Saturday, September 26, 2009

Update from Otuam

I can't seem to upload photos on this ancient computer, and I have such wonderful ones! They might have to wait until I come home.

Suffice it to say that there is no running water here. Children fetch it at 5 a.m. in a bucket on their head from the bore hole about a half an hour's walk out of town. After my initial horror and burst of tears = my favorite two things in the world are a hot shower and a hot bath = I have learned to adapt quite well. I can bathe my whole body and wash and condition my hair in one bucket. A second bucket is a guilty pleasure, bearing in mind the poor little kid who had to fetch it on her head before school = and I pour the water with a smaller bucket down my back and feel cool the only time all day. bearing in mind there is no air conditioning.

Though i have given up many conveniences, I am learning so much about these people who, by our standards, are dirt poor, yet they have such dignity, honor, humor, and hospitality. I have fallen in love with Otuam and its people. I have promised to bring water to them. The pipes are already there, and our house has a shower and toilet. There's just no water in them since the pipes died a few years ago, so it's not like they have to dig hole for new pipes. I think some of them are broke, or the water pressure is bad. I am not sure.

Peggy and I have received an astonishing offer for movie rights, and if this all comes to pass, our first job will be to bring water to Otuam, in the form of several more bore holes scattered throughout town so the kids don't have to walk so far, while we have engineers study the piped water situation. That is our vow. Peggy says the ancestors living in her royal stool know this, they have heard us say it, and they will be doing everything in their power to make it happen for the people of Otuam. Given the offers we are getting in the media world, I don't doubt it.

Yesterday was Peggy's gazetting, the occasion where her kingship is made official in front of the house of chiefs, a stern looking group of toga clad elders on a platform. They had just sacrificed a goat, thank God before I came on the scene, and its blood was flourescent red by the door. We had brought a goat as a gift of thanks to the chiefs. It was tied to a post on the platform, and I was praying I wouldn't have to see its throat cut. I wanted to untie it and run away with it, but I don't think these people would have liked that.

Luckily, there is only one goat sacrifice required a day. So i didn't have to see anything awful.

Peggy's brother killed two chickens in the kitchen this morning that villagers had brought yesterday as a gift, and that was bad enough. The cook was sitting on a stool plucking them.

That's all for now. more as soona s possible! Love from Ghana, Eleanor

1 comment:

  1. Incredible! Love the update. (Poor goat, though!) Congratulations on the offer of movie rights...that is very exciting. And good things for these amazing people will come of your efforts.