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!?!
Good news is that the girl is now safely back home – and apparently doesn’t leave home unaccompanied!
Another of the Habiba’s nephew, Mohammad, asked me last week if I would let him iron my clothes. He told me he can do the ironing and folding clothes quite well. I told him I don’t have an iron and haven’t ironed my clothes for years now (mainly because most of the clothes that I have are jeans and t-shirts!). Anyway, I do have a few shirts and had just been to a local tailor to have him make some custom clothes for me. I bought an iron after all (the place I have rented came with an ironing board!) so that Mohammad could iron my clothes. I decided to buy him his junior secondary school text books in return, which made him, and moreover Habiba, happy.
On a different note, I thought I wouldn’t be able to follow the EPL football here, especially my club Arsenal. I have to admit it is harder to follow Arsenal’s game here, for most Ghanaians seem to be Chelsea fan (Michael Essien connection) or Man Utd fan (I don’t see any Ghanaian connection here!), so the game they show on TV mostly involves those two teams…not that I am complaining as I don’t even have a telly here. Strangely, I came back from a village yesterday and turned on my radio to listen to the news…instead I heard live commentary of Arsenal vs Man City game on BBC world service…very cool! It seemed the game was going to end in a goal-less draw when van Persie missed that penalty but then Fabregas scored and I was so relieved…because I would have been in a bad mood all week had they not won a home game against Man City, and I have lots to do here this coming week than think about Arsenal’s good-football-bad-result…at times like these, ignorance really is bliss! Spurs vs Man Utd game today (heard on BBC world service that they will do a live commentary)…but I have absolutely no interest in following the game…I only hope its a draw so that they both stay on the same part of the league table – on the bottom half!!
Well, that’s all the news I have on this Sunday. I see nicely dressed girls and boys walking towards the church nearby…Apparently Sunday “service” is the best place to get to know those of opposite sex and find a potential date…so there is more to the “service” than pleasing the god! Ciao.