Travel

A New Year on a New Continent with New Family

January 1, 2011

When I knocked on my parents’ door at 10:45 PM and my Dad was just waking up from his nap talkin ’bout “Hey Dahlin! I just woke up!” I knew I had to leave them and head to the party on my own. New Years Eve isn’t the night for CP time. But when I excitedly pranced up to the gate of the Nduom home in my festive NYE gear, I was greeted with the “African blank stare” of a small sprinkling of old women sitting in the yard. I quickly realized I was the only one who was NOT on CP time b/c nobody was a the party yet. At 11:00 in the states, the party is usually in full gear but here things don’t work the same way. Apparently there’s a small “early” crowd that comes before the countdown. Then the “blessed and highly favored” folks come after church around 12:30 – 1 AM to enjoy all the “holy water” provided free of charge at the bar. Then the late party hoppers show up throughout the night.

At 11:45 the priest took the mic to give the blessing. I’m sure it was a glorious reflection on 2010, but unfortunately I don’t remember anything he said b/c A) I don’t understand the words coming out of anybody’s mouth around here and B) The family dog was having an all-out protest on the events taking place because he was clearly not invited. I mean homey was WAILING from the backyard like someone was torturing him. I unsuccessfully tried to contain my laughter while Pastor Long Winded kept going on about blessings and 2010. My sister kept pinching me but Woofy in the back kept letting out these God-awful Give Us Free slave cries every few moments and I couldn’t take it.

Eventually Father Lost In Time finished his speech and we were led to the dance floor to count down. My brother-in-law and sister counted down the last few seconds of 2010 and we ushered in 2011 dancing to the signature drum beats of Ghanaian music, that I have grown to love in only a few days.

The rest of the night was randomly awesome. A few highlights:

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing my father dance then consider yourself lucky. It’s pretty entertaining. His signature go-to dance is a sort of Kung Fu Fighting Jackson 5 Dancing Machine Ecstasy Trip type of move. Add to that a soca or Ghanian music beat and you have the most hilarious body movements one could ever hope to witness. He tries to “keep up with the young boys” and imitate any dance he sees – including palancing and “hunting”, which I was able to capture on video between gasps for air b/c I could not breathe from laughing so hard. Love that guy.

Cajun Death Threats
So, a guy I’ll affectionately refer to as Freddie was either perpetually intoxicated or inexplicably inappropriate with no home training. We couldn’t really tell. But at any rate, you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth at any given moment. I had met Freddie a few nights before on my own with my play cousins so I don’t think he realized I had come with my whole family from the US. So when he started with the foolishness the night of the NYE party, he failed to realize my father was sitting right next to me.

So first, Daddy makes casual conversation with Freddie, unaware that Freddie is clearly unable to process full sentences.

Dad “So, how are you connected to Ghana?”
Freddie “Huh?”
Dad “How are you connected to Ghana?”
Freddie: “Ghana”
Dad: *blank stare*
Freddie: “Oh, how am I connected to Ghana?”
Dad: “Yeah”
Freddie: “Ghana”

So I lean over and explain to Daddy that I think he’s drunk so he leaves him alone for a while. Again, Freddy must not have noticed that the man he was talking to was my Dad. So not even 10 minutes later, while visually undressing my sister (and creeping her out in the process), he abruptly aborted his visual molestation session to scream at me from across the table.

“TRACEY!!!” he says with this huge grin.
“Hey!” I nervously replied.
“Tomorrow at 8:00” he says with this awkward eagerness, “Be there!”
My Dad whose patience had evaporated into thin air, decided he had enough of Freddie and replied, “AM or PM? I’ll be there too! Ima kill you!”

That was the last I heard from Freddie for the rest of the night.

After the Party its the After Party and…
After that party is too early for the hotel lobby b/c there’s another party that’s just getting started. At 3:00 AM. So after the NYE Bash, the 35 and under crew went to the next spot – another beautiful house with a spacious backyard party with a great DJ and an open bar. We stayed there and danced to all the soca, Ghanian and old school hip hop songs I love. After that party of course there was another after party. Which was packed like it was midnight at a club during Howard Homecoming in the US. At this point I was cross-eyed and pigeon toed was so tired & tipsy but we kept it going until the sun rose and everyone decided to call it a night (I must add that the party was still going at dawn. Full speed).

Though I slept/napped through much of the next day, I must say it was definitely one of the best New Years Eve’s I’ve had in several years.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Hip Hopper Turned Globe Trotter January 4, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Cajun Death Threats, ha ha. That's funny Pops put him on notice.

  • Reply Dana January 19, 2011 at 3:31 am

    I love your daddy! LOL!

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