Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Newbies in Ghana

A trip for Ghana is being planned and I am very excited about it. There are many new places I'm hearing about which I want to visit, I just hope time will be on my side. Earlier on today I heard of Nafi's Candy - a company that sells Swedish Candy in Accra. I can't wait to check it out!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Komla Dumor 1972-2014

My heart skipped a beat when I heard of Komla Dumor's death. Unlike many of my Facebook friends, I have no personal anecdote to share, but like just about every other Ghanaian, I felt great pride every time I saw him report on BBC. What an excellent ambassador for Ghana! Since last night, my thoughts and prayers have been with his family, especially his three small children who have lost their father. No one should ever die that young. Rest in Peace, Komla.
(picture borrowed fromwww.superghana.com)

Monday, 28 October 2013

Storm alert

Hello there... The last few months have been trying in many ways and in all that, it seems I found no time to blog. Well, one of my favourite sayings is better late than never, so here we go again. After some months in Ghana, I am back in Sweden and enjoying the seasons more than ever. Never before have I really appreciated the beautiful colours of autumn and the slow transition into winter. Of course, as I say it, it is not enjoyable at all: the St Jude storm which hit the UK yesterday, has apparently left and is heading towards the west coast of Sweden! Newsstations are advising us to pick children early from school, I saw this just as I received a call from Em's teacher to pick her before 3pm. I guess we have an interesting day and night ahead of us. Will these trees be standing tomorrow...?

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Happy Independence Day!

With all that I am hearing of power outages and water shortage, it's difficult to celebrate Ghana as it seems the nation is regressing. Still, I hope that those in Ghana and around the world have found a way of celebrating today, as unfortunately a very hectic work day has stopped me from trying to celebrate. The only thing I managed to do was check out Google Ghana's picture of the day: Happy Independence Day, Ghana!

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Tastes from afar

We saw them about four weeks ago. Nicely big and green. Virgo and I looked at each other, smiled and decided to take them. Since then we've watched them eagerly grow to maturity, every now and then pinching a feel to check how close we were getting. Last week, I was ready to give up, but then, as the snow melted away, so did the green colour, which gave way for a golden yellow brown shade. And today little Em, Ghana-girl to the bone, was the one who insisted it was time. After a light seasoning and fry, she devoured just about all of it in a few minutes (I swear I only got a bite!), and I don't blame her. Plantain; ripe, fried plantain has never tasted that good!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Showtime!

Today is election day in Ghana. I will tell you what I say to any person I meet around election time, in any country I've lived: No matter where your sympathies lie, or if you feel nobody deserves your vote, go out peacefully and vote. Make your voice heard! There are too many people in the world who have been deprived their right to democracy, make sure you cherish yours!
Make this an election that Ghana decides! (Picture borrowed from Google Ghana)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Obama!!!

Yes he can! I had a very restless night, might as well have stayed up for election watch. So it felt extra good to wake up to hear that Barack Obama has been re-elected the president of the United States. And I am sure little Abby is not the only person in the States who is relieved that the campaign is finally over! Now, I'm just hoping to catch Obama's speech before starting my day.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Who wins?

Four years ago, I sat up all night in a lovely house in Cantonments, with Virgo and friends, following the election on CNN. The room was pregnant with pause, (I was just pregnant), in those moments before it was confirmed: Obama had won the election! Tonight, I'm packing in. Although I'm on holiday and actually could stay up all night, it's not the same to do it alone and knowing there's a 3 and a half year old who definitely won't let me catch sleep tomorrow. It's with excitement I go to bed ahead of the first results.
Tomorrow, we'll wake to hear if the world has won and kept it's president (fingers crossed!) or be informed that there's a new president in charge, Mitt Romney. Here's hoping for a good night's sleep free of election dreams; and I know I'll run to turn my TV on first thing tomorrow morning!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Blog Action Day: The Power of We

Four years ago a certain someone mentioned to me that she'd like to set up a meeting to find out which other bloggers were around in Ghana. Perhaps this meeting could expand into a social network? It started with small intimate meetings of less than ten people, which with time expanded to include more and more bloggers of varying exciting backgrounds. First known as Ghanablogging, Blogging Ghana now has over 250 blogs registered. Blogging Ghana, or BloGh as it's known for short, has spearheaded the project of reporting the Ghana 2012 election in a non-partisan, openminded manner - Ghana Decides. If you want to know how Ghana decides? Follow the updates on Twitter, Facebook and the homepage. This is my simple example of a how one person's thought turned into a nationwide project. Because you see, the power of we, is limitless. This post was created for Blog Action Day.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Child friendly, my foot!

A person close to me once said he wouldn't take his children on holiday to Ghana because it's not child friendly. To add to it, this person had not himself been to Ghana since 1999. Interestingly, he found Egypt an appropriate place for a children's holiday, just a few months prior to the Arab Spring. In a similar manner people in Sweden often ask me how child friendly Ghana is. Although I don't find the question offensive, I do find it strange that no British friend has ever felt the need to ask this question. Well, what can I answer? The (malaria) mosquitos are to me the only threat against children in Ghana. This morning though, I started thinking of all the threats to children here. Right now there's a meningitis outbreak, a 5-year old died at pre-school a few days ago and other children at the school are home sick, but not yet diagnosed. Every day or two, there's a story of a missing child in the paper and from the age of 5/6 a child of colour can expect to receive racial abuse and/or discrimination from school mates or teachers. Come to think of it, I am constantly reading stories about 20 and 30-year olds going missing, tragically found murdered a few weeks later. 60-year old men are brutally attacked on the street in broad daylight by unprovoked teenage thugs. This country (and the UK is even worse, I read UK papers daily) isn't safe for anyone! Is it me? Am I naïve or am I right? It seems on the scale of things, as long as you survive Accra traffic and don't have a fancy schmanzy looking house that'll unfortunately invite a robbery, Ghana seems a much safer country than the European ones. So the next time someone asks me how child friendly Ghana is, I may just respond: Child friendly, child friendly?!? Where you're coming from what demands can you make on child friendliness???, give them a long mtcheeeeeew (kissing my teeth) and walk off.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Returning to Ghana

It's October and autumn is definitely here. Also on my mind this week are thoughts of returning to Ghana. Not just for me, but friends around me. There's the new mother who's planning her move back early next year and all the necessities that need to be packed along with her. There's the friend in Ghana, trying to convince her husband to leave and try building their family elsewhere, but her husband won't budge. Then there's the relative who just informed me that next year she's relocating to Ghana for the first time ever. I can't wait to follow her journey, the same journey I made some 7 years ago.
Naturally, while discussing these relocations, we end up looking at the pros and cons of living in Ghana versus abrokyi. Sweden has all the stable pros: constant electricity, water and fast internet. Public transport is on time and everyone shows up to work even when there's rain or snow outside. However, we always get back to Ghana and that je-ne-sais-quois quality that stays with you in the motherland. As hard as I try to settle in my hometown, with my old friends, siblings and workmates here, my heart is still in Ghana. For now though, I'll enjoy one of the pleasures of Sweden: watching the seasons change. Already I'm planning how to cosy up my flat for the rest of autumn and prepare for Christmas. I can see myself sitting on my balcony, in December, candles alit and a tiny glass of mulled wine in hand, looking out over Gothenburg. And I'll enjoy every second of it, knowing that sometime in 2013 I will be heading home.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

President Mills is dead

The president of Ghana, President John Evans Atta Mills is dead. I told my brother that this is the second time in my life, the first being Olof Palme, that a country leader has died in a country I in which live. But you don't live there, he objected. Well, no matter where I am in the world, my heart is in Accra and the news hit me with shock. Despite the fact that I don't share his political stance, I find his death sad, especially as it seems he spent the last four years of his life (allegedly) disguising the state of his health, whilst pursuing two election campaigns and trying to run a nation. My condolences go to his family and loved ones. Still, in the midst of sad news, I can't but wonder (and feel a twinge of excitement over), what effect will this have on the upcoming elections and the flailing Cedi? Also, when will Africa learn to follow the West's lead, by selecting and electing leaders in their mid-Forties, rather than late Sixties? And lastly, why am I holidaying in London when I should be following the stories and mourning in Ghana??? Here, you can see John Mahama being sworn in as the new President of Ghana. I am extremely curious to see the role he will play up until elections in December!

Monday, 30 April 2012

Last day of April

It's the little moments that count, isn't it. Today, I was one of about ten percent in our office who went to the office. On a day like this, where there's a weekend, one working day, then a holiday, not many people bother coming in, they rather take the day off for a minibreak. I'm not judging, I'm planning on doing the same on the 18th of May, the Friday squeezed in between Ascension Day and the weekend. If only I'd find cheap tickets to fly somewhere, anywhere... Anyway, I digress. I had a lovely working day, it's amazing how much shorter a 6 hour day is compared to the usual 8. Right now I am watching two 3-year olds play, Em and L (remember him?). In a moment of unusual kindness (probably caused by the fact I had just been given a lift to do my weekly shopping and a trip to IKEA), I offered to babysit L overnight! What was I thinking, what of my own 1st May sleep-in??? Well, it's all paying off in this moment as I watch the two cousins sit in the sunlight that's shining in on us, heads leaned against each other, Em teaching L how to lay the Peppa Pig puzzle. What a wonderful Kodak moment! Of course, if I had a Kodak camera, or any functioning camera for that matter, I'd have captured it!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Anywhere but here

To steal a quote from one of the telecom ads: I miss my blog like Harmattan misses pawpaw! Everyday I think I should be writing, mainly for myself as this is my journal of life. Without it, I have nothing to reflect what I've been up to. So here it is: I spent two (incredibly fabulous) weeks in Ghana over Easter and have been back for the past two weeks. I am deeply slumped in post-holiday-exhaustive-disorder, which I may have made up, but nonetheless feels like a very real illness. I feel constantly tired, a bit down and missing my car! Worst of all, since January, I've had my trip to Ghana to look forward to, nothing could really get me down as I knew come Easter time I'd be hit by the humid air at Kotoka International Airport! And now... there is nothing to look forward to. I am stuck in this Groundhog Day that is life. Wake up, go to work, come home, eat, sleep, wake up, go to work, etc. So for the past few days, I've found myself scouring the cheap flights website, looking for a getaway somewhere relatively cheap in Europe. Nice, Marseille, Barcelona or Pisa, I'm not quite sure where I'll end up, but sometime soon you'll find me there over a weekend or so. Tips are welcome!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Happy International Women's Day!

I have thought for over a week of what I would write today. There's too much to talk about, too many angles to tackle the subject from and unfortunately I don't have the time to think of something clever.

It is International Women's Day today and all over the world, including Sweden, supposedly the best country in the world for women to live in, we are still very far from equal to our male counterparts. I'm a huge fan of the Madeleine Albright quote (skip to 12:30):
There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other”.


As with anything, together we're stronger and it is only together we can work to abolish the inequalities that mean women are perceived differently; traditionally female jobs pay less and women are still underrepresented in the executive bodies of corporations and governing bodies worldwide.

On that note I today want to wish a special happy International Women's Day to these persons:

1. Maya Angelou – an inspiration in life, art and willpower. I named my daughter (and blog!) after her and thinking back, it was even her time in Ghana that inspired me to attempt at living in my homeland.

2. Every friend of mine, whether real-life or virtual. Our paths are so different, our goals likewise, and yet I can't but be amazed by the strength and tenacity that leads us to manage three children, work and fulltime studies, single motherhood with a successful corporate career, pursuing entrepreneurial dreams while creating a family and caring for a sick parent, etc., etc. The list is too long to write out and here I am talking of my closest group of friends!

3. My mother – the most amazing woman in the world. I hardly praise her here. Why? No words can do justice to how wonderful she is.

Happy International Women's Day!

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