"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

Saturday, June 11, 2011

“Which one is not like the other? I spy, Obruene! (white guy)

So this day was the not what I expected it be but ended up being culturally rich! To inform you about funerals in Ghana, well, let’s just say it’s a big party with people and music and donations and formal greetings. All the makings of a wedding, but for the exit of this world. I told Pastor Kofi today that when I pass along to the greater part of my story I want people to laugh and talk and spend time celebrating who I was and how they all remember me. Now, to preface, I am not getting morbid, I just find this type of celebration incredible. I mean PARTIES for Days. Today there were about eight within a mile period. It was awesome. I was blessed to join Pastor Kofi and his family as they paid their respects. As we entered the funeral area, think of it more as a space where people are gathered for a revival. There are three sections of tents that meet at one end to form a “u” around flowers and pictures of the pastor being honored with the celebration. We approached the edge and one of PK family members motioned me to fall in line behind him. I walked closely to my patriarchal friend dressed in his ritual black garb and I in my t-shirt and Capri shorts. This was a site to see. I didn’t take pictures out of respect of the event but you would have loved to see this image. We waked around the perimeter being announced to the sub-chiefs and then proceeded to shake the hands of everyone on the row of honor under each tent, maybe 100 people. As I was moving past one of the speakers I heard the announcer say, Akwaaba, Obruene (that’s me!). I turn and said Me Daci (Thank you). As we made it to our seats for our stay at the service, I felt as though I was a childhood game of which one does not look like the other or I spy. I never felt uncomfortable. I am being very patient with my learning of Twi. I know I will get it. Today at the meeting with the plumbers and electricians I was able to decipher exactly what they were saying by reading their gestures and understanding some technical words that were spoken in English. I am learning!!!

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