In Ghana, Easter is such a big celebration that it receives special holiday status: Good Friday and Easter Monday are both days off in addition to Saturday and Sunday, making for a fantastic four-day weekend. In honor of this special occasion, my drumming professor, Johnson Kemmeh, planned a trip for his foreign student class (my class) to go visit his home village in the Volta Region.
Friday afternoon, we met at the benches under the trees where we conduct class and loaded up two chartered tro-tros with eighteen oburunis and twenty-some foam mats for us to sleep on over the weekend. We drove 3 hours to Dzodze, our professor’s village, where we were led through the winding paths between cement houses and mud huts to his family’s compound. (Johnson’s extended family is indeed very extended, and takes up a large portion of the village.) The boys stayed in one room, and the girls stayed in another room a ways along the path.
We spent the weekend drumming, dancing, attending church Easter morning (which none of us understood, as it was in Ewe instead of English or Twi,) playing with the thirty-odd children in our area of the compound, and eating lots of banku. Banku for dinner, banku for lunch, and on the last day, banku for breakfast. (Banku is a sour-tasting ball of fermented corn dough that sits like a rock in your stomach; tasty with spicy sauce, but darn filling.) We showered with buckets (nothing new to me, but the on-campus students had to adjust,) used a hole in the ground for a toilet, and were constantly dusty. All in all, a neat way to see what life in rural Ghana is really like.