Blogs from Ashanti, Ghana, Africa - page 19


Africa » Ghana » Ashanti June 28th 2008

Following are some excerpts from the book, Honey I Dunked the Kids, by Phil Callaway. Children are more likely to follow your feet than your lips. You can give without loving but you can’t love without giving. --Amy Carmichael Of the seven deadly sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back - in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you. -- Frederick Bueckner - Ouch! That one hurts. Write injuries ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Ashanti » Kumasi June 21st 2008

As the copying machine whirs along with copy after copy of housing finance questionnairres, it almost feels luxurious to be sitting still here typing again, just an hour away from being free from work until our research team meets at the bus station tomorrow afternoon. As I mentioned in yesterday's apology, this week has been insane. We spent the week in a place called Samaritan Villa, a Catholic retreat outside of Kumasi that was a great backdrop to four days of training students on how to do focus groups and surveys, and develop our questionairres and various other complicated little Excel charts. The kids were really well engaged, and asked great questions, as well as constantly using the very Ghanaian trait of making a "the line is drawn here!" statement, fully standing and almost shouting over ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Ashanti » Kumasi June 21st 2008

Ok, enough complaining about this week, it was also the week I found out about the MTN code. MTN is my cell phone company here, and on Monday I was with my co-worker, complaining about my mintues running out yet again, and he says "Oh, you don't have the code, do you?" I turned to him, intrigued, since this sounded like he was about to plant a chip in the back of my neck or dial up a satellite image on his watch. Instead, he grabs my phone, punches a few keys, hits # then send, and hands it back to me. "Now go ahead and call me," he says. So I do, and on my phone up pops "MTN Discount: 80%" meaning my phone call is now 80% cheaper than normal. But even with that ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Ashanti » Kumasi June 20th 2008

Or something like that. I always worried about starting a blog and following the "post, post, post" then "nothing, nothing, nothing" pattern of 99% of these things. But while it looks like that has happened, I have not had access to internet all week, and have been working more than almost any week in any job I've ever had (still not done for the day) Tomorrow I rest, so expect some updates.... read more

Africa » Ghana » Ashanti » Kumasi June 13th 2008

After a very busy week arranging logistics for the three week market research project on housing finance we will be starting on Monday, I am a bit under the weather. I'm pretty sure it is due to the weekly anti-malaria Larium pill I take on Thursdays. This is the pill that, when you request it, they ask you a series of questions like "have you ever had any psychotic episodes?" since it can mess with your head and cause terror dreams in some people. I haven't had anything so drastic after three weeks of the pill, but I think I made a mistake taking it without food last night, and today am suffering the consequences of weakness and slight nausea, to the point I may call it a day at lunch. While most of the logistical ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Ashanti » Kumasi June 13th 2008

One of my favorite commercials in the US is from a few Super Bowls ago, by UPS. It has three guys in shirt and tie in a closed office dancing to "Push It" by Salt 'n Pepa. The boss bursts in, the music stops, and he asks a series of "where is the shipment", "who's handling what," "how much money do we have" type questions. One of the workers checks the UPS tracking system, answers the three questions rapid-fire, and turns the music back on, and dancing resumes as the confused boss leaves the room in a fluster. Fast-forward to last night, and on local TV the same scene occurs, except it's African beats and Ghanaian office workers, but the boss is still just as angry when he burst in, yelling that a shipment arrives the ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Ashanti » Kumasi June 12th 2008

Travelling to Kumasi with the tro tro took ages! Everything takes a while here in Ghana (African time), so leaving Accra was later than I would have liked (10am). I was squashed next to a 'big mama' for about 5 hours! At least the view on the way was pretty, with many palm, banana, coconut trees among the lush rainforest vegetation. The upturned trucks and cars on the side of the road was a bit worrying, but I heard most accidents happen during the night because there are no street lights. The city of Kumasi is crazy! One can get easily lost there and the taxi drivers can't help either (they ask locals in the street for directions!). I finally arrived at the STC station (coaches that travel far distances) where I met my Dutch friend ... read more
lake bosumtwi
the dutch group
and the other 2 who joined us

Africa » Ghana » Ashanti » Kumasi June 10th 2008

Arrived in Kumasi on Sunday afternoon following a five-hour bus ride from Accra. Kumasi is the second-largest city in Ghana, and the capital of the Ashanti, the largest ethnicity in the country, and the namesake of the year 2002's favorite R and B singer. The Ashanti kingdom is not a historic idea, it is a living, breathing thing, as they still have a fully-functioning king and various other dignitaries, as well as a palace right here in town. This might explain the plethora of tourist-friendly masks and "artifacts" in some shops, which are made insignificant with the real shopping heart of Kumasi, the Ketejia market. Like with any large city in an agricultural area, the Kejetia market is just bursting with commerce on the smallest of scales, with sometimes what seems like more vendors than buyers, ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Ashanti June 8th 2008

Last week I was a little behind on the weeks teaching preps. Knowing the students would be thrilled, I decided to leave out the weeks spelling tests. Tuesday morning I entered the classroom and announced to the 3rd and 4th grade students, “Thursday we will not be having our usual spelling and multiplication tests”. No way! They wouldn’t accept that. They responded, “We want the tests!” I asked, “Don’t you want a week off?” “No” was their only reply. What was I to do but prepare words and a test for them. Most days I only have one hour of “in class time” with each grade. The rest of their day is filled with book assignments, coloring activities and games of Number, ABC, and Color Bingo. In the past I’ve mentioned to you that the ... read more
1st Grade Class

Africa » Ghana » Ashanti May 31st 2008

No doubt, you are asking the same question; Is It Possible that tomorrow is really June 1st?! Time is passing. Looking at the date, I feel the crunch of time for the students that graduate from primary school in July (most of our 6th grade graduates are above 14yrs old). There’s still so much to do to prepare them for life outside of their protected village environment. Now so little time to do it in. I am so very encouraged concerning the students in the past 5 months. The added teachers (though part time) have been a tremendous help! The days they are with us a heap of pressure is lifted off of me, classes are quiet and moving forward in their education. Life is good. In 1989 left my job at the University of Michigan ... read more

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