Sunday 9 February 2014

Hey, it's 2014!

Hello, 2014!

Well, this isn’t a very good start, I’m afraid.  It’s already February 9th, and this is my first blog blog of the year.  I’m sorry.  I’m a failure.  An utter, utter failure.  

To be fair, it’s been busy. I also haven’t really been that motivated to do very much writing in the last month (it’s hard work, yo. Fo shizz.).  It wasn’t until I saw that Sharon posted a new blog that I felt I needed to step up.  Also, it’s storming here like crazy and we haven’t had a storm since the rainy season - something about thunder, wind, and rain (and also power outages) that make me want to curl up with a cup of tea and milk and get writing.  So, thanks, Sharon! And, thanks, nature! Anyway, here’s the abridged version of what I’ve been up to these last few months:

Being Lazy

Since being in Toronto with no obligations or responsibilities (after the EWB Conference, that is), I’ve really enjoyed having some time to be lazy.  Sleeping in until whenever-o’clock, watching unhealthy amounts of Adventure Time and Downton Abbey (Oh, my gosh, Anna! Noooooooo!), doing Insanity workouts in the cool mornings, having long reading sessions in the afternoons - it’s been pretty grand.  I don’t get that in the hectic universe of teaching in Saskatoon, so why not take advantage of the opportunity?

Buuuuuut laziness wears pretty thin after awhile (or so I’ve been told. I don’t know if it’s actually true.), and I don’t want to get too used to being a bum.  So I’ve found a pretty cool opportunity (or rather, it found me) that I’m jumping in to - more on that later.

Wedding Planning!

As you may or may not know, I’m getting married in July! To my bestest friend and life-adventure-partner, Mark Boots! While we got our invitations sent out over the Christmas holidays, we still have  a lot of work to do still, and planning a wedding from across the ocean is no easy feat.  Calling places gan get somewhat expensive, and there’s the ever-present dread that my e-mails might end up in someone’s spam inbox instead of their regular inbox.

Luckily, Mark and I have incredible friends and family in Saskatchewan who are willing to do a bit of leg work for us - most notably Sharon Harvey, who is taking time out of her already crazy schedule to explore sound equipment and port-a-potty options.  Apparently, entertainment people don’t like renting out sound equipment/karaoke machines without a DJ?  What’s up with that? There’ll be tons of engineers at the wedding.  I’m sure we can handle it. (But if you know of a place or have awesome sound equipment that we could rent for cheap or even borrow for freebies, let me know!)


I didn’t think it’d happen to me, but exactly one week after we returned to our home in Kumasi, I was attacked by an evil monster called Malaria. Thankfully, Malaria is easy to defeat if you catch it early, and if you start treatment right away, you’re on your way to victory.   

Though it’s treatable, it’s best to avoid getting malaria in the first place.  Trust me, you don’t want to get Malaria. 

Early that Monday morning, Sean, Caroline, Leah, and I ventured out to campus to the bookstore.  We wanted to buy postcards to send to family and friends, because it’s cool to do stuff like that. We also wanted to see what else the bookstore had to offer.  All was well, until I felt a bit overheated and started to see little black spots in front of me.  Thinking that I was simply really hot (it was about 35 degrees Celsius outside….but we WERE in an air conditioned building…) and also pretty hungry, I sat down for a minute and chugged some of Sean’s water that he was kind enough to share. Feeling better, it was time to get lunch, some groceries from the market, and head back home.  

Leah and I went to a cafeteria on campus where I had some yummy egg and jollof rice, and then we stopped at the Continental for some food essentials and Coke Light.  All was well,

Until I got home. (Insert dramatic music?)

Instantly feeling awful, I headed to the bathroom and said goodbye to my jollof rice.  Chalking it all up to something disagreeable in my lunch - the egg, perhaps - I figured it’d be wise to have a nap and sleep it off.   

What follows is not very pretty, so to spare you the details, I’ll just say that I spent the next 24 hours either shifting uncomfortably in bed or dashing (as best I could with my muscles seizing up) to the bathroom.  My fever spiked up to 39.8 degrees Celsius in a matter of an hour or two (almost 4 degrees higher than my normal temperature), and I alternated from feeling like I was in the arctic to feeling as though I was dumped in the middle of the Sahara desert.  Even my ears were sweating. Inside my ears. Wut. My muscles were angry with me, and often didn’t want to co-operate when I tried to stand up.  Just looking at food or liquid hurt my body.  And I didn’t really sleep either.  Overall, it really sucked. I also apparently don’t remember a lot of things I said or that people said to me because I was so delirious.

Thankfully, our friends at VOTOlandia make pretty good doctors, making sure I was as comfortable as I could be, administering two Malaria tests and starting me on the treatment, which worked fast! The next day, I was feeling much better, and was able to keep food in my belly.  To be safe, I headed to the clinic in Bomso to make sure everything was okay.  I also had an ear infection in the end.  Yeesh. 

I’m significantly better now (so you don’t need to worry, Mom), but malaria sure kicked my butt.  Even though the vomiting and other gross things went away, I felt extreme fatigue for the next week.  Working out? Not an option.  I couldn’t even make it through a warm-up without crashing to the floor in exhaustion.  I'm all back to normal now, though.

Malaria sucks. Don’t get it.  

New Work!

As I alluded to earlier, I’ve found something to do with my time.  Rudolph Ampofo, the boyfriend of Efua, an awesome and dedicated VOTO programmer, is a law student who also helps his mother run an after school advisory program and educational consultation organization called Wings for Life. The program is really cool, and Rudy and his mom, Mercy, are both very passionate about providing a safe place for students to go to after school (bonus: they don’t cane children! They treat kids like respected human beings!!) and participate in active and creative educational activities.  Students who attend the program get one-on-one interaction with tutors who provide individual assessments to parents and teachers that identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement. Wings for Life also provides professional consultation to schools and teachers, as well as pre-examination prep for students.  

It’s pretty cool, and I’ve only just started out, but I’m pretty excited to work with Rudy and Wings for Life to help kids on an individual basis, and to work with other teachers who are seeking to improve their practice.  Check us out on Twitter and Facebook, and wish me luck!

Cats, Always Cats

Finally, no blog entry would be complete without mentioning our loveable cats, Nkrumeow and Mewohama.  I sure missed them over the Christmas holidays, but I’m not sure how much they missed us.   In any case, we (mostly me.  I think Mark is indifferent) were so happy to see them again after our return from Canada! Both cats are doing well - Nkrumeow is NOT pregnant from her outdoor adventures, so that’s a relief.  I guess she was just getting fat.  George put her on a diet. 

Meowhama is getting SOOO big (though still pretty skinny - Nkrumeow likes to steal her food), and her personality is starting to develop a bit more.  She’s kind of dumb, and not very affectionate, but we love her anyway.

And, as always, they are mischievous little buds.  

Awhile ago, we were joking that it would be funny to dedicate a website solely to our cats.  Well, during my time of laziness, I put one together! It wasn’t hard.  It’s just a tumblr.  But you should check it out! We finally have a purpose for the zany amount of cat photos we all have on our phones. (Seriously, it’s a problem.  There are more photos of cats on my phone than anything else.  At least I’m not dressing them up in costumes.  Only really crazy people do that, right?)

I’m sure there is much more to tell, but mayhaps it’s best I save it for another time - then you don’t have to wait so long for an update.  

Thanks for reading!

Here’s to a new year full of new opportunities and awesome people!   


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