I never wrote much about the process of blogging those past two years in Ghana, and now that we’re back trying to resume our former lives in Texas, I have trouble knowing what to write about, what will be interesting and yet safe to share about our lives.
So here is where we are now: After living about a month and a half out at my in-laws house, about 40 minutes away and driving in each day, we bought a smaller house in a neighborhood close to Southwestern, where Suzanne teaches. We bought on Friday, and on Monday we awoke to the news about Freddy and Fannie. Seems like we’ve been down this road before, specifically the last time a Bush was in office, but then it was the Savings and Loan Crisis, and that only cost some 160 Billion.
At that time we had bought our first house and over the first 7 years of owning it we watched it lose a third of its value, such that even if we had wanted to sell it, we would have had to bring and extra $25K just to do so. Thankfully the market recovered before God called us into ministry.
Hardly a week goes by that this area is not rocked by news of another plant closing, or layoffs. This week it was Alcoa, the giant aluminum processor that once had a massive processing plant in Ghana on Lake Volta. Locally, Alcoa IS the town of Rockdale, and I know several men my age who’s fathers worked at the plant their whole lives. Add to it that rumors of more layoffs at Dell, the company that changed Round Rock from a village outside of Austin, to the massive suburbia it is today, while transforming the whole PC industry, and we understand that soon, some 60,000 jobs will be eliminated as they outsource overseas.
Perhaps the biggest change for me resuming our lives here, or at least trying to—besides the cost of gas—was the lack of adventure. John Elderege wrote in his 2001 book, Wild at Heart, that a man needs an adventure to live, a woman to woe, and a battle to fight. In Ghana, those things, at least the battle and adventure part, were hard wired into the system, but here, not so. In Ghana, I woke each morning knowing that at least two things were going to break, it could be the house, the car, my bike, or house help, guards, the power, water, trash, or something gone missing, or run out of. Thing is, I never knew what it was going to be, but I knew it would take half the day getting it fixed, or finding the parts, or the person who could do it. I liked that, it was adventure and battle all wrapped into one. But here, If you want adventure you have to seek it. If you want a battle, you have to create conflict. I am amazed what people here find to fight over, and wonder if that isn’t part of the problem. They crave adventure, they crave battle and we have so insolated ourselves from both that to find them we must disrupt peace or cause someone pain. Well, maybe this new economic landscape will provide opportunities for adventure or battle, and maybe it was the lack of either that brought us to the place we find ourselves today. Bored men seeking adventure.