Monday, 21 May 2007

So we are here I sit typing with the sound of eight kiddies laughing and chatting in the background. Kwajo occasionally shouting this is Jungle Book - my favourite shush shush!! They have been playing for most of the afternoon and since Kwame is still in the north it is the uncles who have made a trip up on the roof to collect the balls!

So as you can tell we are settling down nicely I am now "Kwajo Nayah Maamee" and it is lovely to be greeted on your way home at night. Patrick has left for home and Africa is walking him to the top road as is traditional here - I am promised he will return with beer and since we have had light all day and into the evening then it may even be chilled - a holy grail I can chase all around Accra.

We did not make it to the beach today but we are less than half an hour from Kokrobite - nicer than being close to work - especially as I now mainly work from home. So what has at times seemed a rush descion with the house now seems a good one. The drains are fixed and he comes next week to concrete against the rains. It was cheaper than other options and so of course it does have its downfalls - the roads to the area are rough as hell, it is marshy around so there are mosquitoes, the water is not constant and robberies have happened (although on the isolated newer side). However. Roads everywhere can be a problem and at least we don't suffer the noise and worry of pasing traffic for the kids. Mosquites are everywhere (even the upper east when currently it seems it never rains) but we have installed nets and screen doors. In some areas they have no pipe water and even where they do it has not run for a year - so our couple of days here and there pales into insignificance, especially when we have remembered to fill the containers. Robberies are an increasing worry and everyone talks about it - however in compasrion to London the crime is less. If a robber or a stanger wanted to reach here they would drive down a dead end where everyone knows us - friends have come to wait for us and have been questioned in no uncertain terms. God forbid if they did get in they would never get out as robbers here are still routinely murdered (which of course is part of the reason why they carry weapons which makes them so much more dangrous). In addition we leave nothing of value in the house and have installed various bits of bugular proofing.

Amsuingly the lights just went off - horrified at my inability to even light a tilly lamp without getting cross the children quickly dispersed. Ten minutes later I have still failed to light the lamp but the lights have come back on and all of the children have returned. Benty has even brought a load of washing to iron as his house has 'low current'. Daily this beautiful land copes with the kind of disasters that I imagine would have a devastating effect on the UK economy (thinking for example of our inability to cope with snow or 'leaves on the line') but in general I am amazed at the patience and reoursefullness of most people. Kwajo for example screamed because the movie stopped and Nayah because of the dark. The kids just quietly upped and left and off course I was shouting at the tilley light and throwing match boxes. Maybe I am dangerously close to a sterotype and you can say people here are just used to it - but we have been here over nearly four months and that is a long time in the life of a child.

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