Friday, September 9, 2011

Mardi Gras v Harvest Festival

My last few years in college, Mardi Gras was always one of the highlights. My friends and I would pile in a car, often with no place to stay, and hit the streets of New Orleans with all the fervor and passion of any parade goer. We would collect our beads, drink our walk me downs to excess and convince some random guy to show us his pinky for beads. That's right, men at Mardi Gras are also bead whores. Each time we would have a fabulous weekend and pile back into the car hungover on Sunday.
Kings and chiefs being paraded down the street

So last weekend, minus the beads and pinkies, I had the opportunity to go to the Afahye, one of the largest Harvest Festivals in Ghana. Despite there not being naked women or men willing to expose themselves, it was almost just like Mardi Gras. Including the fact, that we showed up with no place to stay and my ass was grabbed twice in the first 30 minutes. However, one of the times, it was a five year old boy- so I mean I can't fault him for having good taste.We also grossly underestimated our party capabilities because it was amazing how a day trip quickly turned into an overnight trip.

entourage of one of the chiefs
We obviously underestimated the party capabiliteis of the crowd as well, because by the time we showed up at 1 pm the party was in full effect. We arrived just in time to see the various kings and chiefs being paraded through the crowd. Each with their own entourage of dancers and drummers. As we fought through the drunken crowd, aunties, in the parade, continued to remind us to hold our purses and cameras tight. Finally we arrived at the Castle where the parade ended and we picked up with our rasta friends, drinking wine and dancing the night away until the wee hours.

Fortunately, Mickey our friend, offered up his family home for us to stay. I must take the time to mention though, his family home was really an apartment building. His grandmother owned a sawmill, which was also there on the property. The house she built  was three stories and had 11 bedrooms, all with their own living rooms. The only thing they shared was the kitchen and bathrooms, which are conveniently located on each level. Yeah, it was pimp, but I have learned most houses in Ghana are pimp.

MaRaina, my trotro guide and Mickey Sunday morning.
Oh, I would also take the time to mention that this trip encased my first trotro ride. That's right, I'm official now- and addicted. Anyone who knows me, knows I am cheap, and now since I know I can get someplace for a nickel its not looking good for the taxis.

Sigh, l must admit, I love Ghana more each day.

Until Next Time Smoohces.

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