Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Childhood in Ghana...Asoma Asoma Galore!

Things have been all serious in here for a while, which is good. We think a little, we laugh a little, not so?

Ah, so i've been itching to write a blog post on growing up in Ghana for months! And not just what it's like to be a kid in Ghana but one unavoidable aspect of childhood in these parts.


Asoma Asoma

How to say this in english?

Adults sending you left, and right to run errands.

It wasn't easy.

See the errands that filled my childhood:)

1. Going to the Nikanika
The Nikanika (tr: corn mill) is where we went to...well, mill corn. You know, the place where all the mbɔr (dough) came from before we could buy them in places like Shoprite.

Friday, May 21, 2010

What it feels like to be half-co in Ghana

Hi Everyone,
I know you were expecting 10 lessons but after writing 7, I've covered everything I wanted to discuss. So how about we hear someone else's voice for a change? 

Today's post is about what it feels like to be half-co in Ghana. Debbie Ahenkorah asked me to post something on what it feels like to be a minority in Ghana, So I got a Baha'i friend of mine to write about what it feels like to be Baha'i in Ghana. Now the half-co perspective is here. Enjoy!

What it feels like to be half-co in Ghana

I was born in Korle Bu to a white American mother and a Ghanaian father. I grew up in Accra, and have lived here for most of my life. As a strong football fan when Ghana played USA in the World Cup I supported Black Stars. I carry both passports but for all intents and purposes consider myself Ghanaian.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

10 Life Lessons From Ghana - Lesson 7

Lesson 7 is

Do Things You'll be Proud of

I give Rachel Maddow full credit for the words: Do Things You'll be Proud of because whilst I've been trying to live by these words for the last couple of years, I was never able to express it so expertly.

In the last 2 years or so, I've realised I have a disease. This disease is an extreme need for relevance in my life. You could call it the "so what" syndrome. Before, during, and even after I do anything big, I ask "so what?" or "then what?". And if I can't justify it to myself in a way that makes sense to me, I don't do it. This disease alone wouldn't be so bad...except I have a 2nd disease called Idealism. And if you put these 2 diseases together, you'll  understand what sort of things leave me conflicted. Being idealistic is not always considered a good thing. Actually, the world likes people who get real. So sometimes being Idealistic gets me in trouble. But I can't help being who I am. Or rather, I could help it if I wanted to but I don't want to help it. Secretly I think I'm right, and it's the world which needs to wise up and get more idealistic.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ten Lessons From Ghana - Lesson 6

Lesson 6 is

Integrity Counts. Cultivate it.

I wrote about integrity a few months ago. Interested readers can find that post here. I'd just like to look at it from a different angle.

It's not that I went through life not thinking that it was important to be honest or not having any values. What changed for me was realising that 1) you cannot pick and choose when to be honest, and 2) That it could be cultivated.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

10 Life Lessons from Ghana - Lesson 5

Lesson 5 is

Don't Start A Business With Anyone Who Lives Abroad

My business partner will tell you, it is hard enough getting someone in Ghana to focus on a business when they're working. You don't want to complicate that further by doing business with someone who is not even here.

You cannot run a business from the other side of the world. It just doesn't work. As obvious as this advice may seem when you read it, it is actually one that did not occur to me a year ago. And getting into business with partners who live abroad is a mistake I see many many returnees making.

Monday, May 03, 2010

10 Life Lessons from Ghana - Lesson 4

Try Things

In the first six months after I moved home, I learned the meaning of happiness.

Happiness is being in the place you most want to be, doing exactly the thing(s) you most want to do.

By now you know that I wanted to be in Ghana but what was it I wanted to do? My job? That was part of it. But only part of it. In lesson 2, I talked about finding a job you love. If you do this, your job will be a source of great joy. But I don't know that your job alone is enough. It wasn't for me. I wanted more. I wanted a complete life of happiness and my job is only 1 aspect of  my life. I'm a big proponent of having a life outside of work. At the very least, it will keep you refreshed and make you a better worker.

So what did I want to do outside of work?