Sunday will surely come

Trip Start Feb 21, 2010
Trip End Apr 18, 2010

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Flag of Ghana  ,
Monday, April 5, 2010

Based on the company names I mentioned in earlier blogs, you probably understand that Ghana is an extremely religious country. The stats state that close to 80% of Ghanaians are Christian. There is a church on every corner and the roads are virtually empty on Sunday mornings. This Sunday I took the plunge and accepted Esther's invitation to church. Since the very first day I started working with Esther she has been trying to get me to attend. When she asked me what church I belonged to at home and I told her that I didn’t go to one, she was confused, 'well are you Jewish’ she asked? I don’t think people realize that not everyone is religious!

Church starts at 7:30 am (gulp) so I was up at what felt like the crack of dawn and got on my Sunday best (which happened to be a dress that Esther made for me) and I was off to church for the first time in 15 years. We were a bit early and got seats close to the front which was a bit of a bummer because I didn’t have much to look at except for the fake flower bouquets and the choir, and I was right in front of the screen with the lyrics to all of the songs so I had no excuse not to sing along. The women, who made up the majority of the audience, were dressed elaborately in traditional African dresses. For some reason, most of the woman wore white but there were a few extremely colourful dresses in the crowd. It was entertaining to check out hair styles as most woman have extensions or hair pieces, one lady had a curly orange hair piece that she just stuck on the top of her head! Another essential is fake long fingers and toe nails, I even saw a man with glue on nails!

The service began with songs that brought everyone to their feet and for awhile I felt like I was at a club! The live band was rocking and we were all praising the lord with our hips. The pastor then asked us to say ‘Happy Easter’, ‘Hello Friend’ and ‘Welcome’ to about 56 people so the next half hour was spent walking around and shaking hands with strangers. As it turned out, in a congregation of around 500 people there were only two Abruni’s, myself and an older lady in a silky purple dress that just happened to sit directly in front of me. After meeting everyone and their families, we sat down and the program began. Much to my embarrassment, they asked all of the people that had never attended the church before to stand. I gave Esther a ‘please don’t make me’ look but she wouldn’t have it so I had to stand up. Thank goodness there were 6 of us that day and we were praised for attending and asked to fill out a contact card and meet with the pastor afterwards which I managed to dodge in the end. Announcements followed that included wedding & funeral notices, book releases and a call for more choir members.

Then the sermon began and it kept going and going and going and going. My stomach was roaring and my eyelids were heavy but he just kept on talking. I don’t mean to sound disrespectful because it was an amazing experience and I felt honored to attend, but I just couldn’t believe how long it was. When the pastor got really riled up there were a few Godgasims, where women started moaning, screaming and waving their hands in the air. One woman four people down from me fell off of her chair and started rolling around. No one seemed to notice except me and all I could think of was thank goodness Carey and Janine weren’t there because there is no way we would be able to keep it together! By the time the sermon ended we had been sitting in our metal seats for 5 hours! Since the pastor spoke in English, there was an interrupter that made us laugh when he interrupted sounds and hand movements along with words.

After the service Esther introduced me to the pastor, then I met everyone else in her World and she introduced me as her teacher. I was so happy to get home, take a shower and have a nap. Sunday surely came for me and I think I’m good for another 15 years!

After Church, a shower and a much needed nap I changed gears and Dani, Amos and I headed to a live football match. The Venomous Vipers were playing the Mysterious Dwarfs – yup, I’m serious about the team names! It cost 2 cedis to get in and the stands were crowded. The oh lay oh lay oh lay oh lays came from every direction and fans were screaming at the referee and waving their hands up in the air at anything unjust. A few men got into a fight in front of us and when it was over they were friends again. Fan milk and pure water replaced beer and hot dogs but the atmosphere was the same as any outdoor match at home. I can’t even tell you which team won but as soon as it was over the 5000 or so of us piled peacefully out of the stadium and all shared taxi’s home.
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