Habitat for Humanity

When Nick and I were discussing whether or not we would extend his contract, one large point in favor of staying was the opportunity to for the kids to explore the world. The kids' school has sent a group to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity each year since we've been here. First it was Jordan, then Senegal and this year the trip was to Ghana. So we signed up Andrea and Alexa, got their requisite shots and loaded them up with bug spray, mosquito nets and epi pens. We were a little panicked about the use of peanuts in local cooking. It was a long week for me without my two A's...and without any contact. I'm so used to being able to text and call when we wanted. We did get a text when they arrived safe and sound, a few emails that were sent by the school that sent very generic "they're ok" messages. But I wasn't satisfied until Friday when they figured out how to do the international calling, that everything really was ok...despite the news that Alexa had indeed eaten food with peanuts in it and that Andrea was covered head to toe with a rash from the bug spray. But, as she said, she'd rather have a rash then malaria so she toughed it out. Andrea constantly amazes me. And Alexa recognized the peanut right away in the chocolate paste and didn't swallow it, so the reaction didn't require an epi pen...only benadryl. And all was well when we spoke and that was all I needed to know. Here's some pictures of their trip.
They spent the first day at the beach in Accra.

       met some kids who could do amazing acrobatics

 then traveled to the small village where they'd be staying all week.

 the kids were very friendly. Alexa was amazed that all the women carried everything in large containers on their heads. And most of them while carrying babies on their backs in a sling, much like the sling that this little one is carrying her bear in.

 working hard (there are no pictures of Alexa working...I like to think it's because she was taking the pictures)

 Laundry day

 Alexa said that they made pinwheels out of sticks and leaves and ran around. She was amazed that they could create their own toys and be so entertained. I think that is what this picture is of.
 Alexa said that they loved her sunglasses

All in all, it was an experience they will never forget. Both are looking forward to going back next year.

More pictures from Font Romeu

 Nick and Joe on the ski lift

 and really...what is a family vacation without being plugged in...next time we'll leave the laptops at home.