Monday, 22 February 2010

Breathe and Stop

Sometimes it feels as if life is running ahead of you, as if you can't quite catch up with what's going on around you. It reminds me of childhood, when you'd cycle down a hill and suddenly be going faster than you could really control. All you do at such a time is hope that your feet will somehow reach the ground to slow down the motion that you're unable to manage.

That's how I felt about two weeks ago. And what to do at such a moment in life? Though it seems impossible at the time, the best thing to do is to stop and breathe, breathe and stop. That's exactly what I did. In the midst of too much going on, I took my favourite gals (my mother and daughter) out for lunch at Tribe, Afia Beach Hotel. The lunch was great, but the best part was the walk on the beach that followed:

The Beach (aren't we lucky to have this in the centre of Accra?)

The Daughter

The Chalets, neatly hidden by palmtrees

And suddenly, after inhaling the beautiful sea air, I could smile again and life was back to being good.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Rawlings drama... as usual.

Here's another nasty surprise. A man, Nana Darkwa, who in a radio interview claimed that Rawlings set his own house on fire has been remanded in custody, denied bail and will spend the next two weeks at Nsawam prison (Nsawam = a horrid, horrid prison just outside Accra). At the moment I am too tired to even go into detail and lay out what a disgusting breach of human rights and freedom of speech this is. For me, the past two weeks have been exhausting, emotional, tiring and scary, but it looks like things are turning around and there will be a brighter future, fingers crossed.

So instead of me trying to make sense of my sleep-deprived thoughts, please do let me know what you think, is there any way of justifying the imprisonment of Nana Darkwa?

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Nasty surprises

I'm having a bit of a rough week. Too many things are happening at once and I could really use a moment of peace to enjoy the fresh sea air around me, but no such luck. Please excuse me for already failing to uphold my new year's resolutions.

In the mean time, I'll leave you with two horrid experiences I had this weekend in my beloved Tema. I went with my mum and Em to Usave (a Shoprite affiliate) in Community 1. On the way there I kept raving that this is the life - a nice breezy drive, good music blasting and Tema's organised (but potholed) roads. As we went through what was my local supermarket when Evergreen was to pricey and before Maxmart made it to Tema, I suddenly heard my mum yelp, then scream: a rat! Since I have a severe rat phobia, I lost all calm and started running through the shop, wheezing "excuse me, excuse me!" as I tried to make my way out as soon as possible, suddenly feeling very hot with a racing heart.

Once out and able to breathe again, my mum informed me it was actually a mouse, running over some tins just where she was about to reach out and take something. (Imagine that, reaching out for a tin of sweetcorn and landing a mouse in your hand. *shudder*).

It took a while to recover but by the next morning, I was better and started to prepare my lovely scrambled egg Sunday breakfast. As I cracked a second egg into a bowl, a smell filled our kitchen, and as I looked down I saw flaky, runny egg white and, wait for it, a b-l-a-c-k egg yolk!!! (I really do wish I had taken a picture but I was too shocked, instead, I'm thinking happy thoughts and give you a picture of sunset over East Legon).

Lesson learnt, be observant of where you shop and what you eat. Have a wonderful week, keep me in your happy thoughts.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Ramblings of a Procrastinator (yes, I stole your title, Abena!).

Procrastination is the thief of time they say. If you ask me, procrastination is the thief of everything. Let me tell you why:

Early last year, I felt a slight chill in one of my teeth. Every now and then it'd hurt but I'd ignore it. Then I left for Sweden and things happened very quickly. Suddenly I had a daughter who needed my care almost all the time. One day when she was about three weeks old, I couldn't ignore the pain anymore. Because of the pain, I could barely see, think, sleep and I stopped producing milk. I left my little one at the hospital and went off to the emergency dental clinic (which charged me double as I put off going there until a Friday evening and was as such charged the weekend rate).

The dentist put in a temporary filling and sternly told me to have it permanently sorted out within a month, which I promised I'd do, knowing I'd most certainly not. Three weeks later, whilst having breakfast, the filling and one third of the tooth came out. Did I go to the dentist? Nope. Instead, for the past nine months, I've gotten used to eating on the left side of my mouth and after each meal, taking a toothpick to dig out any food which may have ended up in my little grotto!

Yesterday, I finally had the first step of my root canal done. This took three hours, cost me countless cedis (although I know it was cheaper than if I'd done it abroad) and left me with a jaw so sore, I couldn't open it for more than to insert a straw, which means I spent 24 hours living on smoothies (thank goodness for Smoothy's! Goodbye BoneShaker, my new favourite is Piccolo Mondo).

So let's see what procrastinating dental care in general and fixing this cavity in particular has cost me:
Money, lots of money (emergency care, follow up care, transport, smoothies,it all adds up).
Enjoyment of life before Christmas when the pain was at its worst.
Loss of sight (well, only temporarily but still)
Eating in a sane and reasonable manner (what normal person needs to dig for food in her teeth after each meal?)
Milk Production - for about a day, my darling daughter did not get much in her.
Use of the teeth on the right side of my mouth.
And of course, TIME!

So do you agree with me that procrastinating thieves a lot more than time???

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Ghana Loves Haiti concert.

I did promise to update you on how to help the Haiti victims from Ghana. A concert was held about ten days ago at Alliance Francaise with a fantastic lineup. Unfortunately I missed it because someone decided 21:00 was a more fun bedtime than 19:30, but read about Kajsa's rather exciting experience here.

The Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund Ghana informs me that there's a Ghana Loves Haiti relief concert being held this Saturday at the International Conference Centre from 19:30. For further information check their facebook page where there is also information on how to donate money by texting.

Of course after hearing how long it is taking to get help to the victims and after reading Holli's criticisms of the corruption that goes on where disaster strikes, some of my inital enthusiasm at giving money to those in need is now lost.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Happy New...February!

Around the 20th of January I realised that this year had started waaaay too quickly for me to keep up: I hadn't even posted my New Year's resolutions and suddenly we were heading for February? Well, as someone who likes to make life easy, my 2010 is starting from today!
(picture borrowed from here)
For the first time in a looong time I actually have proper new year's resoultions, and quite a few. Well, I always have proper resolutions, it's just that since I like to enjoy life (how do you translate "livsnjutare") and live by the notion that "man måste unna sig" (one must treat oneself), my resolutions usually consist of things like "this year I must have more fun than last year". In a similar manner, for lent I usually give up cigarettes, coffee and beer, i.e. things I don't usually touch anyway.

Anyway, I digress, here are my resolutions for this year:
1. To read at least 10 books (I think I should make it 15, 10 is being a bit kind to myself and I've already gotten through 1.5).
2. To pick up French again and learn it to conversational level. After all, what's the point of learning French for 6 years if I can barely make a sentence now.
3. To learn Ga. My husband, in-laws, mother, relatives and soon my daughter, all speak it, so I better start learning soon. (I find my understanding of Twi is sufficient to get by, no need for lessons quite yet.
4. To get fit. It's amazing (and not in a good way) how the body changes after pregnancy and how little time one can find for exercise when you're sleep-deprived and taking care of a baby.
5. To cut sugar and all white starches out of my diet (gradually). My motto for 2010 is SUGAR IS THE DEVIL!!! So far the devil has had quite a firm hold on my life since March last year.
6. To follow up and make one of my own business ideas come through. I really, really hopw I manage to do this.
7. To blog at least 5 times a week. I am really nervous about this, well mostly nervous about actually telling the people who can check me about this. (After all, I could lie to you about the progress on all the other points, but not this one). Also, to work on my other blog which I'll hopefully present soon.
8. To explore Ghana. I lived here for 4.5 years and visited countless times before that, and so far been to Accra, Tema, Takoradi, Cape Coast, Kakum, Oda, Prampram, Akosombo, Aburi and Kumasi. There is so much more to see. Places of interest include Bonwire, Axim, Volta Region and maybe the North (but I don't like flying in small planes, or travelling by road for more than 4 hours and sleeping in villages, hm...), etc. My litte brother, Mr. T will hopefully visit at the end of the year and the plan is to have some sort of a travel plan in order for him.

Here's hoping Em (who decided the best Christmas present for her parents was to throw all sleep training out the window) has one resolution: to sleep through the night, all night every night.

On that note, goodnight!


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