Notes from Ghana #5

The Graduation.

We all joke that on the schedule, although there are many “typical village days” , there really is no such thing. Every day there is some unexpected event that surprises and engages us. For instance, Kwasi’s daughter MawaKoenya has just finished her advanced catering certificate (she is known to many of us on previous trips as a baker, bringing us delicious homemade donuts once in a while for a breakfast treat). Yesterday was her graduation from her college in Kpong, near Ho. So all of us piled into trotros (small vans, 12 of us per vehicle) and made the long journey through some amazingly beautiful hills and forest area, complete with wild baboons. We were supposed to leave by 8am, which of course turned into 9:20, and the expected 90 minute journey was actually three hours so we arrived at 12:30 and although we were supposed to be there for a 9:30am start, we arrived about 20 minutes ahead of MawaKoenya’s actual ascent to the podium. Naturally! That is Kwasi’s luck. Of course there were many people, many dignitaries including a Bishop (a Catholic college), lots of graduates and their families, all dressed to the nines. We proceeded to greet MawaKoenya…no small thing as 35 of us paraded through the field towards her in our gold Footsteps to Ghana shirts. She was trilled to see us. We took our seats afterwards and waited for her to be called to the stage. It is customary for the families to meet the graduates coming down for the stage and cheer and hug them and walk with them back to their seats while lots of photos are being taken. So Kwasi asked some of our kids to greet MawaKoenya as she descended the steps. They decided to form an arch for her to walk through which was a big hit. Much fun.

Afterwards there was a fantastic fashion show showcasing the final exam projects of the seamstress program which we all loved. THEN the brass band and Bobobo dancers came out, FANTASTIC! Then even that was topped by a hiplife (think hip hop meets highlife music) dance performance on the field to loud music form huge speakers, which our kids joined in. The dancing was SPECTACULAR! Absolutely amazing. Hope to post some video of it at some point….the photos take ages to load so we’ll see.

We then proceeded to move to an open area with tables and chairs and a picnic was unpacked from our trotros of jolloff rice and chicken and we washed it all down with minerals (Coke, Fanta, Malta etc). The kids found several bead sellers who they made very happy by purchasing some great bracelets etc. Then we piled back into the trotros and drove back to the village over the mighty Volta River, getting back just after dark. Wow. So. Much. Fun. (So. Much. Driving.)

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