The spring at Okohia

Early on a September morning in the year 2000, I was told to get up to go for a walk through the bush. It was hot and humid, but not unbearable, and I was intrigued to know where we were heading. The path was narrow, mostly just one person wide, and with low undergrowth both sides.

Here’s my daughter with my cousin Kelvin.

After a while I began to wonder what might be sharing the path with us , after all there’s no bush without bugs. My sister Patricia laughed and said, yes there are snakes and many things that will bite you. Well I was already bitten, mozzies see me as their own private banquet, and I told myself that most snakes would scuttle away.

After half an hour, we reached our destination, the village spring, with, so I was told, the best water I’d ever taste.

It was definitely a delight for our feet, the best tasting? I can’t remember, but the experience of walking to collect it, makes it the most memorable liquid ever.

Here’s Patricia carrying it home.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

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‘A place reveals itself on its streets, from pedestrians strolling during lunch time, to performers entertaining tourists on sidewalks, to the bustle of local markets, and more. Whether you’re shoveling snow from your own driveway or walking a familiar route to work or getting lost in a foreign city, a snapshot of a street (or road or path) can tell a tale.’ So says Cheri Lucas Rowlands over at the Daily Post.

I’ve chosen street life from four different countries, each with many tales to tell.

The first is my own city, Exeter, in England.

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Fiumefredo in Sicily.

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Okohia, my ancestral village in Nigeria

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The last one is in New Delhi.

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Click for a bigger view and join in with the challenge at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/street-life/

The Sunday Post : Village

I don’t understand how Jake keeps creating animations that are better each week but he’s done it again. This weeks theme is village, my photo is twelve years old and poor quality but it’s taken in my ancestral village in Igboland so I love it.

For some more interpretations and to join in go to http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/sunday-post-village/

An Igbo Marriage

My little sister got married yesterday, back home in Nigeria. I wasn’t there unfortunately, that would have been extremely complicated. More unusual, for us in the West at least, the groom wasn’t there either; the traditional wedding was conducted in absentia while he was three thousand miles away in London. Yesterday was the culmination of several months of planning starting with the Introduction Meeting between the two families to check each other out. Chibuzor is an expensive young woman with an almost royal bride price. A while ago the groom sent money to the elder men in his family, to pay to the bride’s mother, who has longed for this day. She has waited her turn to be amongst the women of the village, who share out the bounty of a bride price and wondered if the day would ever come, while her high flying daughter pursued a career in law.

And so they came, they were approved of, my sister and her husband to be breathed a sigh of relief while her mother, Felicia, received the cash to go shopping, no mean feat when the list looks something like this.

Bride price list

Cake in the shape of a palm wine pot

2 wrappers for Felicia – lace

3 blouses – Holland

2 head ties

Sandals, slippers, wristwatch, necklace (gold plated)

20kg sacks of salt,

2 x 40kg bags of rice (cost £40)

Beverages – Milo, milk, tea, cocoa,

Beauty products, skin creams, cosmetics etc

20 litres of kerosene – I for Felicia, 1 to share with the village

Palm oil and other vegetable oil (groundnut)

Stockfish

Sugar

Detergent/soap 50 bars

42 yams, some to share

Kola nuts

Alcohol for the men – gallons of palm wine, beer, Mackeson

Minerals, Fanta, coke etc

Felicia would be very happy despite the hard work and her women friends would have helped her go to market so that by yesterday a feast could take place.

The next stage of affairs will be either a court ceremony and/or a church ceremony which may even take place in London. I know they have a wonderful future ahead of them and I wish them all the love and happiness they deserve!