This year’s Damba Festival was a great one that went off without a hitch. I joined the “young men” to dane the Saturday night before but they organized again around 1pm on Sunday, the day of Damba. I missed the second young men’s dance but was invited into the palace to be with the elders and the king’s entourage as he prepared to come out.
Here is a slideshow of photos from the event but you can head over to my Flickr gallery to browse all my 2018 Damba Festival images.
You can watch a longer version (10 min) of the above 2018 Damba Festival video on Youtube.
This month the Baptist Medical Centre where we live and work celebrated its 60th anniversary. Back in May, the celebratory events started and continued until the climax on November 8th. Delegates from BMC partners, government agencies and departments, churches and conventions all gathered at the BMC Public Health Park for the event.
The guest of honor was Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana. In his speech, he recalled how his father along with Dr. George Faile Jr. and Naa Sheriga were the three leaders who made the vision of BMC possible in 1958.
Here are some images of the event: Read More
This past Sunday we were invited again by our friend Pastor David Duut to visit his church in Baungu and participate in the baby naming ceremony (outdooring) of his newborn. The little boy was named Godfrey Motaug. David explained that Motaug is a Bimoba word that means “unity”.
Almost exactly years ago, William officiated their first child’s outdooring and you can see in the image below that she has grown quite a bit! She was name Moyoom which is a girl’s name also meaning “unity.”
Pastor Duut’s church has also grown a lot over the past three years. They finally finished construction on their new church building. It was greatly needed to accommodate their large number of members. It also gives them plenty of room to dance in worship!
Our three-year-old’s favorite Bible story is – no surprise here – David & Goliath. She loves the part where he swings the sling and tosses the rock, hitting Goliath. Here she is narrating it at the dinner table:
Slingshots are common in northern Ghana but are usually the “Dennis the Menace” type with a forked branch and a rubber sling tied between them.
In the old days before rubber was introduced, the Mamprusi made and used slings much like what David would have had in 1 Samuel 17. Occasionally, I find someone with one of these traditional or “old-school” slings.
In eastern Mamprugu they call these slings “kalɔbiga” meaning ‘millet thrower’ because they are used to throw stones at birds trying to eat sown millet seeds in farm. I had always assumed the intention was to hit the birds with the stones. However, the release of the stone also makes a loud popping sound as the rope snaps back. This sound scares off the birds even if the stone comes nowhere near them.
Here’s a short clip of a Mamprusi boy using one to scare off birds from his family’s farm. Notice the snap or pop sound when he hurls it. If this were are leather sling and not just woven vines, it would have been much, much louder.
This year’s Fire Festival in Nalerigu was a fun one. After the NaYiri kick started the festivities by throwing the throngs of youth got crazy.
I took photos of the torch toss so the video below only shows the NaYiri’s arrival and then the rush of people (and police) after the flames.
NaYiri throwing fire:
Images from the after-party:
I’ve always been a bit scared of hippos. I think it started in Ivory Coast when a missionary shared a horrific testimony about being attacked by a hippo. Then in 2008, I saw a hippo attack victim first hand at BMC (and I saw ‘justice’ served to the aggressor).
The hippopotamus is considered one of the most dangerous animals in the world because it is so aggressive and unpredictable. Add to that the statistic that they kill about 3000 (!) people a year and you’ll understand why I was hesitant to get in a dug-out canoe and approach them on the Black Volta. Nonetheless, after a bit of research I understood the importance that Wechiau plays to protecting these large, amphibious creatures in Ghana and wanted to support that community with a visit and some advocacy.