“When you are at home, your troubles can never defeat you.”

The morning is already warm, and I’m about to turn on the AC. It’s been a noisy morning as there have been a couple of barkfests with at least four dogs joining in, including Gracie. It has also been a pain in the butt sort of morning. When I poured milk into my coffee, it was bad, not smelly, but floating on the top of the cup bad. I grabbed Gracie and went to Dunkin’ Donuts. The drive-up window line was so long I couldn’t see the little voice box for ordering. I couldn’t get out to order as I didn’t get dressed deciding to hide in the car so I was stuck in the long line. Finally I got my two cups of coffee, sighed in relief and went home to my usual coffee and the papers.

One day, only one day until my trip. I am so excited to be going back. Last year I was both excited and a bit apprehensive given the 40 years between visits, but the trip turned out so well that this time I’m just excited to go back. I know I talk about Ghana a lot, maybe too much sometimes, but it is such an important part of who I am, who I became, that every time Ghana comes to mind my heart swells and fills with memories of friends, of shared experiences, of love for another country and for the beautiful Ghanaians, their smiles and their greetings. I know there were downsides, but they were tolerable once I made up my mind that this was home. It was like living in New England and complaining about the cold and the snow.

I’m going to be meeting the current volunteers. We’ll enjoy dinner together. One of them told me they want to hear all about the old days. Now there are 13 volunteers just around the Bolga area. That amazes as there were only 9 of us in the entire Upper Region, now two regions: the Upper East and the Upper West. The region in my day was primitive with very few schools. Even Ghanaians didn’t want to teach in the Upper Region because of the climate. We didn’t know any better so we loved living there far away from Accra, far away from Peace Corps. We thought it ideal.

I have a single errand left for today then I’m going to start packing. The sports bag I bought last year to haul home the Bolga baskets is coming as are the school supplies for one of the primary schools. My bag should weigh in the hundreds as those crayons are darn heavy. My house/pet sitter is coming this afternoon to find out what she needs to do. Her son is coming with her to translate as she speaks only Portuguese and I don’t.

One day left!

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22 Comments on ““When you are at home, your troubles can never defeat you.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Only one day and it will be fun to be able to follow Your flights this time 🙂 I would also write lots of a place that meant so much to me and I have enjoyed every word You’ve written about Ghana! I wish we had had something like Peace Corps when I was old enough or that we at least had it now. Could You chose country or were You just placed where You were needed?

    I think my bags would have been packed at least for over a week by now 🙂 But I would have torn everything up on and one again just to make sure I hadn’t missed something 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I do hope You’ll sleep well tonight! Will You post anything when You’re down there?

    Have a really wonderful trip my friend!

    • katry Says:

      You could write your preferences. Mine were South and Latin America, but when the invitation came for Ghana, I was so excited, and I figured I’d be able to get to South America some day but not Africa.

      Yup, you were placed where you were needed. The host country asked for specific skills.

      All the packing is done, I hope!

  2. Birgit Says:

    There can’t be too much talking about Ghana.
    At least not for me, I’m always inquisitive.

    With a little Hausa help from the internet:
    Hello – Sannu malama, ina kwana ?
    Good luck – Allah ya ba da sa’a.
    Have a good journey! – Sauka lafiya !
    Goodbye (Until another day) – Sai wata rana.

    • katry Says:

      That’s what I learned all right. Malama means Mrs. I didn’t know good luck, but I remember the rest. Thanks for the well wishes! Thanks for the Hausa!!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    One more day, one more errand and then off to Ghana. Whoo-hoo!
    May you remember everything you need to take with you. And may you have lots more stories to add to your Ghana album. 🙂

    I spent an hour this morning browsing LL Bean for a carry on bag for my train trip. I thought I knew what I wanted until I started reading the reviews. I shouldn’t. One will say it’s the best thing ever and the next says it’s the most horribly designed thing on the planet. I gave up. I will go there and see for myself.

    Enjoy the rest of the day and rest up for the big journey.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Errand is now done! All that’s left is changing the litter tomorrow then going to the dump.

      I bought luggage which is really light, almost duffle bag luggage. I did some digging last year and was glad I’d found those. Luggage with nothing in it is heavy enough, but this was much lighter.

      I’m actually watching TV, something I don’t do in the daytime.

      • Caryn Says:

        I did look at the rolling duffle bag but I’m leaning towards a carryon underseat rolling bag.
        Rolling is the operative word here. 🙂

  4. sprite Says:

    I enjoy being an armchair traveler (as well as a real-life one, but this way is definitely less expensive), so you cannot write too much about Ghana for my taste.

    Have a fantastic trip!

  5. katry Says:

    My carry-on is also a rolling duffle. It holds quite a bit too.

  6. im6 Says:

    Just cutting in line to wish you a Bon Voyage. You’ll be missed just as much here as you are welcomed in Ghana. Safe travels, my friend, and may your adventures exceed your dreams and expectations.

  7. Hedley Says:

    Have a wonderful trip and let us know if you see a Croc or anything really big and cool.
    Hopefully the sitter understands Gracie’s needs especially the dump.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,

      I’ll let you know about the crocs. I could always stop at the Sacred crocodile pond in Paga. They come with a whistle and the knowledge chicken is ready for dinner.

      I will explain Gracie’s need for the dump. We will be going tomorrow morning!

  8. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Have a great trip!


  9. Bob Says:

    One more day to go. Wow, how the summertime has flown by. Have a safe trip and take lots of pictures. I always pack on the day that I am leaving because I travel light and know exactly what I need. Most places I have traveled to have a Walmart.

    You have to travel light these days since there is a weight limit on checked baggage on international flights. The airlines charge for checked bags on domestic flights but they can’t on international flights. However, they can limit the heft of your bags and charge a huge overage fee. Last year around Christmas time, I was checking in for a flight to Toronto. A woman traveling to South America found out how much the over weight baggage would cost her so she was throwing wrapped Christmas presents into the lobby trash bin to lighten her bags. The best part of your trip will be visiting with old friends.

    Bon Voyage.

    • katry Says:

      The summer has totally flown by! No Walmart for me-just market day! I have to make sure to have most of what I might need.

      I can have 3 checked bags with the business elite ticket. I have 2 to check and one to carry on. I don’t think the weight will be an issue. If I have to pay any airline fees, my American Express card reimburses me so it’s win-win for me.


  10. Cuidado Says:

    I wish you a safe trip and a glorious time that fills your heart up as full as it can go. There is never too much talk of Ghana. As a matter of fact we are waiting to hear more when you return. Safe travels, Kat.

  11. katry Says:

    My Dear Hedley,
    I visited said croc pond last year. The keeper of the pond asked if anyone wanted to hold the tail of the sacred beast. I. of course, volunteered first. After that, the rest of them gave it a try.

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