Early Saturday morning, my parents left for a weekend in Elmina, at my urging.
Saturday, Ruth and I just hung out. We read stories, we played tro-tro to Madina Market, we danced in the courtyard, we had a nap. Nothing special, except that it was special.
Sunday, we spent most of the day at the Shangri-La (and by most of the day, I mean five hours). We ended up grabbing a cab down after waiting forever for a tro-tro (not that hard to get... except on a Sunday). There, we played in the big pool - some other children had brought small animal-shaped squirters, and Ruth asked very nicely if she could borrow one.
The pool was pretty crowded - the other kids (mostly expats) were all a bit bigger and better swimmers (I tried pointing out the girl who was probably only 4-5 and swimming underwater, but Ruth was unmoved), and so Ruth was having fun but would sometimes get a bit frustrated that she couldn't follow them off the steps. I managed to convince her to let me carry her on my back while I swam (despite it meaning - horrors - that her face was close to the water), and of course once she took the plunge that was all she wanted to do, squealing the whole way.
I loved it.
We ate pizza by the pool (and drank some pineapple juice). Later, some local kids came and Ruth played quite energetically with them in the splash pool - throwing a beach ball around, flipping and horsing around, and even convincing one to let her ride on her back.
She also found a large swing near the pool, which she climbed on for a while with a little girl about her age. It was grass, so I let them go pretty far up onto the sides - Ruth can be brave when she wants to be.
And, of course, after five hours, it was a good place to take a flop.
Monday, following a tip from the Embassy, we went to see Mr. Happy at Unique Ceramics (Happy told me while we were there that he was interested in turning the place into an NGO - first thing they should get their own website!). He was very nice even though Ruth was - as usual - a bit shy.
We started with a quick tour around the workshop area. Ruth was especially impressed by the big walk-in kiln that they use for firing large pieces (like some huge vases they had on display - they were lovely, but I didn't think I could get one home!), and by the fact that they heat them in it for three days! Then Happy showed us how to throw pottery on a wheel, by tossing off a perfectly symmetrical flowerpot as if weren't no thing.
But for Ruth, he wisely started us on rope ceramics. Ruth tried her best to make it like a snake, like she does with Melissa, but soon found that rolling small balls for decoration was more her speed. So I made ropes and she made balls, and then Happy guided us in building them up into sort of cups. Ruth quickly became interested in filling hers up with tons of balls - it was a crown, she explained, and those would make it more comfortable. Happy was polite, but seemed to sense that she was done actually listening to directions and so moseyed off to take care of some other things, while I helped Ruth (this is not at all a criticism of him - and in fact, he only charged us for an hour despite our being there for over two all told, so it's not as if he was billing us for time that I was the only adult in the room). He told me that he'd call and I could pick up our creations in two weeks - I'm looking forward to maybe painting them with Ruth when I get home.
We stopped by Miss Gloria who, alas, was not quite done with Ruth's dresses. So we went back to the flat and met my folks - they'd braved a tro-tro from Cape Coast, much to my surprise.
Ruth napped, and I thought about how she was going home soon. I made some pancakes for dinner. I probably won't do that again while I'm here.