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Got an email from my brother (last week actually) - he was over the moon after passing his finals - he has become a doctor now - the one who treats people - and not the kind that I am trying to be!! In fact, I feel more and more vindicated in my choice of the field of study now that among us five siblings, we have a doctor, a nurse, an engineer, and a physicist - and the odd one out - me - a social scientist! And honestly, I wouldn't even know how to specify my area of expertise other than generally say I'm a social scientist. Anyway, a very good news from home in a week of not-much-progress (typical week) in Ghana. I am eating well, sleeping well, and trying to work well with not much success, and that sums up my time in Ghana so far. Too much to complain about but am afraid of acting like a "yankee-nepali lad" so will keep them to myself.

But then I have to tell you this. I was in the kitchen, preparing dinner earlier this week when Habiba, the lady who does my laundry and house-cleaning, came around with a younger girl - all stressed. She then started telling me the reason. The younger girl's niece - a 3-year old girl - had got lost earlier that morning, and a good Samaritan apparently took her to a local radio station. They only found out where she was after hearing an announcement on the radio about the missing girl. Now they had to go and get her back from the station. She then told me that the radio station charged 25000 cedis (just over US$ 2.50) to release the girl "because they spent their airtime on the announcement". And the radio station is government owned!! I just couldn't believe it. I mean the government is already taking money off the people from tax and what not and this station wanted to charge this poor family to take their girl back just because they had to use half a minute of their "airtime" announcing about the girl!?!
...continue reading "news from home…news to home…"

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I am not sure if it is okay to put up the images of the chiefs I met (officially and unofficially), and about whom I am going to write here. Just to be on the safe side, I'll just narrate my experience of meeting them and not post any of the images from my meetings with the chiefs.

The chief who was going to take me to meet the Paramount, Bolewura (Chief of Bole area) had given me the time of 8:00am to be at his "palace" so that we could walk next door to the Paramount's palace. By the time my assistant and I managed to get everything ready - everything being traditional (and non-traditional) gifts, known as "kola" that one is expected to present to the chiefs in his/her first visit - it was already 8:30 (and I was pestering my assistant to speed-up the arrangements while he was assuring me not to worry about being late, for it seems Ghanaian punctuality can be compared to Nepali one!). Anyway, with help from a couple of local boys, we managed to get everything to this chief's palace and we were almost an hour late than the time agreed!

May be because it was too early in the morning or may be it is the custom to meet the chief in his private residence, we were taken to what looked like the private living quarters of this paramount, and not the official "palace" which stood just by the roadside, and had a painted inscription proclaiming it as such and welcoming the visitors. Anyway, my first impression was that the Bolewura, the paramount chief of the Bole area lived in a modest house like most other people here, including the lesser chiefs. However, there was a 4x4 vehicle (albeit in a pretty bad condition with a lot of bumps and scratches on the body of the vehicle) parked outside the house. I guess this much privilege one should enjoy if one is the paramount of an area where traditional council and chieftancy is still fairly strong.
...continue reading "MTV-Generation Chiefs…"