Category Archives: Ghana

A walk through Jamestown

img_20180825_152702I’ve been meaning to do the Jamestown Walking Tour for ages. It’s a walk with local guides, every Saturday 2pm, only 30 GHS (6.5 USD). Jamestown and Usshertown are the oldest districts in Accra, built around the British James Fort and the Dutch Ussher Fort. The lighthouse is current closed for sightseeing, the walking tour is interesting. The Act for Change group doing participatory theatre is based in the community centre.

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A Ga shrine on the edge of Jamestown. It looked very new, but was apparently refurbished for Chale Wote.  According to some legends the Ga people migrated from Nigeria, or from Israel. Jamestown is the oldest and poorest part of Accra, but very lively.

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One of the roads built after fires in 1894.  Some say Jamestown has a hipster vibe, and locals are proud of their area, but it is quite poor; medical colleagues working there doing home visits tell me there are still children with acute malnutrition.

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Signs from the Homowo festival. It’s a Ga area, as the sign also indicates: Pepsi wishing Gamashie (the area) a happy new year, for Homowo.

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An older mural, on our way to the harbour.

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It was quiet in the harbour, due the festival in the streets above.

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Not as many boats as Tema, but still a considerable number. There is talk of a coastal development in Accra, from Christianborg to the Arts Centre, but who knows if that will ever happen. Politicians have also long promised to upgrade the Jamestown harbour.

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Fishing boats.

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Chale Wote festival in Jamestown

img_20180825_150255Last weekend we went to the Chale Wote festival in Jamestown. It’s a street art festival, though it was really too crowded on Saturday afternoon to see that much of the art and performances. Very interesting, though. We also went on the Jamestown Walking Tour (post coming), which is highly recommended.

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A mural still being painted.

img_20180825_150332Reducing use of plastic and recycling is also a topic here.

img_20180825_152454Still early here. The streets were absolutely packed by 5 PM, with processions and performances, and we escaped home.

 

Pre-move chickpea burgers with feta (deconstructed…)

downtown Accra

A food stall in Accra: you might find ground nuts, bananas, drinks, chopped fruit, plantain chips, ready-made porridge in a plastic bag, bread rolls with peanut butter or chocolate spread …. the selection can be impressive, and can change through the day. I bought eggs here. Mobile vendors push handcarts with meat pies or Fan-Yo icecream sachets (not bad), honking a bicycle horn which is very much part of the soundscape of Accra. So are the chickens, even downtown. You might meet someone pulling a cart of fresh coconuts: fresh coconut water is easily available here, they chop off the tops with a machete and hand the coconut to you with a straw. A colleague buys a couple coconuts and pours the coconut water into a bottle for more ease of transport. I’ve been wondering whether there is any coconut meat in these green coconuts, to be explored: might be nice for a sweetpotato curry I have in mind.

I’m moving next weekend from the temporary accommodation to a new flat here in Accra, with the same two friends, which will be nice. I am looking forward to unpacking various bags and boxes, packed three months ago: where is the bread knife, and the French press? Two months of filter coffee carefully drained through paper towel is enough (a luxury problem, I know, I an not quite desperate enough to drink Nescafe) Time to use up ingredients again, as the kitchen is being packed up for the move, so these deconstructed chickpea burgers with feta were assembled.

Chickpea burgers with feta (very crumbly…)

700 grammes cooked chickpeas (about two tins worth)
2 onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery, if you have it
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 small fresh chili peppers, if you have it (or 2 tsp cayenne pepper)
200 grammes of feta
2 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Breadcrumbs to bind these, maybe 1/3 cup? (I intended to add this but did not have any breadcrumbs, and skipped this – which may why the finished burgers were so crumbly….)
Sunflower oil to fry

To serve: Thai sweet chilli sauce

Mash the chickpeas (mine were cooked the week before and frozen, if so defrost well before.) I used an immersion blender, slow going until I added eggs and chopped vegetables. Add peeled and chopped onions, garlic, chili pepper and the grated carrot. Crumble in the feta. Add pepper if needed, not too much salt as the feta will be salty too. Shape this mix with your hands to ten burgers or so, heat oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers on both sides until slightly golden. Serve with sweet Thai chilli sauce.

Note: If you have breadcrumbs or oatmeal, and add that to mixture with a splash of milk, it might help stop these from being so crumbly.  Grilling them in the oven (on both sides) might also work.

Home-made bread rolls to go with them. Very nice! You can see the chickpea burger is not holding its shape well, though flavour was great. Reheated well next day for lunch.

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