Posted on December 24, 2009


Hadn’t planned on this, but oh. This story takes the cake.

A friend….phoned. He sounded very depressed. I didn’t help by replying to his question “What are ya doing” jokingly saying “making money: no making people comfortable and happy!” I asked him how he was and he said he had a financial crisis that he needed GH C 4,000 immediately and, if I leant him the money he would definitely have the money on Monday after Christmas.

Oh, oh, I said to myself…
Then the story came out; well, not story…stories. First it was he’d won money, but he couldn’t have access to it until Monday. …really! I interrupted him right there saying this sounded like a 419! No, no. he protested.

Then the story changed to something about a loan and a broker and a lawyer and the money being released on the Monday after Christmas .. By that time I had decided to say no.I made him think saying that the professionals he deals with should exercise a little flexibility and not demand so much money at Christmas.

He decides to leave and on the way out he says he is going to his sister’s one week celebration. For those not aware, the one week celebration here in Ghana is a special occasion marking the one week since the passing on of a person.

Now it all made sense…and to think that he hadn’t even sent us an invitation card!

Ready for a second story….phone goes and a lower immigration officer who has pushed some of my forms asks if he can come for his “CHRISTMAS BOX”. My reply Ghana has changed and the civil service now demands a higher degree of professionalism. I think, should I report him to his officer in charge whom I know. Na….things haven’t changed that much…

And now a third story ..driving Fred and Jasmine-pictured twice in this blog recently- to an early bus to the coast. On the way I’m stopped in the nearby village of Ahowdo at a police checkpoint and asked for my license which I quickly produce. Nothing more… Then after dropping them and still in town, I’m stopped again at another checkpoint, asked for my license and then….for “my Christmas box” Ugh. I go through the same spiel…both cops look at me as if I’m from another planet almost saying what da ya mean Ghana has changed? I’m waved on but I see they are looking at the logo on our van…
But all’s well that end’s well…I’m stopped again at the Ahodwo roadblock I was stopped at going the other way. But when the cop sees it’s me he says “SORRY” and I drive on even though I am tempted to stop and give him his Christmas Box.!

And lastly an aside…the children of the blocks are on vacation and sit endlessly on the blocks with nothing to do, no toys, no attention, no nothing….That’s the big story of childhood here and why Ghana is Ghana….