Really Fine and Interesting

Over the last few days (as well as the last days of the year 2007) I Have made a very pleasant aquaintance - A refined, bilingual friend, knowledgeable about many things, especially recent events in Africa. The radio channel Radio France Internationale now brightens my mornings with its news in French, insights and reportages in English and call-in-shows about topics varying from Kenya's recent election to birth control pills. I discovered, as so often, my new friend by chance and it is really remarkable how this accident now is enriching my life and language skills on a daily basis. For you who like to listen to some French and English news, download a podcast today!

Et non, j'ai pas recu de l'argent pour ce "blogpost" !

Xmas on the beach

Here in tropical Ghana, I am trying my best to get the xmas feel with the help of santa-hats, jingle bells, candles, Swedish gingerbread, a few ornaments and with little help from my friends...

May your days be merry and bright!

First Gear

So today I enrolled with a driving school here in Ghana. My goal is to sometime next year be able to navigate between goats and Mercedes-Benzes, yellow taxicabs and banana sellers. The registration was surprisingly smooth - I payed the fees ($200) and handed over five (5) pass port sized pictures and got a report card for fifteen driving lessons to start with along with the theory course and a textbook, an exercise book and a notebook.

Then the theory class started, with me as the only student! My inspiring teacher Justice talked me through the roadsigns one by one in preparation for the "interview" later this week where I will be orally questioned by the roads authorities about the roadsigns before I get the go ahead to start practice driving.

If only it was this easy to enroll with the University of Ghana...Right now I am experiencing some time consuming shuffling around - "Oh, then you need to go to the registrar's office and buy the forms", "You come back later", "You need to go back and get a go ahead from that department", and "I can't promise anything, just go back to the registrar". It seems like the first test to pass is one of endurance.

I'll keep you posted on both my educations in progress.

Visiting Perspectives

The last few weeks I have entertained my first Swedish guests here in Ghana. It has been wonderful to introduce them to my new world of exotic sights and scenery, Ghanaian friends and family, as well as local dishes and drinks. Along with the joy of sharing come my guests’ impressions and thoughts about life here in West Africa. Fresh insights about the heat, the quality of the roads, the nightlife, and the family systems and other things has made me look at my surroundings in a different light.

My guests have pointed out funny things - like that you can pay five and get 2000 back in change - and by just being here themselves they have provoked interesting situations (many Ghanaians referred to my father as my brother for instance and my friend as my twin). We have discussed how to deal with the ever so deep inequalities between people here, if it would be possible to introduce composts and solarcells here, and which is the best way to plant a pineapple. We have told Ghanaians about our cold country in the north and learned about their lush green nation. Also, my guests have been able to provide me with interesting comparisons between both Ghana and India as well as between Ghana and Sweden in the 1950ies (!) and the (selected) outcome is as follows: There are less wild dogs than in India but a few more goats running about than in Sweden in the 1950ies…

On a more serious note, having people who know me come to share my realities here means a lot to me and their visiting perspectives continue to enrich my everyday life in Ghana. I hope it has become evident for my guests why I love Ghana and I do have the feeling they, with their experiences of other continents and times, have fallen too...

In the picture a Swedish flag on a fishing canoe in the Elmina harbor, western Ghana.
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