What year is it where you are?

Because see, it’s 9:18pm here, meaning that 2007 introduces itself to us in about 3 hours. I think you won’t experience it for another 8. Strange, huh? I’ll let you know how it is.

Here’s the thing about Ghana- it’s just like America except it is hotter and more relaxed. Other than that, they are so similar- FUN, beautiful, friendly, full of laughter, full of farts (thank you Mike Mozley for never changing), etc. I’m really loving it here.

We went to church this morning and it was amazing. The main difference is this- the most exciting upbeat time of the entire service was during the OFFERING. If you’ve been to Ghana before, it is no surprise, but for me, it was. Eddie, our driver that I adore said, “Dance, Angel (what he calls me- Tatum is “old Angel”), Dance!” EVERYONE was dancing and celebrating like I’ve never experienced during an offering. Walking down the aisle or in their seats, it didn’t matter. They were breaking it down to a song I didn’t know (not my language, sorry).

I think about when I give my tithe each month- I’m usually sitting at the kitchen table, surrounded by bills, envelopes, calculators (plural, yes, I’m mildly OCD), and my checkbook and multiple pens. I write it and record it carefully. It’s just another bill to me.

Augh. Writing that was the first time I thought that and it makes me sad. Change my heart, God. I’m encouraged though because I think He already has. I’m choosing, from now on, to fully rejoice at the opportunity to return to God a small portion of what is His already.

There were many funny things that happened in church- an old lady singing about 7 octaves higher than she should, the children’s Christmas performance, the preacher throwing his glasses, etc. So good.

After lunch at the house, folks scattered. Tatum, Sally, and Mom went shopping- I just couldn’t do it again. Michael and Luke (“beef burger”) read a book together, Dad played “Bejeweled 2” on the computer, Kwame went on a bike ride, Eddie washed clothes, and oh yeah- Ryan and Anna both took a nap because they got only 4 hours of sleep!! Remind me again why teenagers think that is a good idea?

So that leaves me, Maggie, and Claire. Not good for Claire because Maggie and I are a crazy pair. In fact, for the party that just ended (all the local missionaries came over), we needed to bake cookies. So immediately we opened the “MaggieAnn Russian Bakery”. Yes, Russian. Do you know of another Russian bakery in Ghana? Neither did we. And we have been talking in Russian accents so long that even now as I type I am reading it aloud in my head in Russian and it is about to make me insane. But “ze Sneekerdoodle kookiez vus varty goot”. (I tried to write in Russian. Tough job.)

The party was fun, but baking with Maggie was by far the highlight.

Now we are preparing for dinner, the fan is blowing cool air onto my back, helping me to not sweat for the first time today. Tatum keeps passing through Mike’s office to get cokes for people from the cooler. Margaret (Tatum’s missionary b-fry- her blog is here) is playing something random on the piano and people are, in general, relaxed. We are having steaks and potatoes for dinner- another plane just took off from the airport. KLM, I think. I just went to go find Maggie and I saw everyone lounging in the living room- Ryan is giving Mike a back massage (careful brother), Mama and Claire are talking, everyone is chill. I like it.

It feels nothing like December 31- yet it is exactly where I want to be.

Happy New Year.

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