While I am getting a lot better at my (spoken) German...

the thing that I’m really loving here is how much I’m learning in the meantime. Getting to talk to so many people from around the world is just… awesome. Like, I literally had no clue just how fascinating African history was.

That’s what I learned today when I was talking to my friend Solomon from Ghana. He’s Guan, which is a smaller sub-group/tribe within the greater Akan people - a group which also includes the Ashanti whose king (Asantehene) is the head of the Akan’s “council of chiefs” for lack of a better word. The Asantehene is higher ranking even than the president of Ghana himself and has a super powerful, and incredibly learned, inner circle. Way back when, the Asantehene - or rather, the Queen of the Ashanti who was made regent when her brother died - was the only one who actually managed to beat the English when they were trying to take over. And she did it with women. (Actually this woman, Yaa Asantewaa, is super badass. Like, really badass.) But even the lesser kings of the separate tribes are powerful because they are both the “cheif” (nana) and the priest of the community. Solomon said that even though he “wasn’t very traditional” himself, all of the kings obtain some kind of mystical abilities once they take over the role after going through a 7 day period of isolation. The kind of power that can split a tree down the middle.

This is so, so cool.