Although I have to do my research and a ton of stuff at the orphanage during this trip, my number one goal was not to get sick. Last year’s malaria and typhoid was enough sickness for me for quite awhile so I have been doing everything possible to avoid getting sick this year. It is only day 4 and that plan has already failed. Granted I only have a cold, the fact of the matter is that I am sick and I didn’t want to get sick. I have already been to the pharmacy and have begun some medicine and will hopefully be fully recovered very soon.
After arriving in Wegbe on Saturday evening and briefly visiting a few friends, it was time for bed. If it wasn’t for the fact that it was dark outside and everyone was already asleep, I would have walked around the village right then to visit my kids. But, instead, I saved that for the next morning when I awoke at 4am. I waited til 5am to actually get out of bed and leave the house before walking around the village and causing chaos. I tried to quiet the kids and other people who saw me and started to scream but it wasn’t as easy as it may sound. By this point, I had a whole group of kids following me and mimicking my every move. I think it is fair to say that they were beyond excited to have me back in their village.
The village became quiet as people started heading to church. I opted to stay home and use the time to unpack my belongings. Two of my favorite girls came over and quickly discovered that much to their asking, I had brought some story books for them to read. They were definitely a hit and kept them occupied while I continued to unpack.
On Monday morning, I finally got to see the rest of my kids whom I had yet to see. As I approached the orphanage, the chanting began. Seesta Nicole. Seesta Nicole. Seesta Nicole. A huge grin came across my face as I was greeted by the children and their open arms. They ran to hug me and stare in astonishment although I think that by now they are used to the fact that I am one of the volunteers who actually will come back when they say that they will. I quickly became a human jungle gym once again as the kids jumped all over me, tried to get into my pockets, began playing with my hair, and tried to climb onto my back. Nothing had changed. I was beyond excited to be back.
The children were soon escorted inside and began their devotion. It warmed my heart to hear those voices sing the familiar songs that I had not heard in seven months. They then expressed their gratitude to me and told me how joyous this day was because I had returned. I spent the rest of the day observing the various classes, impressed at how far the children had come since I left. In particular, I was very impressed with the level of mathematics that the oldest two classes were doing.
After eating lunch, I went into town to run some errands. Our stop at the bank took forever as a huge group of CCS volunteers had arrived at the bank just a minute or two earlier and made the line very long. It began pouring but we continued our errands which included making copies of the questionnaires and other forms for my study and buying water. Of course, I couldn’t visit Hohoe without visiting my friend and seamstress, Beatrice, so we stopped by her shop before returning home.