After the torrential downpour Friday morning, Ann Hooper, her friend Regina, and I took a bus to go to Obuisi where I would see my first Ghanaian wedding. Obuisi is a mining town south of Kumasi, and would normally be a 3 hour bus ride from Cape Coast. However, the bridge on the road that leads most directly from Cape Coast is under construction, and we had to walk across the bridge and change buses. With the delay, we decided not to wait for the bus and instead switched to a tro-tro (mini-vans, the kind that don’t leave until they are full, and pick up people all along the way); by the time we got to a hotel in Obuasi, it was dark. At the hotel, SkyNews had non-stop coverage of the death of Michael Jackson. I liked the way Regina, a primary school teacher, heard it from her students. Every morning, she asks her students to tell her in English something that they learned from the news. One of her students told her about the passing of the King of Pop this way: “Michael Jackson became white, and then he died.”
We got up the next morning to explore Obuasi before the wedding. It turns out that the Goldfinger restaurant (where we had eaten the night before), is right next to the entrance to a mining complex; the town is dominated by the AngloGold company. The church where the wedding was held was just past this area, and when we got there the service was in full-swing. OK, this may be my first pentacostal service, but the most pithy way I can describe the wedding ceremony is “exuberant.” It truly was rockin’, and sounded like the other church services that I heard in Cape Coast while walking around town – but this time, I was on the inside. Ann knows the bride from when she attended high school in Cape Coast; she was treated as an honored guest and was invited to sit up in front with the bride’s family. The bride’s father took us on a car-ride to tour the rest of Obuasi (the nicer part that includes mining company-built housing, schools, and a company hotel (where we could have stayed, if we knew). After a long ride in tro-tros back to Cape Coast (and again, walking over the bridge and switching to a different vehicle), we made it into town as darkness fell.