Bu dum saana, baa vi.

When the goat bites the stranger, the dog is ashamed.

Mampruli Proverb

Heidi Gives an After Church Consult

I LOVE MY LIFE’s Wedding in Tubziya

First off, ILoveMyLife’s name is actually Alimaatu. Also, the village she was married in is called Tubziya but its real name is Tuuzeaa. Tuuzeaa means “red baobab” – a very large tree found where the village’s founders first settled. Over the years (and probably due to Westerners who couldn’t pronounce it correctly) it has morphed into Tubziya which would translate to “ears place” and makes no sense.

You may remember Alimaatu (“ILoveMyLife”) as Heidi’s friend who had a salon where she’d get her hair cut. Alimaatu had a traditional marriage agreement done several years ago and she and her partner already have a five-year-old girl. As couples often do around here, they waited until they had the means to perform an “official” marriage ceremony. In this case, they are Muslim so it was an Islamic ceremony.

We weren’t able to attend the ceremony itself (it conflicted with a preaching engagement William already had in another village) but we carried the bride and her friends & family to the village in our truck. The next day we came back to pick them and see her in her fancy garb.

Since the wedding is over, she now has a room in her father-in-law’s compound (her husband does not yet have his own compound). She sat in her room with piles and piles of dishware that were given to her as wedding gifts (an important part of a good wife’s role is to prepare food for guests & funerals so she needs lots of bowls).

It was blazing hot (110F outside but who knows how hot inside) and they asked William to take photos of the newly weds. They caked a ton of makeup on her to hide the sweat but William was drenched. Heidi held a reflector to bring light into the dark room (which had no windows) and illuminate the beautiful bride.

Even though we didn’t attend the ceremony, the family was so grateful that we took the time to transport folks to and from the wedding. That’s what friends are for!

The Joy of the Print

Here are some of the Mamprusi Paramount Chief’s Warriors (Kambonsi) having a laugh after I delivered to them a print of a portrait I made of one of them. Here’s the original shot:

 

Dry Season Gardening

It seems a bit counterintuitive, but some of our best, locally-grown veggies only show up at market in the dry season. You’d think they’d be abundant in the rainy season but too much sporadic rain during and a multitude of pests make gardening difficult. Farmers are also more focused on ploughing, sowing, and weeding their main staple crops of corn, millet, beans, and groundnuts.

In the dry season, those with access to plots by the creek can maintain healthy vegetable gardens if they are willing to do the hard work of irrigating the crops. And it’s hard work! Very few of the gardeners can afford a water pump (or the fuel to run it) so they manually carry 10-gallon jugs of water up and down from the creek. Humidity stays below 10% most of the dry season while temperatures can hit 110F so the plants need a lot of water.

Just south of Nalerigu is the predominantly Bissa village of Nagboo that is known for its dry season gardens. Most of its produce ends up at the Nalerigu market for sale. These gardeners produce cabbage, lettuce, eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, hibiscus, and amaranth greens.

I recently biked down to Nagboo with just a DJI Mavic drone and an iPhone and took some photos and video of the gardens. The gardeners were very gracious and happy to show off the fruit of their hard work.

 

Gyɛrigu zeem piini, u zi ba mɔŋŋi la sɔa.

The fool despises a gift, unaware that some people don’t get anything.

Mamprusi Proverb