Thursday, March 17, 2016

Funerals, Weddings and a baby naming ceremony

Red & Black...

Funerals in Ghana are usually on the weekends, but the celebrating goes on for 4-5 days. They're marked by big red and black canopies like these. They will have speakers, professional mourners, much singing and food or alcohol is served. 
Another cemetery

This is a cemetery. They can be found a long roadsides and are usually covered by thick foilage and trees.

Traditional clothing worn by the guests is always red and black which is an indication of mourning.

On a happier note, the weddings here are a joyous occasion with happy bright colors and canopies of bright colors to shade the guests. The couple are standing up at the front To the left side dressed in white robes.  The bride's mother lives in our complex and graciously invited us to come to the ceremony.  They were also celebrating the naming of their twin girls whose names are both Alena.  In the photo below, you see the guests standing and moving to the front where the bride and groom are. They are taking money to place in a container as gifts for the newly married couple. After the ceremony, they will feed all of the guests and continue the party with music and visiting.

Meet the adorable baby girls who were both named Alena, Jr. & Sr.   They do that a lot here.  These little ones are 3 months old.  They've since moved but, their grandma lives by me so, hopefully, I'll get to see them again.  Twins are not uncommon here, it's not an unusual occurance like it is sometimes in the US.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Our Missionary Sisters like their photo ops too!

I saw this picture while visiting in Accra.  I love the way the women are depicted here.  It's true to life here.

Blingin' shoes!

Clothing for sale at a roadside market.  Everything is very colorful and handmade.
   Sister Wardle, our Mission nurse, borrowed a book with pictures of clothing that you can have made by the seamstresses here in Ghana.  Those who sew for a living can make most anything you want them to.  Some use patterns, but most will just take your measurements and then ask you what material you want and what you want the dress to look like.  They usually don't use many pins to hold the fabric together as they sew and they often use a hand-cranked machine.   I took a few photos of the pictures in the book Sister Wardle had.  They're found below.  This kind of fashion is seen along the streets of Ghana most every day as we travel around along with many other types of clothing.

Full bodied curves are a indication of wealth here in Ghana and desirable.

I'm always amazed that they will be wearing long sleeved shirts, pants, jackets and dresses in such hot weather!

A favorite of mine.

You will see these outfits in many different colors and prints.  They really like bright colors.

I have to admit, I have not seen these women's pants on anyone but, the men's shirts like this are everywhere. 

Birthday, baptisms and Independence Day

February started out with a birthday celebration for Elder Halladay!  He got to choose where to go to dinner and his choice was the Noble House, which serves Chinese and Indian cuisine.  This is the birthday boy standing next to the entry door.

Of course, not being one to miss a celebration, I joined him as his date for the night.

There's always plenty of food to go around when we eat here.  The plate you see on my right was NOT my dinner plate...honest.  It was the one next to it.  
There's a humorous story behind this picture...turns out that they heard us speaking of Mike's birthday so, they turned on a rendition of a cowboy 'Happy Birthday" song really loud and marched out to our table with this dish of ice cream for him while all the waiters joined in clapping to the music.  We'd never seen this done before so, we just enjoyed the fun watching them all clap along to the music.  After a couple of minutes smiling and clapping, the waiter behind Mike finally leaned forward and informed him that he was supposed to make a wish and blow out the candle on the ice cream.  After he did so, they all walked off.  Happy Birthday Elder Halladay!

 Luckily, we have a gas oven with a thermometer in it so I could bake him a birthday cake.

It worked!

Our Area has baptisms every couple of weeks.  Four of the six children you see here are from our Branch.

Elder Bonku, Grace, Elder Motloung from the Agona Branch are on the left.  Elders Ilunga and Mbyui are on the right with their baptismal candidate.  They serve in Asamong.

This is Margaret, who was baptised at the end of February.  The Agona Branch has added 12 new members since Elder Halladay and I have begun to serve there.  Our missionaries are very dedicated.

The Ghanaian flag with the Accra Temple!
This past weekend, Ghana celebrated their 59th year of Independence.  They had all of the school children marching in their home areas to celebrate their independence.  We saw many, many children as we traveled to church on Sunday.
More school children gathering on the morning of their Independence celebration.  This group was in Bonwire.
 (pronounced Bone ray.)
This particular group of school children were older and were playing instruments.  They were very good musicians!
Those not playing instruments were marching along in unison.
More students preparing to march.  Notice that their uniforms are different depending on the school they attend.

Two sets of sisters.  These little girls ran up to me when I arrived at church and wanted me to take their photo together.  Aren't they beautiful?!  I love the people of Ghana!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Back to Accra

The beautiful Accra temple with palms along the sidewalks.

Fan palms.

 Sights along the way.

This is a calabash tree.  Notice 
 the basketball sized fruit hanging from its branches?

Flags for sale 

This guy is the tro-tro "maid".  His job is to flag down customers.

Fishermen's boats


Boats along the shore

Giant canoes... For Giants...

Compare the size of the canoe to the small car here!  They must be for really BIG fishermen! 

Interesting paint job on the buildings in the background, don't you think?

Over loaded trucks...always.

Beautiful country! 

Highway fruit stand 

Occasional tole booths are not uncommon.  Hawkers rush your vehicle as you stop to pay the tole booth hoping to sale their wares.

The beautiful Accra temple.

Temple gardens