Another week gone by, and the countdown to leaving sunny but cold, oh so cold SA, about to get underway. In the meantime, we took in the Elephant Sanctuary at Hartbeespoort Dam. One takes for granted how truly magnificent these creatures are, but as majestic as they are, there’s something rather pitiful when we see them in enclosures.
Allow me a moment to whinge…I am freezing and absolutely hating the weather right now! There. Now that’s out of the way…for now. Thought I’d keep doing what I do in keeping the pounds at bay, but somehow managed to make it to the gym only twice, just twice in two weeks. Oh Ghana how I miss thee…
Nothing more disheartening than the cool crisp of a winter morning, with just the right amount of bite to remind that you that you ain’t in the tropics no more.
It snowed in the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal and yes, we have not seen any snow in Gauteng, but I am sure there’s a cold front that’s crept in…IT IS FREEZING.
The Green Mamba at close range, yes with reinforced double glass in between me and the snake but still at close range, is a terrifying creature. Just the knowledge of the slow and painful death its bite can induce is chilling enough on its own. Behind the glass they appeared harmless though. Croc City in Fourways, a stone’s throw away from the Lion Park was all reptiles and birds.
We have just over three weeks in SA, and have a carefully drawn up schedule for things to do with the kids; some we have done before, when they were much younger, some are definitely deserving of second visits now that they are older, a bit more engaging and can ask interesting questions.
In the midst of the flurry of activity around packing away our three years here; as well as the farewell teas, lunches and dinners, I almost forgot to write my very last post from Ghana. I am already thinking of how much I will miss the taste of shito with fried yam and kelewele on…
Last weekend was the Miles Davies Tribute Concert at the Golden Tulip and this weekend +233 – I love that they’ve taken a very unique country code and created a very cool Jazz spot in Accra – is hosting its very first Jazz Festival, to run over three days.
Last night was the debut night and it drew a sizeable mixed crowd; hope it draws an even bigger crowd in the next two days. If anything go for their kebabs and the music. If you’re a Jazz Aficionado go for Gyedu Blay Ambolley, The Sound Factory, Kwame Yeboah & The Ohea BeYeYa Band and others as they play under the cool evening sky.
My daughter, the feminist. In a random discussion a couple of days ago about recent age-appropriate sites she’d been on, she was outraged and confused that one said site had informed her that she could not start a club called “Femenists” (sic). “I just wanted to start a club that would discuss female leaders and how they inspire women in society today.” Clearly this was a bit too much for said site moderators, after all, revolutions have been started more innocuously.
Yesterday however ‘the site’ approved her Club and she was propelled again on her mission to recruit members and get the discussion going. A small win for an eleven-year old young lady, but today it was huge win for Femme Power as Christine Lagarde was appointed the IMF‘s first woman Managing Director.
Title: Shanghai Tango
Author: Jin Xing
This was a quick read in between the flurry of activity typical of this time of the year. Wishing I had an e-reader given all the books I want to read this Summer…Shanghai Tango is the memoir of a prima ballerina; Jin Xing who danced for the Shanghai Ballet and other prestigious Ballet Companies both in the US and Europe. It is a story told from a very detached voice about a young boy, who is recruited into the People’s Liberation Army Dance Corps as a soldier and a dancer at the age of nine. He becomes a celebrated, internationally-acclaimed dancer who goes on to become the first person in China to undergo a full sex-change operation.
I ventured out to Burma Camp; the Army Barracks in Accra last week, to seek out the weavers of Ewe Kente. I met with Ahiagble Bob Dennis who has written a book about Ewe Kente; The Pride of Ewe Kente and runs a small shop in Burma Camp. It’s a large compound with about four weavers working on the intricate-looking looms the Kente is woven on.
The most noticeable difference between Ewe and Ashanti Kente is in the use of colour. Ewe Kente, can best be described as ‘calm’ according to Ahiagble, predominantly using muted colours; yellow, red, green, black, white and blue whereas Ashanti Kente; described as ‘cheerful’ in colour uses the magenta, yellow, bright green and red colours.
Finding a good steak in Accra is no longer a case of playing Russian roulette in the culinary search. Restaurants have now caught on to proudly declaring the origin of their meat. Why? Because beef reared on fish produce, a very common thing in Ghana, is very unpalatable.
This was not always the case though – a year and a half ago you pretty much went in blind when ordering a steak in a restaurant – wondering as you mulled over the filet on the menu whether it would taste of meat this time or have the slight whiff of fish as well. It took me a while to realise that the whiff of fish in my meat was not the chef using the same pan to make the sauce for my steak and frying the fish for my companion. The whiff was indeed in the meat.