Greetings from Accra
Sunday morning I was awakened at 4 when the air-conditioner went back on with all its rumbles. I hadn’t heard it go off, but the sound of its return was loud enough to roust me. During the night, the electricity in Bolga and the surrounding villages was turned off at different times for two hours. I suppose it was to conserve electricity but no one knew for certain. “It is what they do,” was the answer to why. Later, around 11, the electricity for the whole country went off. It came back slowly with Bolga being the last around 8 that night.
Well, after I was up so early, I finally stopped reading and got dressed around 6, made my disgusting coffee and went to the roof which is begging to be a patio. All it needs is a table, chairs, an umbrella and mosquito netting. From my perch on high, I watched the morning. I could see and smell the smoke from morning fires. From the compound beside the house I heard a baby cry. Roosters were greeting the day, one to each side of the house, but I couldn’t see them. On the road I could see a man carrying a table on his head. I wondered about that table. A woman came out of the house, walked into the tall grass and returned in a bit with some eggs. Small girls carried empty then full buckets to and from the bore hole. The air was clear and there was a morning breeze. It was too early yet for the sun to grab the day. Mornings in the village are a joy to watch.
Part II Meet the Mother of Chiefs
Sunday afternoon I was told to be at the chief’s house at 1:30. As I had met him before, I didn’t know why. When I arrived, four of my students were there. The chief was waiting and explained to me that I would be thanked for teaching these women and for returning to Ghana by a traditional ceremony. I was to become the mother of chiefs and I would be given a new Ghanaian name. I sat in a chair in the middle of the room then was told to stand up and raise my hands over my head. Lillian, a student and one of the wives of the chief, then took a fan on which was cloth, sandals and jewelery. She passed it around me 4 times then took it and moved it back and forth in front of me 4 times as well. Then she and one of the elders started dressing me in Ghanaian cloth, 3 pieces. First came the skirt, then the top and finally a headpiece of cloth. All of my clothes were now covered by the Ghanaian cloth, the same cloth from which fugus or smocks are made. The chief announced my new name was (phonetically) an a Mah, mother of chiefs. During all of this, a photographer had been taking his own pictures and some with my camera. My students were going to order copies. After all of the festivities were finished, the elders accompanied me to my house (substitute car here as the village is too far). They took pictures of me walking to the car and getting in with the help of the elders. The ceremony was finished.
It was amazing. My students had planned it with Lillian and the chief. They had bought the cloth and all the accessories. I was told that I would always be called by my new name by any FraFras. I couldn’t have been more honored.
On Monday we left late and made it only to Tamale (tam, as in rhymes with arm, a lay). On Tuesday we made it to all the way Accra with only one stop- to see the monkeys. Today we are traveling to Cape Coast and Elimina.
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