Saturday, August 07, 2010

Consecration in Peki

Although I never really sleep in here in Ghana, I usually enjoy an extra hour or two of sleep on the weekends. On Sunday morning, I was awake by 5:30am. After showering and eating some rice, I got dressed in my white traditional outfit that Essie had made for me as Alex got dressed in his matching one. We wore white as that is the color traditionally worn to a consecration. The outfits consisted of long tops and pants which were adorned with some modest decorations which really added to the outfits. Essie and another family member tied my braids back for me and we went outside to wait for the taxi that would be taking us to Peki, a village about an hour and a half away from Hohoe.

I had been told about this family event that we were going to before I even arrived in Ghana so it felt kinda crazy that it had finally arrived. We were going to Peki for the Catholic Church consecration of one of Alex’s aunts as a Cathekist. I had met Melody, his aunt who was going to be consecrated a few weeks prior and she was very excited that I would be attending this special event. She made sure that I would bring my cameras along to document the event as well. As I had never been to an event such as this, I was not really sure what to expect but I was excited to be able to attend this event and to be able to meet more of Alex’s family members.

We arrived in Peki after passing through three or four police stops, all of which stopped and checked our driver’s papers or gave him trouble for his missing side mirror. We went to a family member’s home, where there were already a good 30 or 40 people sitting around, chatting, and eating. Everyone was dressed up, even the children and some of the women were dancing and singing. From this house, we went to the church. As there were maybe 30 or 40 other people being consecrated with Melody, there were a lot of people at the church. We sat in plastic chairs outside with hundreds of other people as the church was already full. It was nice to sit outside because it meant that it was cooler and that we didn’t have to stay quiet. I played with some of the children that were with us and snacked on some local food. The service was still going on but we decided to walk over to a local chop bar where the locals dined on some grasscutter. I sat around and watched as they sang and paraded around before eating the grasscutter and the stew that accompanied it.

We returned to the church and sat around some more as the service and ceremony were very long. Some of Alex’s brothers had my cameras and were taking photos/ videos so I didn’t really have anything to do besides sit there and take in what was going on. The consecration eventually began and I was pulled into the church to witness it. After the consecration ended and the church emptied out, we paraded down the road, singing and dancing with Melody. Our party had grown and about 60 of us went to another house, located a lot closer to the church for the celebration.

Throughout the afternoon, there was dancing, eating, tons of photos taken, and lots of fun to be had. I was the official photographer meaning that I took most of the posed photos that Melody requested to be taken. Alex’s brothers also took turns with my camera which was nice because it meant that I could enjoy the event without having to always think about taking pictures. Since the event, I have gone through the hundreds of photos that were taken so that I could share them with Melody and the rest of the family. Melody was extremely grateful of all the photos that I took for her and her fiancĂ© complemented me and told me that I was the best photographer in Peki.

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