Hola Mi Gente!
April 27, 2012 § 3 Comments
– I had this brilliant idea of unlocking my dongle (Ghanaians call it a pen drive or modem even though it’s neither) that way I could try out the other junk services. I managed to complete two of the three steps before the thing sort of crashed- disabled, is more the right term. I passed it on to my young cousin to re-download the vodafone mobile connect software. This was on April 2. After the darn thing was passed around with people I’ll never meet promising to unlock it, and my patience had finally worn thin, I got my huawei dongle back yesterday! I refused to do cafes, so that meant I’d be without internet until today. It should’ve been yesterday, but the thing still wasn’t working, and I had to go into geek mode installing drivers and enabling a few devices before I could get online. Had I taken the dongle back to vodafone, I’m sure nothing good would’ve come out of what would’ve been a wasted day. So…this is why I’ve been away.
So, what happened in April?
– I’ve been in a lot of pain all month. I think even if I didn’t have the dongle issue, I probably would’ve avoided writing, which would’ve required my sitting, which aggravates this thigh problem I have. It all started when I came to Ghana. I noticed early on that I’d wake up with some new joint pain, and it was always in a different bodily spot. I didn’t pay too much attention to it because the pains would go away after a few days (but resurface a month or so later). I didn’t have this problem in the U.S., and it was only until this past week that I realized I never have this problem when I sleep-over at my aunt’s place. The problem is these inflexible latex mattresses! I sleep on my stomach (picture “Captain Morgan” or someone rock-climbing) and have done so since…well, forever. But I think this has caused some injury in my left thigh/hamstring/hip…basically every where around my left femur bone is out of whack, and most days I have to roll out of bed and painfully stretch (with squats) for 20 minutes before I can walk or sit. If you met me now, you’d notice how stiff my left leg is. I’ll have it checked out soon, but I’m somewhat cynical in feeling my money would be wasted on a “professional” who wouldn’t be of any help.
– I made a few trips outside Accra in April. I went to Somanya, Larteh, and Koforidua. The latter because I was nearby, and the others for clay. I’ve been trying to build a brick oven the last two months (it’ll be finally done next week!). The whole thing is a two-workday job over three days. You’d think that should be relatively easy, but then again, you don’t live in Ghana. If I had Loews or home depot here, I would’ve done the whole thing by the end of February, but I don’t have that luxury. It’s nearly impossible to find burnt bricks. Clay is nearly as elusive, i.e. if you’re relying on others to do the work for you. This is a d-i-y country. If you really want things done right, you either do it yourself, or micromanage to make sure it’s done how you want it done. The first “builder” quoted 2000-4000ghc to my uncle when he inquired. When someone quotes a figure WAY outside your budget, where do you begin the price negotiations? A few number-crunching and I realized someone was trying to hose me. I thanked my uncle for his search, and started my own search. I searched and got my own bricks, and after a long, long search, I found clay right in my own neighborhood! So, hopefully if all goes well, I’ll be cooking some delicious meals from that oven by the 2nd week of May. I’m going to treat myself to a good job well done with a day at the beach this coming Tuesday at Kokrobite.
– There’s really only one, and bare with how I write it out. There are 70-some-odd ethnic groups in Ghana. WE ALL CAME FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE! Let me say that again: WE ALL CAME FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE! When I was young, and even before I was born, a Scottish/Ghana skinny air force punk name Jerry John Rawlings (John is actually his original last name). Rawlings’ mother is/was Ghana, specifically Eve (ancestrally of the Volta Region, formerly German Togoland…blah, blah.. we’ll do Ghana history later). The guy is somewhat of a walking contradiction. He’s hard to pin as this or that, but two things I’ll always give him are: his love of Ghana, and his ambitious nature. I always admired him as a kid. He once came to Alajo after a nasty storm which flooded most of the town. He didn’t fly over or observe the mess from a safe perch. The guy was literally knee deep in the trenches. He was the true definition of folksy, not the ‘who would you drink beer with’ B.S. we had to endure from Repubs and the U.S. media during Bush vs Kerry.
Rawlings was also what some would call a benevolent dictator. He didn’t rule Ghana with an iron fist, but he did a bit of cleansing when he assumed power after Hilla Limann, which wasn’t exactly ethical or legal. As an adult, I know enough to understand some of the motivations behind his actions, but I would’ve done things a bit differently if I had been in his position. This cleansing (and I’m in no way trying codify it in any nice language) removed a host of military heads who Rawlings deemed trouble for the nation (although, it was equally for his personal benefit). Anyway, most of these jokers were Akans, largely Asante. Do a simple wiki search and besides Ankrah and Limann (spl?), every one of those men is Akan: Afrifa, Akuffo, Busia, etc. His detractors’ animus over the years grew past the person and his PNDC ruling party to more personal stuff like his wife and lineage. On the lineage thing, they honed on his being Eve and this false perception that he favored natives from the Volta Region over others. When I was younger, this hatred of Eves by Akans, and by Akans…-sorry, but this was nearly entirely Asante (this is not to say all Asante are tribalists who despise Eves; I have enough Asante life-long friends I’ll gladly lose a limb or two for who aren’t like this, and the grand majority of Asante aren’t this way. It’s just the nuts among them that give this impression). So… they went from behind-the-back whispers to gossips to radio propaganda, to the internet blog commentary, and now outright pronouncements by sitting MPs (I’ll never call any of these idiots “Honorable”!).
These people are very similar to Republicans in the U.S. In fact, they like to model themselves after the Republican Party. If you know me personally and know how I feel about republicans, then you’d have a good idea how I feel about the NPP. I can’t stand individuals or groups of people who feel they’re somewhat entitled to one thing or another; like it was their natural right to possess, and the NPP plays this tune very well. Btw, I can’t stand the NDC, either, so don’t dare call me their apologist or supporter. But from what I’ve seen since my youth, wherever and whenever you see any of these tribalistic flare-ups, your best bet would be that there’s an Akan and an NPP person involved.
So when this needless voter registration process began, both main political parties for whatever reason started provocations. It was false rumors about why registration machines were malfunctioning; with the NPP suggestion it was attempts to suppress voter rolls in NPP strongholds by Atta Mills. Then this grew to their objecting to people registering for this or that reason. Then the NDC retaliated by doing the same. Mind you, almost of all this was happening here in Greater Accra. THEY’RE FIGHTING OVER VOTER REGISTRATION! We aren’t even voting! Then both factions started marshalling their goon squads to intimidate voters, and when the NPP, who seem to feel the presidency is their natural right, which must be theirs come December- when they couldn’t have their way in Odododiodioo – this is Ga Mashie of all places: Korle, Jamestown, Gbese, Bukom, etc, one of theirs, Kennedy Agyapong called on Akans (what he really meant was Asante people; everything is coded here) should arm themselves and attack Eves. He did this on his own radio station as he’s grown to walking out of other radio stations when hosts object to his language and insist he retract some of his caustic statements. If you’re in Ghana, he’s also the owner of NET2 TV station. Virtually every movie shown on that station is stolen. I’ll bet every pesewa I have that this guy hasn’t paid a single penny in royalty for all the movies shown on his channel. He’s so brazen with his actions that just last month; his show broadcasted a bootleg version of a movie starring Dwayne Johnson while the movie was being shown at Silverbird Cinema! And this is what we call “Honorable” in this country.
Anyway, this is where we are. The NPP hails him as a hero; the NDC goes overboard in their treason charges and attempts to send the guy to the ICC. I’d convict him of lesser charges and make sure he serves 2 years minimum, but what do I know. It’s too bad Indoom and the PPP aren’t yet presented as a better alternative to the other two.
I started reading the Bible written in Akuapem Twi. I want to study Akuapem Twi, Ga, and if possible Eve. I don’t want my every other word to be English and still call myself multi-lingual. I have a stronger command of French than I do Ga, which is very sad. Anyway, this is the only way I can study besides being in Akuapem, but I understand about half of the words of the chapter I’ve read so far. I hope this doesn’t become a fruitless and depressing exercise.