When fellow LBT missionary Paul Federwitz started helping me find a house in Tamale (the city where I will be living when I return to Ghana), he and I discussed a semi-practical list of my hopes for said house. I wanted something within walking (or biking) distance of the rest of our Ghana team. Not too big, not too small, affordable rent and windows that let in the light. But deep inside, I had another list—a super-secret wish list, if you will—of less practical, make-my-heart happy, and how-do-Iexpect-Paul-to-find-that criteria. The house Paul found is currently being rented by a missionary couple, and I will be taking over their lease when they retire this spring. It does not meet all of my secret criteria—it is not pink, for example—but it does make a very admirable showing and was, in fact, the inspiration for some items on my list:
1. Excellent neighbors. Maria, Reuben, and their two elementary school aged children are missionaries from Romania, and we will technically be living in the same house. The house has been divided into two living spaces, with a side for me and one for them and a shared yard. I’ll have my own kitchen (with a connecting door into Maria’s kitchen) and living area (with another connecting door), and we’ll share a guest room.
2. Kitchen location. Many homes in Ghanaian cities have small, closet-like kitchens stashed in the back somewhere, but in this house my main living area is all one room with a kitchen at one end. Cooking takes up a significant percentage of my life, so I prefer to do it in the main part of the house, not in a back closet.
3. Bunnies in the yard. My Excellent Neighbors raise rabbits for food, so in the same way that some Americans keep bird feeders to enjoy watching the birds, I will enjoy watching the bunnies. Bunnies are both ornamental and delicious.
4. A banana tree, also in the yard. There’s something exotic about any fruit tree that won’t grow in Ohio, so I’m happy to live near one, just on principle.
5. A flush toilet. A. Flush. Toilet. This is modern living.
Christina Riddle served LBT for several years as a Volunteer Missionary, tutoring the Esala and Federwitz children in Ghana. Last fall, she was appointed to Career Missionary Status. She is currently in the US, working on partnership development and preparing to return to Ghana this spring.