Archive for December, 2009

Christmas Plans

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Christmas music is playing in the larger super markets.  Some bigger establishments have yards of green and red ribbon decorating their building facades, doors, or gates.

Our house has a small fake Christmas tree with an inflatable Santa hanging on it.  Apparently the green lights are all dead, so there are only red lights in the main room.  This creates something of a red-light district effect.

I will make cookies and coffee cake for Christmas morning.  We’ve been invited to a friend’s house on Christmas afternoon.  She told us to bring our swimsuits so we can go swimming later.

Tonight I will make a nice dinner for Eric and I; salmon in a coconut milk (from fresh coconuts!).  People here usually party with friends on the holidays, instead of spending it indoors with family.  I won’t be surprised if we end up going out for a beer!

The Taps Are Off

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Many people in Accra have running water – in theory.  Their houses, like the one I’m living in, have indoor showers and sinks.  Unfortunately, the city frequently cuts the water.  That is, you can turn on your tap and nothing comes out.  In my neighborhood, this has been known to happen for stretches of 4 days.  I’ve heard that the situation is even more serious in other neighborhoods – weeks or months without running water.
Where I lived in Togo, this would not be a big deal.  There are wells everywhere.  And everyone has buckets, and water storage bins, and daughters to fetch the water from the well.

I haven’t seen a well in Accra yet.  So what do people do when the water runs dry? How do they get water to cook, bathe, or clean?  I’m not sure.  I’ve seen water trucks selling to women with large water cartons alongside a 4 line highway.   I’ve seen masses of kids running around trying to find places with water to fill their water buckets.

One group of girls followed me asking if they could come fill up at my house.  Unfortunately, the water wasn’t running at our place either.  I felt sorry for them as I sent them elsewhere.