Heidi’s old high school Keswick Christian School had a banquet with the theme “I Am Second” and asked her to contribute a video for the program.
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
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.
Someone recently posted this 15-year-old video of the Mampruli New Testament dedication in 2002. I was really excited to run across this on YouTube and see some of my friends such as Tony Naden, Tarana, FBC Nalerigu’s Rev. David, Namoori Naaba, Talata James and others.
Just north of the town of Banfora, Burkina Faso and past the sugar cane fields there are some incredible rock formations. Geologists identify these cool domes as being Mesoproterozoic sandstone formed by millennia of erosion. As awesome as their geological history is, they are even more awesome to climb, hike and get lost in!
We visited the domes with Heidi’s parents in the late morning and the sun was brutal. After a couple hours of climbing and exploring (Ken even got lost!) we headed back to the hotel to cool off in the pool. Later in the afternoon, Ken and I returned as the sun was setting to get some better photos and drone footage.
It was epic.
Trey’s birthday was in August but he postponed his party until all his friends and his grandparents were in town. So on September 4, we celebrated at our house and had our friend Baby bake another delicious cake for us.
Some of the games Trey and his friend played were tag, water balloons, capture the flag and a freestyle trampoline jumping contest. The most fun was watching Trey try to blow his trick candles out over and over and over again!