Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Post From Takoradi

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow readers/followers in the United State and a Happy Eid-al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) to all my Muslim friends/mates and families. I know, I haven’t written on any subject since I started working in Takoradi, away from Accra about some weeks ago. Don’t know the exact dates but I’m sure, it is not been more than eight weeks yet…

So, I have been very busy with preparations for my trip to the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark somewhere from the first week of Dec, 09 and also working indefatigably coordinating with my fellow organizers [ Ato-Ulzen Appiah and Henry Barnor] towards Barcamp - Ghana ’09 which comes off in Accra, Ghana on the 21st Dec, 09 under the theme: Leadership for our times: Cultivating Change Makers. Hopefully, we shall be able to organize another successful Barcamp in Ghana. Make sure, you bookmark the date and be there. Don’t miss out.

Guess who I met at my favorite Fufu [God Is Love Chop bar @ Pipe-ano] joint in Takoradi this afternoon. You won’t believe me but it is very true. Well, is it no other person than Mr. Rod McLaren also known as Nana Akwasi Amoako Agyeman II, Edubiase Nkosuahene. Does that name ring a bell? I am not sure in the case of the ordinary Ghanaian but most residents within the Sekondi/Takoradi city would have an idea. My Canadian friends should also be able to remember this name with ease.

Just sitting across our table at the Fufu joint was sited Nana and his relatives, I guess because he later introduced her daughter [Afua Sewaa McLaren] who’s the General Manager of the African Rainbow Resort in Takoradi, a Caucasian young-man and another gentleman [African-American] whom I am told plays Jazz music at the hotel.

There’s a saying that, before random people became good friends, there surely was an issue. I believed that saying right after lunch after my encounter with Nana. Before our food was served, we [I and two former colleagues from Skyy TV] were having a chat when I realized the waitress serving our food commented on why the African-American sited with Nana Akwasi Amoako Agyeman II was using his left hand to eat the Fufu. Something not accepted in the Ghanaian community. Who are you to say, it? Lol ;(

Immediately, I made the waitress understand, I don’t see anything wrong with it so she should just mind her business. Unfortunately for me, Nana’s eyes caught mine just after the waitress left and he angrily asked me; “Is there a problem, young man?” and I just replied, “No, Sir”, and there was peace.

After this incident, I enjoyed my bowl of Fufu together with my friends and upon licking the earthen-ware dry, my friends suggested I approach Nana and let him know, it was very wrong for the gentleman to eat with the left hand in Ghana. I boldly introduced myself to him as a blogger and there and then, he accepted his ignorance about the whole situation and apologized. That is one true virtue of a chief and an educated man. I liked that of Nana J

Even though his twi wasn’t sounding in the right directions, I liked the fact that he wanted to communicate with me twi. We had a great time discussing about blogging in Ghana, his book [Rainbow Round the African Sun] which is currently out and how delighted he will be if I would recommend his hotel to my friends in the Diasporas and beyond (something which I have already done long ago). I might be going there this weekend if I don’t make it Accra, though.

The African Rainbow Resort is located in the fishing village of Busua on the coast in the Western Region of Ghana. It has long been a destination for travelers because of the long crescent beach. It is one of the safest beaches on the coastline, and is also recognized in the international surfing community. According to of my friends from Germany who stayed at this hotel had this to say; [The staffs are great and their food is spicy and wonderful. The view of the Atlantic Ocean is spectacular.]

Well, a little bit of information for travelers and holiday-freaks heading to [Takoradi] this side of the Ghana. Crime rate is very low here but that doesn’t mean you should not care about your belongings and live a care-free life. Just be careful and be on the lookout always. If you are a nite-club/social bird like me, I will recommend the following places to hang-out with full security assured.

Champs Sport Bar just opened in the Oil city by the Stellar Group is located on the Shippers Road heading towards the Takoradi Harbor. There is a bar and restaurant which is open to the public. This is a branch of the same bar that has been operating in Accra for a long time and is very popular. The place is really new and really stunning with huge TV screens everywhere showing all the latest sports. It has rapidly become a really popular venue within Takoradi which is otherwise quite sleepy and is a fun place to chill at night. Try the trivia Games on Thursday evenings, the Karaoke evening on Friday nights and their All-You-Can-Drink Session for just GHC10.00 on Saturdays. This place offers great value for money.

For sometimes now, Paragon Nite-Club has been the very place where every party-addict would like to go and hang out after working industriously from Monday to Friday. Due to the influx of expat’s in the Oil City, there’s now a VIP Section at the nite-club to put some level of decency among nite-clubbers. There’s also the popular-stand which I sometimes refers to as, “the zongo” where those who can’t afford the GHC20.00 for the VIP section can just party their nite away till who knows when they will be tired.

LOU MOON LODGE is a very beautiful, posh place on the marvelous beach near Axim, definitely the best beachside accommodation on the coast. The price is very high, but it is worth spending at least one day/night. Plus, maybe the only place in Ghana where you can actually swim, protected from the ocean waves!!!

There is this fairly new and nice good standard restaurant located in the heart of Takoradi called Bocadillos Restaurant. They have many types of food, local (even some Nigerian) and international, pastries, French baguettes, cakes and ice cream. They used to have a bar where they showed African Movies and sometimes, do Live Band. Currently, they have a wireless hotspot access at the place where visitors have to purchase a time code and access the internet at the comfort of free fresh air and good music…

My brain just stopped thinking despite there is a lot for me to write. Lots of ideas but little time to write... I have to do this later. Ma brɛɛ... adɛn kraaaa (trans; I’m tired, what at all again ;) I have to do this after the holiday or frankly, later someday.

Meeting up Sompair Elias who’s in town for his alma-mater, Ghana Secondary Technical School’s 100th Anniversary celebration. Oyaaa.. I'm done ;)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Climate Change & COP-15

Last night wasn’t a good for me as I had to deal with the heat that came about as a result of power-outage. Opening the windows for fresh air means, I’m opening the heavens-gate for the mosquitoes. I thought twice and just had to deal with it by sleeping in the heat.

Finally, I saw the early morning sun rays penetrating through the window at about 0534 which signified, it was morning. Come see my face. I can now open the windows for fresh air at least. Thinking the power was back; I switched on the light and to my utter dismay power was not restored. How on earth am I going to press my shirt for work? I had to cook up a plan B. [Wear a T-shirt and a pair of jeans] also allowed though.

I hear residents in Accra always experiencing the power problem every now and then without any info from the Electricity Company of Ghana. I witnessed it myself when I visited last weekend. For close to about 8hrs, power was off and we had to get fuel for the gen-set. What happens when other families in Ghana have no gen-you’re your guess is as good as mine. [They stay in the dark and their perishable items get bad…]

Do you all know that, power shortages are a real inconvenience to the regular Ghanaian? How would you describe the shortage amongst Ghana’s growing entrepreneur class?

I was very shocked to hear on the news about the uncontrollable power outages and the resultant load shedding exercise that hit the country a couple of years ago has started again. What at all are The Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCO), the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Volta River Authority (VRA) doing about this menace? According to the reporter on the radio, he said the recent power outages were due to some technical hitches at the various ECG and GRIDCO sub-stations. Can we believe this story?

These power-outages have on most occasions, caused fire outbreaks in homes and had obstructed the smooth flow of individual businesses which depend on electricity. How do these businesses survive this low-shedding again?

Climate change in Ghana has become a threat to livelihoods. Drought and over flooding in parts of the Northern Region of Ghana has become a yearly worry to the people and government. People along the banks of the Volta River are constantly displaced, homeless and landless.

In the South particularly aquatic life is affected as a result of human activities and sea level rise that pollutes water bodies and the main economic activity which is fishing drops and this has affected the income levels of the people. The climate change impacts in Northern part of Ghana results in severe draughts in the...

With all the above flashing in front of me each and every time the issue of climate change is brought up, I’m always looking out for ways I can help. I was beyond joy this morning after going through my email to see; “The Official Invitation Letter” from the organizers of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) also known as COP-15 inviting me to be part of Climate Change conference which begins from December 7 – 18, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

I have been approved of a stipend for my trip and currently awaiting media accreditation and other documents to enhance my visa acquisition at the Danish Consulate in Accra. Whiles at the conference, I shall be presenting my own Ghana Blogging Group, the Global Voices Community and other youth who couldn’t make it Copenhagen to raise a voice against Climate Change. I shall be very glad to be a part of this conference as we sign a deal to fight global warming NOW.

I will be updating my followers/readers and the entire Ghana Blogging Group from Copenhagen via my blog and through my twitter updates at MacJordaN. Follow me for me more updates on Climate Change.