Category Archives: Ghana

Hopefully not dumsor….

For the third evening, our part of Accra and parts of the country have had power cuts. Not too bad tonight, but the last two evenings lights were blinking and power went on and off, not great for anything electrical. My voltage regulator had already been dusted off, after having laptop chargers fried: it keeps the voltage stable when the network fluctuates, only way to charge a laptop safely. The power company changed from ECG to PDS, and while officials say it is not officially dumsor here, the problems are expected to continue for five more days.

Dumsor. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In Ghana, a dumsor (Akan pronunciation: [dum sɔ] ‘off and on’) is a persistent, irregular, and unpredictable electric power outage. The frequent Ghanaian blackouts are caused by power supply shortage.

Walking home tonight, the roar of generators across our neighborhood reminded me of our first year in Accra when power outages were the norm.  It’s gotten much better since that, so hopefully it’s better by next week. Not that we can complain, at least we have generators and money to run those.

Meanwhile back in Rome, there has been outcry after an overzealous contractor from the capital’s urban decor department painted over the classic “Vota Garibaldi” grafitti from 1948 in our neighborhood yesterday.  The sign is now being restored.

Before:Vota Garibaldi

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Saturday market in Accra

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Today is the first Saturday of the month, which means the monthly craft market at the Goethe Institute. Clothes, carvings, baskets, bagels, jewelry: perfect time to get some Christmas presents.

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Afrisocks were back in stock, some new patterns but socks for women are not available yet. When traveling for the holidays, lightweight gifts like these are very handy. I love the colours!

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Not from the Goethe market but from Global Mamas: a picture book I hope my niece in Ireland will enjoy, with great Ghana photos.  Now I just need to see who gets what of Ghana chocolate, cocoa nibs, batik bags and local coffee.

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Toys in local fabric. Lovely things, but it was hot and sticky  (32C, and very humid) so we escaped to Cafe Kwae for a cold drink.

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The “God is Able” food joint, in Cantonments.  Next Friday is Farmer’s Day in Ghana and a public holiday, so we might go away for the weekend. Good to get most of the holiday shopping out of the way, and done locally. Now I just need to dig out my small bag of warm clothes and thermal underwear, and imagine how cold Norway will be in two week’s time.  Brrrrr………..

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.