I'll give YOU Obruni and other such expletives.

Trip Start Apr 10, 2011
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Trip End Jun 27, 2011


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Flag of Ghana  , Ashanti,
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm so fed up with the constant chanting. Usually from kids. Obruni Obruni Obruni Obruni Obruni Obruni wherever i go. Its worst in Achiase, although elsewhere its not great. Thing is, you wave say hello... and they dont stop. Nothing stops them. they're like these machines that get turned on as soon as you walk past. Im tempted to record it, i reckon it would make as good a hit as the Crazy Frog - driving you slowly insane. Incidentally Frances (my ex-house father) has the Crazy frog as his ringtone. Nightmare.

So, the other thing im getting frustrated with (well, one of the many, but one i feel the need to share ;)) is the constant "Obruni, you give me money". One of the worst was yesterday when this kid followed us, nearly all the way home, begging for money. He left me alone after i turned and shouted at him " why don't You give ME money". i swear, the next person to beg at me is going to get a rant about how i have 50,000 cedi worth of debt. Sam and our new volunteer werent so lucky... they had him begging for money for ages - in fact until he realised how far we had walked and ran home!

Right. rant over! I'm not entirely sure when we'll get to use the internet again - the next week is insanely busy. We said bye to Brett (parasites and all) in Accra. Went to the office yesterday and rang loads of schools, arranged loads of presentations. The first two schools are tomorrow: First on STI and HIV/AIDS the second is on Malaria and Animal bites. Boom. We've also been given the permission letter from the Asoufua Assemblyman to set up an info stall at the market in Asoufua! FINALLY! its all GOGOGO. That'll be next tuesdays job.

Right.

The wedding! ahh that was fantastic. The first one was held at the house in Achiase. Loads of family members arrived, a select few of the husbands family appeared, the house was decorated and Naa was locked away in her room for the best part of the morning... (i was technically meant to be with her, but she had two friends in there and they were all nattering away in Twi. I couldnt understand anything so snuck out at the earliest opportunity and didnt return until the ceremony was underway!)

The ceremony
Well, its VERY different to england! the bride and groom are kept separate (the groom sat outside, and Naa was in her room). the ceremony was conducted in the living room. Everyone sat down and the grooms family entered together bringing gifts and introducing themselves. The host family (the brides) then had to go around and greet everyone. Then someone introduced each of the families, or rather, the key members of the host family - it seemed like all the distant relations were there too! there was then a long gift-giving thing. One woman appointed by each family (i think they were both aunts of the bride and groom) conducted the shebang. the aunt of the groom was a particularly expressive lady (both were also, 'Big Mamas' :S) and there was lots of singing and 'Hallelujah-eh!'  i didnt understand most of it - it was all in Twi. The bride was lead in first (with her procession of women, including me :S) then a whole thing happened with the bride... i don't really know exactly what it was... (damn not speaking Twi!) but Naa stood around and the large expressive lady talked a lot! The groom was brought in, there was more talking and singing, the ring was given, the priest said something... then Naa went around and offered a local drink to the father of the groom, then all his female relatives, before offering a drink to him. Zoufa later explained it was like paying a brideprice... which doesnt make much sense. but it was some form of payment/offering. We all then went and ate lots of food, watched the bride and groom take their first dance (which was about 3 mins long, and that was all the dancing at the wedding...) then they left to go to the courts to make the marriage official, and everyone went home!

The Accra meal was less ceremonial and way more like a traditional english reception... just a bit more formal. it was a buffet too so there was a lot of food :) and of course everyone dressed in lovely clothes :)

The evening of the reception we stayed in Kasoa, near accra with one of Naa's aunts. everyone was there... and i ended up sleeping in a room with erm... 8 very large ghanaian women. they were mostly naked. it was a disturbing sight. there was one bed, which was kindly given to me and another girl - one of Naa's cousins. so i got a better nights sleep than being on a stone floor! although the women ALL snored. i was wishing for the earplugs.

We were then woken at 4:30am to get up and get the bus. SYTO had lent helen the van to take the family down in from Kumasi. Sam, Brett and i went down via other means, and as we were leaving Brett in Accra, sam and i were squeezed into the van. Not worth the 10cedi we saved on transport. we didnt leave until 6:15, then stopped 10 times so the aunts could stock up on food, food and more food. i thought we were going to have to eject a passenger there was so much food in the van! sam and i were sharing a seat too. The van seats 12. there were 15 of us in there. 15 normal sized people would've been fine, but we had 4 very large ghanaian women to squeeze in too. it was not a comfortable journey - particularly when we kept stopping for no good reason! it took us 5 hrs to get down to Accra on friday, and nearly 8 to get back on sunday! also, the road between Accra and Kumasi - one of the busiest in the country - also one of the worst roads. Cue vibrating teeth out of my skull!

anyway, much to do and no time left!

TTFN!





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