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Archive for November, 2007

Taking a breather, in Ouagadougou…

November 25th, 2007 2 comments

Another quick update, more on my whereabouts than anything else. This weekend I’m in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. I don’t know if I can reasonably justify travelling to Ouagadougou for the weekend while I’m supposed to be carrying out my household surveys in Ghana, but I do have a couple of good reasons, or so I believe.

First reason is that I have actually completed household surveys at one of the sites and needed to take a break. A weekend-off sounded like a good idea (what an irony here though, as weekends are supposed to be taken off anyway!) when my friends in Tamale said they were driving up to Ouaga for the weekend, and whether I would be interested in “coming along”. I did need some pursuading by my friends, but not that much to be honest. I think I really needed a “breather” from the work in Ghana, and what better option there could be for going away to take a breather than coming to the capital of a Francophone country!?! Good food, nice music, good-looking and well-dressed women, and lots to do if I was up for the night-outs, and so on. Well, I think I can justify this trip, don’t you? Read more…

55-word story…

November 23rd, 2007 3 comments

I had read somewhere about this while blog-hopping. Best way to practice writing – telling more using less words. So here is my first try. Wow, this is already more than half of the 55-words! But intro doesn’t count…

She flashes him. He’s not in mood to see her so doesn’t call back. He knows she’d expect something from him if she came. Of course she’ll give something in return. After a few flashes, she actually calls him. As soon as he picks the phone, she hangs up. Right then there’s a knock at the door. She’s standing outside with her hands joined in Namaskaar! He had taught her how they greeted in his country during their last meeting only three days ago…

Statistics:

Paragraph: 1; Sentences: 9; Characters: 347; Words: 84; I failed :(

Categories: Africa Diaries, faction Tags:

depressingly optimistic…

November 22nd, 2007 Comments off

What an insomniac I have become, its 02:49 and I haven’t been able to sleep since I woke up about an hour or so ago. Night after night I wake up after 2 or 3 hours of sleep, and spend another 2, 3 or 4 hours in sleeplessness. I hadn’t even gone to bed that early – must have slept around 22:00. OK, a couple of hours earlier than my usual bedtime, but then 22:00 or thereabouts has been my bedtime here in Ghana for months now. I woke up after a very jumbled-up dream…it seemed to be a khichadi of so many issues that I have either put-off from dealing with, or those that I had dealt with in the past with unintended consequences (reminds me of reading about “intended changes with unintended consequences” somewhere towards the end in Sen’s Development as Freedom) or those that I thought I had dealt with but in reality were not dealt with at all…Very confusing and jumbled up, I know…and I always wonder why can’t life be as delicious as khichadi when its all mixed-up like the latter!?! Or may be I really enjoy this all-mixed-up life like I do khichadi !!

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a village entrepreneur…

November 21st, 2007 Comments off

This is my first attempt at video blogging. No commentaries or anything, just the video that I took in the village where I have work ongoing. This is the scene at the village centre where people gather early in the morning to chat, get breakfast (like they are preparing in this clip – the food they are preparing is called fufu, made out of boiled yam). What prompted me to take this movie clip was the call that this lady (who, in my opinion, is the biggest entrepreneur in this village) received on her mobile, and instead of stopping her work, she just started talking on her mobile while she carried on preparing fufu. It just seemed incredible to me how she just received this call in the middle of her work, without even stopping what she was doing for a bit, as if it was just a normal thing! And the truth is most of the time I saw her in the village, she was on phone talking to somebody (most likely doing her business deals!). As I mentioned in my previous posts, there is no electricity in the village, and this lady definitely exhausts her mobile phone battery once a day judging by the time she seems to be on the phone. She must spend quite a bit just to keep her mobile fully charged every day! (Another entrepreneur in the village, who recharges mobile phone battery using solar panel charges 5000 cedis (just above 50 US cents) for one full recharge – more on this person in another post!). Well, I hope you enjoy this video…I certainly enjoyed taking it!

You can view/download a slightly better quality version of this video here (desktop) or here (for iPhone).

Categories: Africa Diaries, Ghana Tags:

Taking a breather…

November 18th, 2007 Comments off

Its been nearly a week since I came back to Tamale from the village where I have my household surveys ongoing. This “nearly-a-week” has actually given me some breathing space (although breathing is becoming harder by the day literally due to increasing concentration of dust in the air as Harmattan approaches). In fact the day I left the village to come back to Tamale, I had sore throat, which got better after a day or two in Tamale. But, the breathing problem with stuffy nose (started with runny nose in the village, now its the opposite!) continues. All these minor problems have however made me rest a bit and give myself a breather after a month or so of intense work. The “broadband” internet at my friend’s office is working like a charm thesedays, which means either before going to work (when working in the afternoon) or after work (when I’m working early mornings), I just come around and suck the juice out of this 256kbps “broadband” with BBC podcasts downloads and updating my computer software etc. It has also given me chance to play a bit more on facebook and chat with friends on IMs. And to top it all, I just had a nice conversation (via type-chat on Skype) with my supervisor, which means I won’t have to write an email to update him on my progress for a week or so!

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