When the king of Ghana's Konko village named his longtime friend and D.C. businesswoman Juanita Britton "queen mother," they pulled out all the stops. Among other things, they placed her on a chair and carried her through the streets.
Ceremonies went on for an entire day. The 3,000 people of Konko village celebrated Britton's commitment to them even though her family tree has no roots in Ghana.
"Each ceremony became more sacred," she says. "Each ceremony showed that I was marrying families, people, children. I was actually getting married to the people of Konko village."
It's a responsibility Britton is taking seriously.
Britton has already put $80,000 toward the purchase of an American-made system that will pump and filter 15,000 gallons of water a day.
Her plan is to drill several centrally located wells and, in short order, teach villagers how to become entrepreneurs by bottling and selling the purified water to other villages.
Her other plans include surveying farm land and figuring out what's being produced and how the crops can be maximized.
"I have a village of 3,000 people that I'm going to work to assist and then I will be able to see the growth of that community and I'm very excited about that," she says.
Britton will be spending a lot of time in Ghana over the next year. She says she wants to stack up some real accomplishments for her village before her one year anniversary celebration next October.