Friday, May 20, 2016

Chapter 3 Okatie Highway, Hardeeville ( pronounced Oh-ka-tee ,accent on the OH) and the Oyotunji (you’ll figure it out) African Village

July 16th 2015 Here we go~ Linda had heard of this African Village right here in South Carolina.  Really? Yes, Really. She wants to visit, and of course we need to couple this with a BBQ trip, So, we look on the trusty BBQ Trail Map. The Village is technically located in Sheldon, SC. Looks like there are several BBQ masters in this area, the coastal region of the map in the southeast corner of our state, from Bluffton to past Hilton Head down to Georgia Line.  We picked The Pink Pig in Hardeeville. Now we normally leave somewhere between 9:30 and 11:00 am. We got an earlier start this day since it was a couple of hours drive. And, of course, in anticipation of bbq, we are always hungry, so off to lunch 1st.The Pink Pig is along Okatie Hwy, in a pink (of course) bldg. on the left. They also advertise a seafood buffet on their outside sign. Totally cute on the outside and in! Pink pigs flying everywhere, pink tablecloths, and a pink ATM machine, since no cc cards accepted….We ordered at the table, no buffet here. BBQ platters for both of us came with excellent Brunswick stew. Tomato based rich broth full of veggies and pork. This was one of the outstanding parts of this restaurant. And this I’ll eat.  No hash for me, thank you very much. A little too much of the innards for my taste…BBQ was smoked well, nice pieces, not too chunky or minced, though both can be great.. just good flavor. Very nice folks, and as most places, were excited to hear of our Trail Map adventures… It rates high on my list, and I want to go back for the seafood! Don’t tell the pigs. Full as usual, and Linda ordered a plate to take home to Jimmy, of course. So back up the road to the African Village. An unassuming sign on the south side of Rt 17 showed its location. We drive down the dirt road and come to a gate house as it were. Linda got out and found someone, who said it’s a private village, but they would find someone to take us around. At any given time, there are about 35 residents there, men women and children. The Oyotunji has quite a long history, starting in the 1970’s to honor and preserve the way of life for West African people in America. It’s technically a Kingdom with the appropriate hierarchy. They have quite an informative website, man who showed us around was quite proud of his affiliation with the village and took great pride in showing us all the areas where they live, work, celebrate, pray and have ritual celebrations and festivals. It needs a lot of work and he said they do most of the maintenance in preparation for their bigger festivals…I checked the website and one is coming up in middle May. We met some women who were sewing some clothes and teaching some children this craft. Our Guide said they all wear white, pure cotton fabric as their daily dress. I’m sure it’s easy and helpful in the July heat.  Did I say hot? Oh Yea. so at some point while Linda continued on the tour, I found a place in the shade to rest and do a little meditation. They had quite a fountain that he turned on for me, which was very kind, as it added a little breeze to a sticky day. So once completed, we said our Thank yous, made a donation, and got back into our car. Thank God for Air conditioning. So another adventure completed… Who knew?