Merry Christmas from West Africa!
Trip Start May 04, 2011
110Trip End Feb 20, 2014
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Before I get to the happenings of Jesus’ Birthday, a little bit about everyone’s favourite topic: the WeatherWest African trade wind. It blows south from the Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March (winter). On its passage over the desert it picks up fine dust particles. The heavy amount of dust in the air can severely limit visibility and block the sun for several days, comparable to a heavy fog". When I arrived in Accra, it was similar to a Perth day when those terrible prescribed burns blow smoke across the city and blanket us in haze. I still think a large proportion of this Harmattan thing is smoke haze – it has an odour of smoke as well. I’m told that some of the locals set fire to the bush to chase the animals out and then trap them for food. This adds to the dust problem and it’s probably cutting a few years off my life-span.
Ok, back to topic. The Enviro team had a small end-of-year function at the Beige in the week leading up to Christmas. Having been thru one or 2 of these functions, I knew what to expect and readied myself for a barrage of photos. At the contractor Christmas Party, I was almost mobbed by a crowd of Ghanaians who all wanted a photo with a white guy – I had to tell them enough; I felt like a Home & Away celebrity at Telethon ;-) I also was not looking forward to the food
I worked on Christmas Eve (Saturday), but from the camp offices because there was no one up at the construction site. I had a few quiet drinks at the bar with the others, but left before things got messy. There is a tendency here to blow out the night before the actual function. Not my style. I stayed in my room Christmas morning – spoke to family, unwrapped a few pressies from family, watched some Christmas inspiring tv. For once in my life, Christmas cards actually served a logical purpose; I was able to open cards from people I wouldn’t verbally speak to and read their greeting, very nice.
We then headed out to the construction contractors accommodation compound for lunch, a swim, beers and a game of monopoly
Boxing Day was quiet. I was able to watch a bit of the test match, obviously delayed but I really don’t care that much…I was just happy to hear some Aussie accents and make it feel like Boxing Day. I caught up on some personal stuff that had drifted while I was in Perth and then had a few drinks at the bar that night. The Tuesday was also a public holiday here so no local staff working. Another quiet day, but I have watched a few episodes of Angry Boys (Christmas pressie) and finally seeing what everyone was talking about 6 months or so ago.
So Christmas 2011 was quiet, but good. Character building in a way. I think spending a Christmas like this makes u value it more and not take it for granted. Bring on New Years Eve…it is sure to be very different too!!!
PS – I left my new Powderfinger CD in the hire car. Brought the album with me to Ghana, opened the cover and no CD! Derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Plus, my Napster account no longer works outside the United States of Silly America and I have succumbed to installing iTunes on my laptop just so I can get current music. Blah.