Sunday, September 23, 2012

Founder's Day 2012

Thses are our friends the Taylors-note our Founders Day ribbons
Founders Day 2012

By Greg

Elder Taylor took this picture in Boston of Mitt Romney, me and Spencer Stokes  What a small world we live in.
Yesterday was Founder’s Day here in Ghana.  It is like President’s Day in the US.  They have a picture of their founders on their money.    There are six of them. One of them is Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.  He was educated in America and was behind the building of the famous Akosombo Dam, which we have not seen yet, but brought electricity and industry to Ghana.
This is the Independance Arch

 Their last President died in office a few months ago and they are now having a Presidential election this fall.  The former vice-president is now president and is running for election. Their campaigns are all promising liberty and peace, which seems to be the Ghana motto.

Viewing Platform on the sqyare-Hillary sat under the umbrella
They do not campaign for years and spend so much money as they do in the US. 
President Obama came here in 2009 and Hillary Clinton came for the funeral, which was held on Independence Square, outside.  The square is huge, like ten soccer fields, only a hard surface. It is surrounded by stadium seating on three sides.  Did I say the square was huge?
Beyond the View Platform is the ocean.  Behind is the big Independence Square.  There is also big scoccer staidium across the street.


We went with the Taylors for a holiday.  We saw the ocean and the big Independence Square and the Independence Arch. This square and arch commemorates Ghana’s independence, which was obtained from England in 1957.  Ghana was the first country in Africa to obtain independence from European colonization.


We went to the Centre for National Culture area which is also called the Arts Centre.  It is a lot like the International Market in Hawaii only not as nice.  Here, art works are for sale.  It is more like Tijuana, Mexico, only not as nice.

Elder Taylor is the kind of guy that says, “Hey, I wonder what is down this street.” Only the streets are barely streets.  We have done this now, by accident, and so having Elder Taylor as an example has made it not so scary for us.


This is the effort to change the public health code  Fine is 50,000 cedis.  That is $25,000!


Did I say we saw the ocean?  It is beautiful out beyond the beach about a hundred yards.  Actually, the beaches were not that bad.  There was a lot of activity, and we are sure it got busier later on, as we were there early.

A large group is waiting for the fish catch to be divided.



The next day was Saturday.  We checked out a car as they have not yet assigned us one.  We drove to the store and back for some haggling at the Arts Centre.  We took a few wrong turns but we both agreed to just laugh and say that it was part of the trip.  We found a lighthouse by a castle and a really poor beach area.  In the US this would all be private condos and exclusive.

 Those are beach houses.

We saw this lizzard and Debi made me take a picture for the boys.  Pretty cool lizzard don't you think? This is our first wild animal.  It was in the Temple parking lot.

We went to church again today by ourselves.  We drove there only making one wrong turn.  We do have Google maps on our phones but, Debi’s notes were excellent and we found the church, though we were a few minutes late.  Next week we will post pictures of the church.


This pig lives on the beach.  He is just coming out of his beach house to go for a swim?

We wonder how he has got this big without being eaten.  He must be a special pig.

We have been here almost two weeks now.  We have been working with Brother William Sowah, who is the Area Auditor.  That is his church calling. He is an amazing man but needs some help as he has a job and a family and does not have the time to travel and train.  We are working trying to get all the mid-year audits completed and entered.  The due date is September 30, 2012.  Now that I have my own stapler, we will be able to complete this assignment.


We are happy and really feel like missionaries.  We go to the Temple each week and we see members as they come and stay in this building to attend the temple. 

This is the view out our window.  We think these are embassey houses.  This one is just over the wall.  It has a nice swimming pool behind those trees.  There is a road that goes around to these gated homes. 


 I will work for food!


By Debi:

We had a group of members that came to the Temple from Kumasi.  A group of Young Women and Young Men had come to do baptisms for the dead. The first evening that they were here I had walked out of our apartment to do some laundry.  There stood 6 beautiful Young Women.  I asked them if they were here to go to the temple.  In total unison they said “Yes”.  Then I asked them if they were Young Women.  They said “Yes” again in unison.  They all stood before me with the biggest smiles and so anxious to talk to me.  I was so happy to talk to them.  I felt like I was back home talking with my own daughters or granddaughters.  I asked them if they were having a good time coming to the temple.  They said “Yes” in totally unison.  It started to be so funny.  I started to laugh and they started to laugh.  No matter what I asked they all said yes in unison.  They were looking for their room so I helped them find the number on the door.  I asked them if they were going to the temple in the morning.  “Yes” in unison again with the biggest smiles.  I started to call them the “Yes” girls for the rest of their stay.


The next evening after we had been in the office all day we saw the Yes girls as we came up the stairs.  Greg and I got a picture of them because they are so cute.  Greg asked them if they ever said no.  They said “Yes”.  We all started to laugh.  Then Greg asked them if someone asked them to smoke what would they say. All in unison with a frown they said “No”.  Greg asked them what they would say if a wonderful young man asked them to marry him.  They answered with a loud “Yes” in perfect unison.  I told them they should be a choir because they are so perfectly together. We had such a great time this week with this young group.  The youth that we have been privileged to visit are so strong and their testimonies are so bright. They all have smiles on their faces and are truly happy.

We are driving in this.  All of these tro-tros are wild drivers.  Can you see the hub caps on the white van?  They are like Ben Hur chariott killer caps.  We will try to give him as much room as he needs.



We attended our ward for the second week.  Greg suggested that I should visit the Primary.  Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.  I came home a little depressed.  The children are so happy and so bright. I couldn’t believe what they know.  The Primary President called 12 children out of the audience and each one took a turn reciting the scripture for one of the months for this year.  The children didn’t know that they would be asked today and they didn’t know ahead of time which scripture they would recite but amazingly enough each child (and some of them were little like maybe CTR 5) recited the scripture when the President told them the month. 


The thing that made me sad was there were no pictures, no piano, no stories, no activities that the children got to be “picked” and no crayons and paper to color a picture.  The sisters were doing the best they can with the outlined program of the Primary but the children do not enjoy what our children at home enjoy.


After I came home and thought about it for a moment a thought came to my mind.  These children don’t know anything different.  They are happy, they have big smiles on their faces and they are being taught the gospel.  They are not suffering.  They are blessed!  The Lord loves these children just as much as any other child in the world.  They just have a different life here but it is still good.

This is a high school band returning from the peace rally at Independence Square.

This is an old weaver.  He makes these beautiful clothes.  We watched him weave.  He uses hands, feet, head and knees.  Look at the wonderful colors.

Yes, we are in Africa and it is different but we are finding out that it is OKAY.


Love Debi and Greg

Elder and Sister Haws


  1. I love reading your stories! So funny about the "Yes" girls. And I love the colors of the weaver, what a talent. I'm sure you are finding so many things that you want to bring home!! What an adventure!

  2. I agree with Emily that the "yes girl" story was funny. I'm sure glad Greg got a stapler so you guys can meet your deadlines. Your blog is so fun and enjoyable to read. Glad I get to share in a small part of it.
    P.S. Greg, it's pretty cool that you even got to be that close to Mitt. I would love to meet him someday.