A wise man once said....

"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new." Dalai Lama

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Ghana 13 Road Trip Accra to Kamasi

Big Map.  Big Trip.

On Sunday I went to Kamasi.  About 500 kilometers round trip. Slow roads.  Left at 06.30 and got back about 007.30pm. I had a driver and I was still tired just sitting in the car. A 8-9 hours on the road.

I can hear you ask. "Why did I go ?"

"Well, Kumasi is the homeland, centre for the Ashanti Kingdom and this forms a main part of Ghana cultural life for most people. There are others tribes but these  guys are the tops... I know as they keep telling me.".  But thats not the reason I went.

The real reason to go was very simple. Issac, the guy who sold me the model robot, well, he lives up there.  I decided to go see  him and get my toy fixed. So up I went, I spent about 3 hours with him. So helpful. He and Ann-Marie his colleague both electrical engineers,  got me sorted in only a few minutes..... Well nearly, say 5!!!!!!  If I was left to my own devices I'd still be up there fixing the first line of programming....

Got my lessons and even got my robot working with blue tooth on my phone. Cool or what......
Then back to Accra. early night ready for another day in the office on Monday....

So photos wise I only go a few shots off in the car. Quite amazing the number of street hawkers selling everything from fruit and veg to car windscreen wipers to sponges etc.  If you hang around long enouh you can get it all. There was even one guy selling walking sticks !!!!!

Good journey, reasonably safe in the travelling in car sence. Road side hamburger joints ok. Yes they do have local hamburger stalls. All good.

The road sides are crammed with sellers in each village then wide open roads. All in all agood day out.

Ghana 12 Railway

Finally got my photo of  the train which passes by my office each morning at 6.42am...... Lovely colours of the Ghana Flag.  5 carriages and normally only a few people on it.  Got a few waves as they went past. It only does two trips a day.  Tema Port to Accra main staton in the morning and then back again in the evening.  Only 20 minutes each way   !!!!!  I also think the pedestrian crossing sign is a bit misleading !

Anyway done.........tick in the box    ✔ 😎

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Ghana 11 Art and Craft Market

Well time is flying by.  Only got till end of October when my contract is up. I need to see what I can of Ghana before departing. Talking to the guys in the office there is a lot of see and do.  Accra has a reputation for being the liveliest city for nightlife in Africa.  I can believe it for when you walk round even in the day time, here is a sense of music and rhythm everywhere. On the way to work we pass several beach side night clubs which are still thumping out music as I'm going to work.  And that is at 5.30am!!!!!

So putting aside the night life as I could not party all night and then go to work I decide to list out a lot of to dos. List to follow, which I plan to "tick off" over the coming few weekends.

But for today Saturday I decided to leave work early and visit the Arts and Crafts centre. Plan was to have a quick walk about and buy myself an African drum... Well I achieved both.

The Art and Craft centre is a sad place, very dusty and lacking in customers. So a sort of very dilapidated and subdued place. That as you can imagine encourages everyone to come and talk to you and ask "Hey Brother from another Mother"   And yes they do say that !!!!! Corny or what ?
Then comes the sales pitch with "where you from"...... "lovely country etc etc".  "Followed by please visit my stall. Me I'm a painter/Musician/Tailor/Craftsman/Carver of wood/jeweler"  fill in the blanks and they have the same speak.

Its good and bad.  Good as they are keen but bad. Good as they are after business, bad as they need to learn new lines and get a bit more real.  Its very noticeable there are only the few (I spotted 3 white/tourist persons ) in the whole place.  And nothing is priced....  My poor driver is between a  rock and a hard place.  If he helps me I'm happy but if he does then his "Brothers from the same Mother" ride him hard.......  Corny expression for sure.  And they have already got me using it here twice !!!!!!

One of the photos shows a couple of people carrying clothing on their heads.  I think this is for local purchase. Sort of mobile cloths shop.....

There is also an advert for Tattoos but I decided to give that a miss...

Anyway that's one place I've got off my to do list.......

The Drum

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Ghana 10 Arduino

I have been playing about with Arduino for ages. And sort of given up. However  now we've moved to Ghana I had thought it had died a complete death.  Then  I discovered a guy, Issac who has just started up selling Arduino kits.  Well I could no resist. All goes back to Aquaponics. I need to learn how to get it all automated and web based etc etc. So I took advantage  and bought a small wheeled robot kit. (Wanna not here to tell me No  ).......

Spent a couple of hours today on it instead of guitar practice. Anyway as of this evening my blue tooth wheeled robot  is completed in the physical sense and tomorrow is the installation of the blue  tooth software.  No posting tomorrow means it did not make it....... :-)

This kit might prove  harder than I had anticipated but we will see. Reason being I now have a new phone.  Not an apple so all new to me. Lets see how it goes.

I've had enough for today so good night to you all.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Ghana 9 Quadcopters

Started out this morning thinking I would take a few moments out from work and go down to the fish market. Get some good photos and have something interesting to write up on.

Well it rained cats and dogs last night.... So market was a big soggy mess. Crowded with people goign about their Saturday business. Not really the place to stand around and take photos. Wet muddy, crowded and was very aeware of being out of my element. I did not feel comfortable doing a series of photos. Probably easier if Wanna had been around and we were actually buying something. But that was not the case.  I took a quick shot of the boats and decided I would come back later in the week.

Back to the office and one of the engineers, Ernest,  had brought in his DJI Series 4 quadcopter. Fantastic toy.  Had a quick go with it and think it is an amazing thing.  It is so easy to fly, takes off and automatically knows where to return and when to return so it does not run out of power mid flight !!!!!. You can control the height, direction, hover and have full camera control all from your hand phone. Very tempting buy...... but expensive.......

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Ghana 8 Accra to Akosombo Day Trip

We had a good day out last Saturday. Left Accra headed north east then up to Akosombo where there is a large dam. It retains the largest lake in Africa. Look at the map. Impressive or what....

Its only about 90 kilometers out of Accra but it felt like a different world.

Started off passing lots of small road side shops and stalls.


Nearly all selling bread.  Who eats it I did not know.  But I do know the monkeys eat it.  We got out of town and along the way stopped to watched the monkeys.  Some people were feeding them bread and the little fella's seemed fine with it all. So that explained where some, if only a little of it went.

All in all a good day out. Monkey watching, walk across the suspension bridge, which did seem to bounce around a lot !!!  Then Afternoon Tea along along side the Volta river followed by roadside snacks on the way back. Hardly a luxury stop but none the less fun.  The snacks we had on the way back we bought from a couple of ladies.  All they had were Kebabs. Think they were made from chicken gizzard which were served with some paprika powder and fresh sliced onions. That was all that was available. And we were hungry.

Then we stopped off to buy some fresh fish.  The sellers gave us a hard sell....  Even Wanna lost out on this deal !!!!! Anyway 2 kilos of Tilapia later we were on our way back to Accra.  Lovely day. Go again soon then make sure we have a few longer trips.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Ghana 7 Evening time in Accra

Accra is basically a flat city. By that I mean no mountains or large hills. And since I've been here all I seem to do is work and then have a few hours in the evening having dinner with Wanna followed by a big deep sleep !!!!!  I normally leave the house around 5.30am to miss the traffic and I like to have an early start. In fact I have always thought early morning to be the best part of the day.

So you can image a late night plays havoc with my system.  I'm often cranky enough without adding in the effects of late nights and hangovers.... Enough said. Last night I got home about 5.30 pm and off we went out for a sundowner. I find it difficult to accept that Wanna will spend most of the day without much to do and my days just fly by. Seems very unfair so we went out.  Decided to go to the roof top bar in what is probably the tallest building in Accra.

Locally know as the lego building. We went up the one on the right.  Its 26 floors crammed full of expensive apartments and restaurants, gyms etc. And the view from the roof top bar is fantastic.  Had a small beer, watched the sun going down and just relaxed.  The place even had an infinity pool on the roof. Very cool !!!

Then decided it was time to go get a Thai dinner.  So off round to Khun Gai's restaurant. Few more beers with her, her Husband and son.  Ended up playing a few songs. Good evening.  Followed by a very deep sleep...

Ghana 6 Mystic Happenings

For those in the know.....

Ghana 5

Again another week.  Where they go I do not know. I'm beginning to think Ghana has less hours in the day than anywhere else....

This weekend was good.  Bar B Q Friday evening with friends and guys from work. That was in our condo compound. Saturday out for Ghana lunch with some locals.  So much fun going with people from here who know what is what.  Also a great chance to meet and make friends with locals. We were not by the management allowed to take photos in the restaurant.  It was a very well know local place called Azmera Restaurant, which served a buffet of about 50 different dishes all made with local recipies. Click here or here for Web  photos.  Worth the "click"  !!!! Absolutely fabulous. Soups, stews, plantins, yams, cassava, rice,  beans, fry ups etc etc.  Just to name a few.  Next time I will take photos just I'll do it carefully.

Sunday went out for a walk. Not a great deal to see on the main roads. Especially on Sundays. Think everyone is in Church. Roads empty, shopping malls quite deserted. There are a few side shops/shacks selling wooden carving and statues.  Here is a very religious country and unlike Thailand which is full of Buddah statues here is full of Crosses, statues of the Virgin Mary and Christ. So same but different if you know what I mean. And the little houses are actually dog hutss !!!!!!

Talking of churches.  Here there are literally thousands, seem to be one on each corner and squeezed into any other small plots along the roadside.  I asked about this and why it was so.  Seems they are actually in a lot of cases businesses. If you are someone with a lot of Charisma and the "gift of the gab", and you can inspire your local community go open a church. That seems to be the way. You run it and they donate. I do not know how this can work for sustaining so many different places but apparently it does....  I'll be trying to get more informaton on this, as clearly there could be a business oportunity here for me !!!!