Vacation in Barcelona

After our meeting in Madrid, we headed to Barcelona for two days to explore that beautiful city.

The main thing William wanted to see was the legendary Sagrada Familia temple created by famed architect Antoni Gaudí.

We also spent time see the city’s famous landmarks and also visited the Barcelona Aquarium with the kids.

Vacation in Madrid

Over the New Year holiday our family attended a missions conference in Madrid, Spain. Though most of our time was spent learning at the meeting, we did get a full day to tour the city. Some of the highlights of our time in Madrid were seeing the new Star Wars movie, visiting the Museum of Natural Science and seeing the incredible art collection of the Prado Museum.

2017 Family Photo & Prayer Card

It’s been a year since our last family photo and we need to update our family’s prayer card since the kids are growing fast!

You can download a hi-res version printable 4×6 version of the card via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1dl016yzv04hswp/2017-haun-family-prayer-card.jpg

If you’d like to just download a hi-res version of our 2017 family photo, it’s available here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9tsmprupuv10tcd/20171125RWH8071.jpg

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2017 Damba Festival in Nalerigu

Another year, another Damba Festival! This year Heidi was able to attend the festival with me to see the main events. One of the coolest things however was that I was invited to attend the Na’akyimma Wa or Young Men’s Dance on the nights leading up to the festival.

Here is a slideshow of photos from the festival but you can head over to my Flickr gallery to browse all my 2017 Damba Festival images.

2017 Damba Festival - Nalerigu

Zenabu’s Baby Naming Ceremony

My good friend Kolbugri‘s second wife Fozeaa just had another baby girl and they invited us to the suna (baby naming ceremony). I was honored to be invited to the observe the ceremony where the Muslim elders come and bless the child. This is a private ritual that I had not yet seen in my three years here.

Here’s how it went down. An Islamic name was chosen by the lumaam (maalam) based on the child’s gender and birth day of the week. One of the men brought the name over on a piece of paper and presented it to the father and who passed it around to those attending the ceremony.

ZENABU was the name to be given. It is a transliteration of the Arabic name  زينب, or “Zaynab” which was Mohammed’s daughter’s name. It is also connected to the Hebrew name ‘Zenyeb’ which means ‘pride of her father’. Read More

White Volta Rapids North of Gambaga

The White Volta River flows east to west just a few miles north of me and I’ve hiked down the Gambaga Escarpment to it several times. I recently visited a section of the river that appeared to have some rapids in Google’s satellite imagery. I was trying to find the exact spot that Dr. Rudolf Fisch photographed in 1901 and suspected (incorrectly) that this was the place.

My friend Nils accompanied me and we biked from Nalerigu to Dintingi to the scarp, hiked down (with our bikes), then rode to the farm settlement of Ayoobu, and hiked along the river bank to the fishing settlement of Achebu (Kyeebu). It was a trek of about 17km.

As we approached Achebu, we could hear the roar of the rapids. As we came out in the open it was a sight to behold! The massive river gets funneled down through a narrow spot full of volcanic rock which causes it rush and explode with energy.

I met Frances, the chief of the fishing settlement. He’s a kind man and a Christian – in fact, he was reading his Bible when I arrived. The settlement was a mix of several ethnic groups: Mamprusi, Kusasi and Ewe. The latter surprised me a bit for Ewe are typically found in the southeast of Ghana and southern Togo. However, they explained that Ewe are fisherman and tend to follow major bodies of water wherever they lead.