Sunday, April 10, 2016

One Sunday in my life

Well it seems my three readers think I should write more on everyday life here in Ghana. Although to be perfectly honest life in poor countries is not very exciting despite being romanticized in the US and Europe. You are limited in what you can do when you don't have electricity for instance.

But, it is something I can write about. Today I got up early and went to church. The English language service of the Presbyterian church I attend starts at 7:00 am. It is supposed to be finished by 8:30 am but almost always runs late, especially on days like today when we take Holy Communion. So I got up at 6:00 am and managed to get out the door by 6:30 am and walked to church. Ghanaians tend to get up very early in the morning. At 5:30 am there is a shoe repair man banging on his tool box in the courtyard of our apartment complex. So by 6:30 am on Sunday there are lots of people already wondering about. I got to church ten minutes early today.

The churches in Ghana are the one thing that seem to work well because Ghanaians actually do believe in them. Everybody outside the 20% Muslim minority from the north is a member of a church and all of them even mainstream denominations like the Presbyterians would be considered a fundamentalist and evangelical church by US standards. That of course doesn't stop the much larger Pentecostal denomination or the Jehovahs' Witnesses from trying to convert you. But, I do find it annoying to have to tell people almost daily that I already found Jesus and accepted him as my savior. Are there not heathens in Osu or Cantonments that need converting?

After church I had some ramen noodles. I buy Indomie which is an Indonesian brand that is popular here and fortified with some vitamins and other nutrients. They are manufactured for the West African market in a factory in Nigeria because Ghana produces almost nothing. I flavored them with hot sauce, soy sauce, and ketchup. All also imported. Then I did some reading.

On Sunday afternoons my cleaning lady comes. I pay her 200 GH ($50) a month and she comes once a week for about three to four hours to clean up my flat. On an hourly basis I pay her almost as much as I make which I think is fair. I obviously can't afford to pay much more. Usually, like today, I take a nap on the couch in the living room while she cleans.

After Eve finished cleaning my flat I went to the Mighty Jesus Supermarket around the corner and purchased a can of Coke, a can of Malta, and a bottle of sobolo. I then went to the phone credit vendor and purchased 50 GH of MTN credit. I got a bonus of 2 GH credit today. I then called my wife in Kyrgyzstan which used up about 15 GH. Then I walked home.

The rest of the day included another nap and finally finishing up the latest Jo Nesbo novel I have been reading. Sundays might be my most laid back day of the week since other than going to church I generally don't do much other than sleep and eat. I can also stay up late since I have no classes scheduled on Mondays this semester.


derRach said...

Now you've gotten der Rach to go searching! Seems like I may have found another blog from or about Ghana, or at least about what the bloggers drinks in Ghana. Now I want to taste Bissap or Sobolo. I even found a recipe for homemade Bissap. But where to find the ingredient, hmmmm?

"Coca-Cola comes with a Brrr!!! What we drink in Ghana"

"Bissap juice is whatsapp! Obolo joy for Sobolo!"

"Recipe: Authentic Burkina Faso bissap drink"

derRach said...

That's interesting: "You are limited in what you can do when you don't have electricity for instance."

I've heard that in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, that there was usually only one to two hours of electricity, so my acquaintance there had to limit his computer usage accordingly. That was a couple or more years ago. He wanted to work for me and I had to disappoint him as I am retired. Haven't heard from him since though.

How many hours of electricity do you receive daily? Does the university there offer reduced prices for faculty to purchase computers? I cannot even imagine being without electricity for most of the day and night. So I guess that a television and stereo system would not be practical?

Do you have a battery-powered radio?

I am interested in your opinion of the university library there? Do they purchase new books annually?
Also have you developed a personal reading list outside of research. That's one of my problems, that is developing a reading list outside of study. I used to read actual books a lot more than I do now, but mostly I found myself reading biographies. How about writing your autobiography? Seems to be that your have led a "life on the outside" or "on the way" so-to-speak.

Anonymous said...

I'm into Jo Nesbo, too. It's great to read him once it gets really hot around here. It always snows in his books!