Simon Hughes


Simon Hughes

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Tamale August 20th 2014

Here are a selection of photos from my time in Tamale. From the food pictures you will note that almost everything consisted of soup with a bowl of stodge - I didn't get a picture of Fufu, which is another ball of stodge to eat with soup. Despite appearances I really liked all of them, and will be trying to recreate some at home. In summary, I had a great time, met some wonderful and incredibly welcoming people, and hopefully did some good. Hope you've enjoyed the blog, whilst I'm tempted to continue with a fascinating insight into the life of an auditor in the UK, I suspect it would have a little less appeal, so I'll leave you all alone until I see you in person. Take care... read more
Me and the host family
View from  Mobility foundation family
Banku and soup

Africa July 22nd 2014

The story so far: I arrived, settled in for a few days then basically spent three weeks working. At the weekends I explored Tamale and spent time with the family and their friends, learning about local culture. I enjoyed this immensely, but wanted to get outside of the city (not that it feels much like a city where I’m staying) a couple of times as well. Seidu offered to take me to the village that he grew up in, as he was going home to see his mum, and that seemed like a good place to start. As ever “I’ll pick you up before 8:30” meant he was there about 9:10. I’ve adjusted enough that I didn’t call to check he was coming until about 9:05. The journey out took about an hour, on roads of ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Tamale July 20th 2014

Three days. Three attempts to contact God. I don't know if He was listening, but apparently it's the thought that counts. On the first day I succumbed to peer pressure and curiosity about my physical limits, and agreed to do a day of fasting with the family. For Muslims, Ramadan is 29 or 30 days of fasting from dawn until dusk, no food, no water. I barely made one day, let alone over four weeks. At the moment it is light here from just after five until just before seven, so I had almost 14 hours without water. In Ghana. Which is quite warm, in case I haven't mentioned it. I was up by half four for breakfast, then back to bed for an hour or so. I got up for the second time and cycled ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Tamale July 6th 2014

After the mild chaos of my first few days in Ghana, week 2 saw me fall into a fairly steady routine - up at first light, 5.45 (the family are up earlier for their prayers), run or practice Taekwon-do in the small window of time where it is light but not too hot. Breakfast, shower, cycle to work for 8.15. Sit talking to the staff for half an hour or so (it would be very rude here to go straight to your desk and start work - relationships are way more important than this 'efficiency' thing that British workplaces aspire to). I have been working on a manual of financial procedures whilst overseeing their accountant redoing their financial records and producing budget to actual reports for their major project. So it's not all play. Lunch is ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Northern » Tamale June 25th 2014

For those of you who just want the key facts, as you are worried about my safety/looking for a quick laugh, here is a brief summary: · I don’t have malaria, but the mosquitoes are doing their best · I haven’t spent more than the usual amount of time in the toilet · I am not married to a local · I haven’t taken part in any bizarre local ritual involving dancing, drugs or both · Yes it is very hot For anyone wanting more of a narrative, read on. I arrived in Ghana at 5am on Tuesday 12th June, just before dawn, and it was hot (high 20’s). Somewhat bleary eyed I made it through immigration without too many difficulties and hung around waiting for my internal flight. We were bussed out to our very ... read more

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