[ Techiman, Ghana ]
Probably no surprise, but I very nearly missed this holiday completely. That would’ve been a bad thing, and my mom would’ve been disappointed had I not phoned home.
I have YouTube to thank for my salvation in this matter. Had they not added an annoying advertisement to the photography tutorial I was watching? Bad evil badness. On the other hand, it’s quite fitting, IMHO. Here on the far side of the world from my native culture–and after 18 months on the road–I have lost all sense of Western holidays. (And no, not merely holidays–I’m lucky if I know what day of the week it is!)
Turns out, however, that folks in Ghana observe the same Mother’s Day date as the US, and our hotel Biergarten catered a large private gathering late that afternoon. Being curious, I asked permission from the event’s host to take a few pictures. He agreed.
[Photographically, it was a frustrating day. I couldn’t do anything right in terms of camera settings–making tons of exposure and focus mistakes. I felt like a complete idiot, and inept. To make matters worse, it took much longer than usual to put (some of) the crowd at ease. The upside? Afterwards I was motivated to practice. A lot.]
I think these images–ordinary though they are–make an extraordinarily good case for the universal nature of large events focused on family or community. As everywhere, you’ll see in these images happy people, grumpy people, bored children, an obligatory feeding frenzy, a handful of drunk aunts and uncles, flirtatious youth, and so on.
Peace, and a Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all you matriarchs out there.