Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ghana-2003- Houses

Ghana is a country of paradoxes. You have little pieces of wood stuck together to resemble a humble abode. You have the giant, palatial buildings which look like hotels but are houses. Often these two structures are right next to each other. For most of my years living in Ghana, I didn't stay in a hut or a palace. Our house was nice enough, but there was no water.....there were lovely light fixtures....but more often then not, there was no electricity.

I loved where we lived. The roads were not paved. In fact, when I had to drive in or out, I would comment to the children we didn't need Disney land. We had our own 'rides' - up and down- over pot holes- barely passing by swollen rivers. I walked to visit people at places called "Israel" "Jerusalem" "Hallelujah Junction" "Achimota" and "Pillar Two." The walks were always done with my eyes zeroed in on what was on the ground: one never knew what could be stepped in.

It was late 2002 that we moved closer into the down town area. We moved into a General's house. So the entire time we lived there (2 years) we called it "The General's House." It wasn't elaborate, but it had alot of rooms. When I first moved in, it took me a long time to get used to the lack of noise. My other house had been squeezed in the middle of a myriad of houses. You could hear your neighbor clear their throat. When you opened your window, you could wave at the person pounding their fu fu for the evening. Now we were in a new housing estate....there was an uncomplete house on one house on the other side....the silence was unnerving.

Ah, but in the house, there was no silence. We usually had between 15 to 20 people living with us. There were ten rooms in the house, so there was never a problem with being squished. In fact, I don't ever remember feeling like we were crowded- even when we had 25 people living there.

We held on to our memories of our old house- and the adventures with the anthills which surrounded us....And we made new memories in our new house with the lake behind us...Sean made a cute video clip that year to capture some of the memories.


  1. Just call me 'A'April 6, 2009 at 1:47 AM

    the video was so much fun. the small mini structure that crumbled was the ant hill? how did you manage without water? what is fu fu?

  2. Yes, the mini structure was an ant hill- managing without water was just a matter of figuring out how to get it- fetching it- buying it in huge tankers- whatever it took-
    fu fu is a typical west african food made with boiled cassava and unripe plantain beaten together, as well as from cocoyam, and yam.


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