Friday, 15 May 2009

Woes of a hiker.

Growing up in Ghana, I never really understood why summer time was so often mentioned in western pop songs as. 1. ''We are going on summer holidae'' 2. ''Summer time and your mama is good looking''.
Having gone through the terrible weather in London I now understood why there was so much fuss about summer.

Summer is sunny and green , the earth seem to be alive all of a sudden.
Anyway in search of something to do last weekend I looked around for new thing to do.(ie in keeping with my mantra of never staying at home over the weekend ever except in sickness) I decided to go a walking adventure with some friends.

On the website it was listed as being 20 miles and strenuous. I knew 20 miles was long but had no idea how it was that long.In Ghana we measure distance in time. Oh is it far ... noooo its 20 minutes drive from Sankara Circle (this 20 mins does not specify whether there is traffic or not).

Even if it is long I am from Ghana and I walk (okay I used to walk a lot) esp. in Uni. - hiking from the Great Hall to Bush canteen is not exactly on a walkers trail especially with the prospect of hot steamy delicious banku urging me on but it did give my feet something to t/walk about.

Being conscious of time I arrived early at the embarking point in my fake hiking attire ( boots (wrong kind),packed bag with lunch and jeans(wrong kind). I realised my wrong attire only after the other hikers in the group started arriving. But I was lucky because the rain did not fall and we enjoyed fairly good sunshine. Otherwise I was told I would have looked looking like a wet dog looking for its owner after a few showers. By the way whilst still waiting for the other members to turn up, I noticed a Debenhams store nearby was running a sales. I quickly rushed in a saw some nice khaki trousers/pants at a really affordable price (cheap paa) I had to take a good look at it b4 buying it ''2 good to be tru''. So if you see me next time donning some nice khaki you know where I got it from.

To say the least it was a long journey. 20 miles is 20 miles. The walk lasted from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm. with a 1 hour stop in between for lunch. My feet nearly gave up on me but I persevered till the end. It was a long along the end of the Thames with some detours to the country side, we finished in Rochester which happened to have a medieval castle and also was the home of Charles Dickens and most importantly happened to host good pub """hmmm!!!.

It was a tiring journey . Spent half of Sunday in bed. But my... it was well worth it,, various scenes along the journey from country side views to coastal scenes to some abondoned forts and World War 2 bunkers( part of the English preparation of a Nazi attack up the Thames during the world war).

Met some great people on the walk too. It was a long walk so in between taking pictures, ''refuelling'', or thinking of sore toes we interacted a lot. Met a volunteer who had just returned from Ghana on a 3 month assignment.We had an interesting chat along the way. Join me next time as I give you a narrative and her interesting views on Ghana and its people.
Please as usual accept and correct any spelling and grammatical errors.Leave your comments if you please.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

On your way to church

It is Sunday, the sun is way out too early, the birds are chirping something which sounds like its 6’oclock its 6 o’clock (repeats), you pull your neck out from the blanket and take a quick look the birthday or funeral gift of a ‘’Cetezin’’ wall clock .. ohh yes its 6’oclock. You quickly get up and start the morning rituals which countless people all over Ghana and Africa engage in every morning. You do your part as a Ghanaian. Scoop some water , brush, water again wash wash and you are ready to hit the road.

So whichever route is your preferred choice you make your way to church, lets call it Holy Fire Evangelistic Praying and Crouching Warriors. HFE for short. (note I am not referring to the real one – ohh yes! there is a church which goes by this name-just Google and see). They got their name because of the way their Chief Executive Pastor-CEP stands, bends and stoops, (as seen in the Chinese movie , ‘’eagle in the monkey shadow’’) when praying. Experience has shown this mode of praying yields rapid results. New members quickly have to learn it if they want similar results.

Oh by the way there are 2 churches close by your house. But no, you don’t attend those ones. One they disturb the area too much with their all night meetings held from their 2 by 4 feet verandah. You certainly don’t want the church to grow big by becoming a member and contributing to the Church Building Committee funds. Certainly no, you’d pray they never meet their harvest target. A big church would cause too much noise. Secondly as Jesus said, a prophet is least regarded in his own home. So you go to a prophet who is far away across town. AS you make your way there you see countless others making their way over to your area church, in their brightly colored Sunday attires. Let them come, I will go ‘’you say to yourself’’.

There’s lots on your mind now, most of it has to do with money matters. It is Ghana, money rules, you either got it or doing your best to get some of it. Or even complaining of a rich relative who has got it, but is unwilling to share the sweat of his hard earned money!. Numerous stuffs going on in your head but before you could fully digest it, the fervent ‘’jama’’ song from the praise singers get to you ears. Meaning you have arrived at the church. Your church is equally as noisy to the neighbours as the one in your area. But that is none of your…..

Outside, there are lots of cars parked. The Nissan terrano 11 is there, an old Datsun taxi and lots more of Opel Astras. You would one day get your own car parked there. One day is not far away, when the harvest would not proceed without your chairmanship, when the Osofo would know you by your first name and mention you in his anecdotes… ‘’I was in Atikes house and the way hugged his wife showed they have been attending my marriage seminars’’

To be continued.

Friday, 1 May 2009

A narcissist like me

Please allow me to bore you a bit today, after all it is my blog ,so let me do that a ''wee bit''

So its Friday the first of May --May Day!!congratulations to all workers and whoever invented the idea of the working man doing 5 days a week for a whole life and then quitting at the age of 60 to go and relax and hopefully die soon.

In the movie A Bronx tale - starring Robert DeNiro- Colegero had an argument with his father and it goes like this:

Colegero- ......the working man is a ''sucker''

Father- no he is not!,.... it takes a man (and I add-woman-) to wake up every morning every day and go to work...

By the way I am still at work. I will explain that in a jiffy.

It was both funny and interesting when I heard the TUC secretary in Ghana claim that there has been 50 years of workers day celebration and no improvement has been seen in the life of working man. True that! How long did it take him to come to this realisation?

Every May Day, workers gather and have long speeches read to them by the President. There are grandeur speeches of better times coming ahead for the Ghanaian worker. Of a milk flowing wonderous future. The workers have a celebration and ''jama'' everybody goes home and next year the repertoire is repeated again.

By the way it is a lovely day today. The sun is out blazing in its full glory, the flowers are showing off their varied hues, people are smiling and I can even hear birds twittering. The beauty of the day has been magnified by the fact that it is a FRIDAY. I went for a walk after lunch and I didn't want to get back to work. It is soooo nice, it just makes you want to pause everthing else hold still and enjoy the scene forever.

Anyway am still at work because by law all the bank holidays here in the UK have been set on Mondays. So the May day holiday can only be taken on a Monday whichever day it happens to falls on!So I will be taking my day off on the coming Monday.yipee! In this way we always have an extended weekend. Isn't this sweet thinking.

I am desperately looking forward to the weekend!!!!! 3 days of doing my own self indulging stuff, staying in bed late , looking forward to absolutely nothing and thinking of nothing but how to get out from under the blanket. Doing nothing but enjoying myself to the max. Okay sorry to bore you, especially if you are reading this at work.

Anyway I will give you the filla on how the 3 day weekend went. See yah.