Aug 23, 2009

SOCKS......A GHOST FROM THE PAST

Brian, Cassidy, Josephine and Comfort on the trampoline. They have so much fun together!
Brian, Josephine and Comfort spent hours trying to catch fish with a tin can at Lake Kachees. They are certainly persistent!

I know I haven't blogged in a while, but I really have been busy! We are gearing up for another co-op year and this year that included finding a new facility in addition to putting together the schedule. We have over 30 families this year that will be coming to our Friday School!
We are continuing to adjust as a new family and everything seems to be going well. I have spent weeks putting together three more sets of school curriculum, not easy when I had no idea what the kids knew. At least now I have a good idea of where they are and what I can expect this coming year.
Now, I bet your wondering about the blog title?
Last Sunday we were getting ready for church and I gave Comfort her black shoes and told her not to wear any socks. All of my Ghana kids like to wear socks (with every type of shoe) pulled up to their knees, so this particular Sunday I was looking for a little more fashion, sandles with no socks please.
Next thing I know Comfort is quietly sobbing, but being a well traveled mommy I stuck to my guns and we head off for church with Comfort wearing no socks and sobbing. By the time we got to church and sat down she was pretty much over it, so I didn't think much more about it until the next day when Brian and I were looking at some pictures of the school they attended in Ghana. One of the pictures was a common one of all the kids gathered in their uniforms before school and Brian told me that this was 'assembly' and during this time the kids would be checked to make sure they had SOCKS ON and if they had lost their socks they would get 'caned' (my kids call it beat or caned explaining that in Ghana they used a cane to discipline them). Well, that explained the sobbing, Comfort thought she would be caned if we let her go without socks. She has had this reaction quite a few times, even thinking that Mark would cane her if she didn't get out of bed right when the sun came up. We are still working through this one and she is relaxing and sleeping in a little bit, but I can tell she still wakes up expecting to be in trouble if she has slept in.
Nothing ruffles my mommy feathers more than to hear all the caning stories from the kids. I might not have believed them totally, but both Laurel and I accidentally caught teachers at the school caning kids in the background of our pictures. We didn't notice it at the time, but back at the hotel when we looked at the pictures they are there in the back of the classes with a long stick smacking the kids. I know that his is common in Ghana and not seen as wrong (even Daniel told us how he was caned in school) , but I don't like it at all......
Oh, we talked to Comfort and assured her that she will not get caned if she losses her socks and she was very happy about that.
Lanae

4 comments:

FullPlateMom said...

Wow. I saw a lot of the kids go to school with no shoes at all. In the almost month that I've been there (I've been twice now), I must have completely missed the beatings for lack of socks. I didn't know anyone even wore socks (I never did).

I saw spankings for other things. I, myself, haven't witnessed anything akin to caning. But, I've seen the kids hands smacked with a stick. I know using the term "beating" is common, but the kids mostly used it in reference to each other when I was there.

I'm sorry for Comfort though. She must have a long way to go toward emotional healing. The transition to the U.S. isn't easy, just ask Ruth, but being chronically ill on top of that must make it so much more difficult. Comfort is truly a miracle. Thank God for the people that kept that followed Him to get her the medical care she needed until you could come to get her (Kingsley, Gloria and the rest of the Lucky Hill staff). Ghana is certainly different than the U.S., some of those differences are difficult to watch, but some are beautiful as well.
--Becky

Shelley said...

I'm so sorry Comfort is still transitioning. Children are very resilient though and adjust to change much quicker than we adults sometimes do. I'm sure you already know about that.

As for the canings, I never witnessed any of those during my stay at Luckyhill. I did see spankings a few times ( what they call a beating over there). I went to church with the Luckyhill kids twice and my nephew was at Luckyhill for a month and didnt witness any canings, just regular Ghanaian discipline ( spankings).
Just my own experiences being spoken about here.

There are differences in every country in everything, ranging from discipline to education. It's certainly eye opening when you go and experience these things for the first time, but as time goes on you can see the deep faith, constant hope and true depth of feeling when it comes to taking care of their own. I saw both the positive and the negative, but the positive definitely outweighed the negative. The children at Luckyhill were happy while I was there, and while my nephew and my friend were there( who also spent a month living at Luckyhill). They have pictures and more pictures taken while they were there and thr children are all beaming.

Comfort was a sweetheart, Becky and I enjoyed our time spent with such a special spirit. I am so happy for her and her siblings that they are smiling, happy and doing well. It's wonderful to see her smiling face.

Mark and Lanae said...

Becky,
I also didn't get the beating for lack of socks, which is why I said I wasn't sure if I believed it, so I try not to react too much when I hear things about Ghana, knowing that the kids can be exaggerating, and things are different there, but I thought it would be helpful to share this info in case anyone else is hearing these things too.
And yes, I am forever grateful for the care that so many people gave Comfort. She really is a miracle, and I believe that God just put lots of people together to keep her alive until she could get here (you included, thanks!!. I have been impressed at how well my kids are doing with transition, school, food, sleep, everything is going much better than expected and I think it speaks highly of the Luckyhill staff who did a great job of preparing the kids and gave them a quality education at the same time. I think the volunteers who go there and devote their time to helping the kids are also a huge part of why the kids do so well.
Lanae

Watson said...

Dear Family,
We are delighted that Comfort is doing so well & that the children are settling
into their new home. We love them a lot.
Now, if DADDY could just get rid of the "bug" that came home from Africa with him & be back to his healthy self again would be wonderful.We love him a lot & pray for his speedy recovery.
GnG Watson