Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dec 4, 2016- chief carley and his queen

"Chief Carley and his Queen!" We had the turn-over ceremony today turning over the
hand-dug bore hole (well) we established at the Kambo Memorial primary and
secondary school at 5-5. It was so much fun. When we got there they had the
compound walled and on the inside were 150+ students (3-12 year olds) parents and all
kinds of people. They had huge speakers and African music was blaring. The parents
were sitting in the shade on one side of the compound and all the children were sitting
on the other side of the compound in the sun. It was hotter than blazes and the
children were sweating bullets. They would not let the children get out of their seats.
Every time one of them raised a little off their seat they would switched them with a
cane (green branch from a tree). Don and I walked around shaking as many hands as
we could. I walked among a small group of parents first and then went to the children
and shook every hand and constantly told them to stay seated. They were all wanting
to touch a white person. These are the same children I have visited half a dozen times
and every time they flock around me. As I was walking among the children a group of 6
women, all decked out in their best African attire, began on the far end of the
compound to dance, play hand instruments and sing. They danced very slowly towards
me. I continued to shake the hands of the children. When they got to me, they
stopped in front of me and continued to dance and one of them motioned to me. I had
no clue what they wanted. So I thought they wanted me to lead them. So, I started
dancing the way they were and began leading the way - except I stepped in a big hole,
caught myself and kept going. The lead lady, whom Don swears was more drunk than a
skunk, tried following me and she stepped in the same hole, caught herself and a lady
behind her grabbed my arm. OK, obviously I wasn't doing something right. So I asked
what I was suppose to do. The lady said, "we are dancing for you to thank you". "OH!
You are welcome" I said to each woman individually. They liked that. People were
beginning to come and dancing was taking off. Don found me. We walked out into the
middle of the compound and started dancing like the Africans. When we did, all the
children let out a whoop and the next thing we knew, we were surrounded by all the
children and they were dancing with us and wanting to touch us. We extended our
arms and touched as many as we could. Then a group of women danced their way to
us and we had a very fun dance. Then the madam chair lady ( a large woman) came
dancing to us and without a word danced us up to the guest table for dignitaries. We
were both smiling from ear to ear. The program started and it was too long and lost its
audience rather quickly. No one was paying attention and people everywhere were
talking. They had too many speakers and they were long and boring. They did not
leave enough time for Don or me to speak. And they didn't follow the agenda because
some of the speakers didn't come until after they were suppose to speak. It got
confusing and the most interesting parts got left out - like the children doing a "brief
drama". As part of the ceremony, Don was made a chief in the Kono tribe and I was
made his "queen". I like that a whole lot more than "the woman who supports him".
As part of the ceremony the Chief came to me and handed me a folded up piece of
clothing with a flat hat on top of it. I reached out to take it and he said, "Traditions say I
will hand it to you four times before you take it". So, I received it after the 4th time.
Immediately Mrs. Scott was at my side and she helped me put the clothing on. Then
she shooed me to go out and model it for the people. I started out and was about 10
feet into my "walk-on-the runway" when she grabbed my arm and pulled me back to
the stand and said, "I made a mistake" and started pulling the shirt/dress off of me.
Then she quickly pulled another shirt/dress over my head. She had put Don's shirt on
me instead of the dress. So then I was shooed again and went out and modeled while
they dressed Don and sent him out. The people loved it. Then they gave us our "Carley
House" shirts. They are orange. They have 270 students in the school with 4 houses.
The Carley House is the 5th house and all children coming into the school from now on
will be in the Carley house (until the houses are equalled out). At this point the music
began blaring and Don said, "I want to dance". So, I took his hand and we walked out
into the middle of the compound and we were the only ones out there and we began
dancing like we use to dance when we were teenagers. No one joined us. I think they
were all in shock. Men and women do not associate in public even when they are
married. But we enjoyed ourselves and then Don said, "I am going to kiss you. Ready,
here it comes". We gave a quick kiss as part of our dance and oh the whooping that
went up. President Sesay, the district president over this area, was there taking
pictures and he was very pleased with our display of affection. The Africans need to see
a strong marriage.

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