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Happy Hannukah

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

On Tuesday a container with all of our household effects arrived in our compound. The truck carrying the container could not maneuver the last turn, so the movers had to offload the contents into a smaller van, then drive the van over to our house.

Getting the motorcycle out was the biggest challenge.

motorcycle removal

Fortunately, the guy in charge was savvy enough to figure out a way.

Now that it’s all in the house, it’s apparent that we have a lot of junk. Hard to believe all that stuff actually fit in our tiny DC apartment. We had gotten used to living without it. Now so much of it seems unnecessary.

Opening the boxes is fun, although the idea of sorting through so many of them is daunting. Things we were thrilled to find: blender, ice cream maker, teapot, new crossword book (thanks, Matt), Sudoku book (sorry, Matt), stereo, novels galore, sewing machine, electric piano, Trader Joe’s ginger granola, tools, and bike parts. Woo-hoo! It must be Hannukah or something.

Face the Other Way for Pete’s Sake

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

When you gotta go, you gotta go.  That’s how Ghanaians feel, or at least that’s what we assume from the astounding amount of public urination we’ve witnessed in the past couple of months.

In the US, people usually seek discreet places, behind a tree or shrub, say, when a restroom is nowhere near.  In other countries we’ve seen a little less discretion — sometimes a truck driver would just stand at the side of the road, turn away, and go.

In Ghana they don’t even bother turning around.  They face the road while urinating.  Why?  Is it to give all the passersby a better view?  Do they think they’re less likely to be hit by a passing car?

It happens all over — on country roads, city streets, residential areas, beaches.  We went for a walk on the beach at Prampram on Saturday.  Part of it appears to be a public toilet.  Charming.

Initially we thought it was only men who engaged in this behavior.  Wrong.  Last weekend we saw a woman in a nice dress, standing near a bus stop with lots of other people nearby,  standing with her legs straddled and a stream of liquid falling out.  She also appeared to be holding her underwear to one side to keep it out of the way.  No private parts showed, but yikes.

Library in a Shipping Container

Sunday, December 10th, 2006
A couple weeks ago, I began volunteering at the Kathy Knowles Community Library, which is one of the libraries run by the Osu Children's Library Fund. [Thanks to Heather, former intern at my former workplace, for telling me ... [Continue reading this entry]