they play Celine Dion. They're practically the same. Kind of. Anyway, last Sunday the lyrics were "Move to the left in the name of Jesus. Move to the right in the name of the Lord. Shake that booty that Jesus gave ya. Shake that booty in the name of the Lord." We could not stop laughing. It was pretty funny.
I am starting my research next week in the school. My informed consent forms have all been handed out to the students. Printing them all off cost almost $27...thanks a lot, IRB. Oh well. This Saturday, we will be going on our mid-semester retreat to Cape Coast...aka the beach. I will be sure to update next week if the internet is working. Until then, have a great week, everyone! BYU students...good luck on finals. Love you guys!