Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween from Africa

I don't remember Halloween being any type of big deal here in Ghana in the last three years. So I am pretty sure nothing will happen tomorrow either. But, I did find this picture of a pumpkin with the shape of Africa carved into it, so I felt compelled to post it. I have been saving the photograph waiting for an opportune time to post it for many months now. Since tomorrow is Halloween I figured now was the time.

Legon City

On Monday I attended a presentation on the Legon City project. Basically this is a project by the university being spearheaded by the Vice Chancellor to raise money for the university by renting out land to create a business/technology park. The complex which will be 120 acres has all been planned out on computer and all the necessary government and professional organizations have signed on to it. Now the land just needs to be cleared of the squatters currently living on it and investors willing to put up the money need to come forward. The first part will be easy to accomplish. The second part will probably be harder. But, what was most shocking is finding out that the project is being pushed because the Ghanaian government plans in the not too distant future to cut off all funding to the University of Ghana. So the University of Ghana has to find alternative means of funding itself. The renting of land in public (university) - private (providers of capital) partnerships being the most favored way currently. Have any countries completely done away with government funding of public universities before and if they have what was the result? Was it successful? Did they manage to make up all the lost revenue through renting out land to build business centres and technology parks? Any thoughts from anybody?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Three things that happened this week.

1. My tro tro driver was arrested again. This seems to be a frequent occurrence.

2. I gave four mid term exams. In one class 32 people showed up. I had never seen 20 of them before.

3. The president of Ghana announced that there would be no more power outages. Two days later I woke up again with no electricity.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Jokers - Jokers Theme

Iranian rock from 1972 in Tehran.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Any suggestions on what to read about caste in India?

It seems to me on the basis of a very small amount of reading that there are some significant between racial discrimination and caste discrimination. But, I don't know enough about the history of India to really be able to make a well informed argument yet. It could also be that my initial impression is wrong. However, what I have read so far is intriguing. Does anybody have any suggestions for reading on the topic of caste in India?

The Mighty Jesus Supermarket

Around the corner from my flat is the Mighty Jesus Supermarket. It even has its own bags with its name printed on them. The Mighty Jesus Supermarket is really a small warehouse stuffed with canned, boxed, and bottled goods. It is a good place to get things like boxes of fruit juice, tins of meat, packages of ramen noodles, and other things of that nature. It doesn't have much room for people to move in between the aisles of imported goods. But, it is very convenient being literally just around the corner from me in the middle of the Adenta SSNIT flats. I really don't like carrying groceries on the tro tro if I can help it.

Friday, October 17, 2014

African Electrical Outlets and Pan-Africanism

Last night I realized that my kitchen is a hybrid of Ghanaian and South African electric outlets. Earlier this week my kettle died after three years. I purchased a new one, but it had a South African plug and not a Ghanaian one. So I also purchased an adaptor. The adaptor died in less than three days. Then I noticed that one of the outlets in the kitchen was South African and not Ghanaian. But, it died after a day of use. Then I realized that there were brand new good South African outlets for the refrigerator and microwave both of which have South African and not Ghanaian plugs. Since I rarely use the microwave I have commandeered that outlet for the kettle. But, the first step of Pan-Africanism should be for the entire continent to have a single uniform plug for electric appliances.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Morning Classes

On Thursdays I have to get up at 4:00 am in order to get to my 7:50 am city campus class. So by noon I have already been up and moving for eight hours. This is exhausting. But, it doesn't end because I have to get up at 5:00 am on Fridays to get to my 7:30 am main campus class. Then on Saturdays I have to be up at 6:00 am to get ready for the cleaning woman who comes at 7:00 am. I am told the average Ghanaian get up by 4:00 am everyday and I have encountered cases of them waking up to start work as early as 1:00 or 2:00 am. But, next semester I really want to free of all classes that start before 9:30 am. I have only had one semester out of the nine I have taught here where I did not have a 7:30 am class. I am told such things don't even exist in the US.