Here are some pictures from a recent funeral. One of my colleagues in the Talensi-Nabdam District office, a Veterinary Technical Officer named Ben Sabill, died suddenly about a week ago. He leaves his wife and six children. I have mixed feelings about writing about this experience.
Beyond my sorrow for the loss of a talented, kind and hardworking colleague, the death of an income earning head of household is a tragedy in Ghana that goes beyond my understanding. MoFA paid for a great deal of the funeral expenses, and so the richness of the ceremony in the photos is deceptive and un-enduring.
I have trouble accepting the generosity of Ghanaians at times. For example, I will book myself a hostel room instead of inconveniencing a coworker by asking them to host me if we are working late. If they knew I was planning on staying in a hostel they would insist on extending their home to me, even though it will create inconveniences for the family. When discussing this with my colleague Mr. Salifu, the regional extension officer, he said that the reason I don’t find it easy is that I have never really been vulnerable. So I don’t understand.
At this funeral I felt that he could not be more correct in that statement.
Church service, family in front row
Women hitching a ride to the burial site
Crowd around burial site (circle of people at top left)
One of Ben’s daughters
Priest preparing at burial
My colleagues from the District Office.