Thursday, 15 March 2007

So we have finaly rented a house in an area called New Gbawe - it is near Mallam and Dansoman so I should always be able to find my way home.
Here it is very palatial although not compared to all of the real palaces we could not afford. The area is cheaper and the roads are bouncy. The house compares to home but it is a bungalow and the rooms are bigger. The garden may be smaller but we have plantain and a basil bush - very important for those who know of Kwajo and Nayahs love of pasta and pesto - but of course my home made version lacks pine nuts. Hopefully if this all works you can see it from the images. It has a little green in the back garden where everywhere else was pure concrete and also we could just about afford it - housing is very expensive here.
Today we took a road trip to Atimpokou to get some more stuff for the house. If you have not yet vistetd Ghana I will say shopping here can be a little hit and miss. You tend to drive around and more often than not someone sells you what you want through your carr window. however if you want something specific like a ceratin type of plates and bowls you can find yourself driving for miles as we did today. However the Volta was as stunning as ever and it was wonderful to get out of Accra and into Ghana - I fell in love all over again!
The other thing that this particular type of shopping encourages is impulse buys. Thus Nayah has a hugely anoying mobile with very irritating sounds and music. In a shop I may never have bought it but through a car window. Kwame has a fetching head scarf which does not fit for the same reason. However the best impulse buy yet was Kwajos parrot Buster. Clearly given time to think we would not have fuelled the cruelty and we would have considered returning home in a few months time. However since being released from his cage Buster has blossomed and our house is now his. Patrick will care for him when we are gone. And best of all Kwajo is so chuffed to bits he really is trying hard with his thumb!!!

So we had a birthday party for nAYAH ON sUNDAY (AFTER CHURCH!)lots of friends children and those from the neighbourhood came. we all had a nice time and went to the village to get a goat and a chicken for the occasion. All very traditional and great for the kids to see the whole cycle from back garden to plate. Many probably would not agree with me but since we do eat meat it seems to me the only moral way....
It turns out we all had the early onset of malaria but we still had a good time. Although it meant little was done on Ghana at 50.

Kwajo has a new friend called Bunty who lives opposite. He is a lovely boy and they really enjoy each other - but his english is so good we fear for the twi learning.
We are now all looking forward to mum and dad arriving and me starting work on monday.

An aside for those intersted. There is a tradtional form of fufu eating bowl which is very beautiful it is potted by hand and glazed in beautiful brown, blue and cream. We have always loved these bowls and wanted some for our house. However in the space of fouir years cheap bowl imports from china have had a devasting effect on this industry. after trying for one month we have only just manged to buy soem and we have still not been able to find anyone who is still potting them. Devlopment moves forward apace but I fear so many good good things get left by the wayside. Ghana is not static and nor should it be but it is sad to see these bowls and even the local cloth printing industry which has been strong so devatsed by cheap imports.I do not know the answer but I do know that free trade allows coca cola to make more money in Africa than anywhere else. I wish I did have the answers for the tomato and the chicken farmers. But I don't. I do wish middle class and rich ghanaians would have pride in buying ghanaian produce. But pride seems low and these people are mainly to be found shopping in Koala market and malcolm where cheap chinese imports abound. They seem 'EYE RED' for outside leaving so much here that is good and powerful to wither and die. It seems tragic that even Ghana at 50 celebration pens and flags can be imported. So development moves forward apace and accra looks more and more like anywhere else in the world with a flyover. The development here tuly impresses me - I was shocked to see the growth in the area i FIRST LIVED IN IN 1995. Its heart warming and hopeful I just so wish that more bits of the old Ghana could move forward with the new. They weren't broke so why fix them???

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