Meanderings to kill a bit of time

13 01 2009

I went back to work yesterday, or at least I tried to. It turns out that no-one from ISODEC is around this week, effectively I’m still on Christmas break, so now I have an unexpected week off. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll do with it – I don’t usually have time to myself in Tamale during the week. I ought to be domestic and clean the house. I doubt that will happen. I also need to argue with the Ghana Water Company about the 20,000 litres of water they claim they supplied my house in November. I doubt they supplied 200 litres, unless they’re claiming for the rain we had to collect. Still we have water flowing from taps at the moment.

I got back to Tamale at nearly midnight on Thursday night and it felt as if the house had been empty for four years rather than four weeks. Between the harmatan dust and hyperactive spiders I felt like I was entering a haunted house. Fred had done a great job shutting the house up, the fridge was empty, off and open and he’d placed a shroud over most of the crockery, but it still felt a bit spooky. The journey back had taken longer than usual, we left two hours late and more worryingly every time we stopped the crew took the tool kit out and tinkered with the engine, usually a really bad sign. Fortunately there were no major problems and after 13 hours of Nigerian movies, all with interminable storylines with strong evangelical Christian messages (bad girl sees error of her ways and accepts Christ, Christian girl is rewarded in the end), we arrived safely. Actually the Nigerian movie business is a big, $250 million a year, industry often referred to as Nollywood. There are even channels on Sky dedicated to Nollywood movies if you want to watch them in the UK, although they are a bit of an acquired taste.

It’s good to be back. As I write goats are nibbling the fallen leaves, lizards scuttle to and fro and occasionally local kids come into the garden to collect the fallen fruit from the Indian almond tree. It’s nice in the shade but burningly hot in the brilliant sun and no humidity to the extent that condensation doesn’t form on ice cold beer bottles. The only downside is that “most the dust from the Sahara seems to be in my nose” to quote a friend. I’ve spent a chunk of the few days I’ve had alone sweeping the dust out of the house and generally cleaning. I still have quite a lot to do (my bedroom for example) but most of the shared areas are at least cleaner and the new volunteer (travelling up from Accra as I write) will have had her room swept, mopped and cleared of junk. I just need to put the bed together now. I’ve also done loads of buckets of washing so I’m hoping that there was plenty of water in the polytank.

I’ve been surprised at how many locals have commented on my absence, asking whether I’ve been travelling and expressing pleasure at my return. It’s a real contrast from my anonymity inEngland.

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2 responses

13 01 2009
Anathema

Well, maybe you should put some discipline to it and say: “I’ll do X thing if I clean up Y thing”. Works with me :P

Happy New Year!!!!!

18 01 2009
Dédalus

Your work is really admirable.
Congratulations and good luck.

Regards from Spain.

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