I went to a funeral on Saturday. And by went I mean that I showed up for about an hour, all of which was a sermon, in Twi, which Iddris kindly translated for me when he felt like it and when I listened. It was actually a very sad occasion, honoring a 29 year-old man Iddris went to high school with who was shot and killed at the beginning of January and only buried now due to the police investigation, which is still not finished. There were many times when the hundreds of people gathered began cheering, which obviously confused me. In the words of Iddris, "they yell when they like what he is saying." So what was the pastor saying that caused such passionate cheers and amen's?
He was cursing the man who killed Joshua, the man's family, and anyone who had information and was not coming forward with it. I have a lot of mixed feelings regarding this, as I understand the anger felt by the huge number of friends and family gathered in remembrance of Joshua, yet I couldn't help but think about how this would be different if I was home. Luckily, I have never personally known anyone to die in such a tragic way, but I imagine a funeral service to be focused on the positives about the person and their life and not filled with hateful wishes regarding the people responsible for the death.
I also found the passionate yells of the crowd particularly interesting because of the way people are encouraged not to show emotions here. Iddris told me that Joshua's wife and child were not in attendance because they would cry "too much" if they were there. Given, the pain they must feel is unimaginable, but I have never heard such a thing before coming here. The night before the funeral Iddris worked hard to keep the conversation about me because he was worried he might start crying and would never stop.
On a much lighter note, I learned that "Africa Teeth" are different than "America Teeth" when Iddris' friend began eating the bone from the goat soup he bought me. And I mean eating the entire thing. I ate some of the meat off of it thinking that was enough, and when I made a feeble attempt to break the bone, he grabbed it from my hands and proceeded to just... eat it. I sat there in horror, imagining how much it would hurt my teeth and how disappointed my dentist would be, while the men laughed at me.
On an even lighter note, I went down to see the kids yesterday and found some of them sitting around hot coals, burning the ends of sticks. I asked them, in Twi, what they were doing, and assumed they responded in Twi since I didn't understand what they said. I asked again in English and got the same response, and after each individual child said it to me at least five times, I realized they were saying "China fork." First of all, the way they pronounce "fork" is horribly similar to the four letter word also beginning with F, which caused me to respond with "WHAT did you say?!" Again I received the same response: China "fock."
Have you figured it out yet?
They were making chopsticks. I then proceeded to gather as many small, relatively straight sticks as I could find, and engaged the children in a chopstick lesson.
Finally, and I hate to be doing this, but I would lovelovelove if you are reading this for you to leave a comment, anonymous if you so desire, and saying anything at all, ranging from "hello," "oh hai," "you are the coolest person ever," etc. A lot of times I really don't feel like blogging, and although my mother gets out of bed everyday just to be able to read this, I talk to her a few times a week anyway and she would survive perfectly fine without this. So basically, if you are reading and want to keep reading, just give an anonymous (or not anonymous) shout out, because I need some motivation to keep up with my increasingly boring posts.