Africa journal April 2020

Journal entries for April of 2020

I compare showering and washing from a bucket and scoop  with camping out.

  And I like the feel of rain water collected during the many afternoon thunderstorms on my skin when I shower.

The plumbing systems here are not very long-lasting.  They with hammer and some tool notch out spaces for plastic pipes or wiring and then patch concrete over it.  

It rains strongly here!  


Walking through the area surrounding W Africa’s largest market with my wife last month, I found myself imagining all the humanity buzzing and taxis honking falling silent.  It seemed so unlikely that it gave me the neat feeling of Anything’s Possible, no matter how strange. 

 I haven’t actually returned to the same place but I think the police are now making sure there are no groups of traders and buyers. 

 Our house area in Kumasi is less densely populated.  It used to be bush 35 years ago and I bet it was beautiful.  Hilly with creeks that ran high after the afternoon thunderstorms. Snakes and small deer.  Now there are storied rich people’s houses, some complete and some unfinished where I see clothes draped over concrete block walls – poor people with permission to live there. 

  Normally the road outside of Ama’s house – recently paved after ridiculously eroded dirt road – is noisy from 3-wheeled utility motorcycles with small engines loaded down with roofing sheets, wood and other building supplies along with 2 or 3 workers hanging on.  Or taxis honking to people who they might give a lift to.  Huge trucks honking loudly. 

 Now it feels like I’m in a small village.  Coming from a spread-out village in Idaho, I like it.  

  People respect laws in Ghana.  

 Maybe it’s why it’s one of the more peaceful African countries. A few people walking here and there. A woman on a fitness walk.  A few masons quietly working. Some big SUVs driving by.  Shops don’t appear to be selling out. 

 If I wear my lightweight backpack I don’t worry about being stopped tho I don’t see anyone who would stop me.  The rules are similar to Europe’s and the USA’s.  The food and basic necessities shops and the pharmacies are open. So I’ll buy something small. Our morning walks keep us healthy and my bike rides relieve stress. 


This morning I got out on my bike around 10am,  a little late for coolness but there still were breezes on some streets.

Maybe I saw 100 people this time.

A Hello shouted from somewhere and smiles from 30-ish year old guys (maybe the richer people in this neighborhood) walking when i said me hoi ye, wo hoi ye en sua? (You feel fine also?)

An old guy was pissed to see me and shouted something angry followed by Aayyy!   I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often from the older people.  They are not aware, it seems, that there are healthy obrunis living here among them tho i am a rarity in this part of Ghana.


I know about the concept of Murphy’s Law – whatever could possibly fuck up will eventually come to pass.

But so many of them at one time.  !!


Ama found a hairdresser who came over and is attaching a hair extension now.  

 And she on our walk this morning bought some freshly cooked fish.

It’s great to see others walking and exchanging Me hoi ya with them -“I’m fine!”


It’s like camping out.  Ama’s house has some little things that make for challenges.

Our flights to the USA keep getting cancelled.

Now we’re scheduled for 1 June and we’re better off staying in Kumasi at her place until we have a good sense that anything from Delta/AirFrance/KLM will leave.

Delta has a pretty good system for communicating by using their messaging that is fast (unless I ask a question and the rep tries to find an answer).

I’m lucky! I get to live in a different culture!


We Are safe!    Not many bad guys in this part of the world.

 Although Ama locks her doors a lot and also draws the curtains.

I like the culture and am very immersed in it. Every day practically we walk or I take a vigorous bike ride.

The heat reminds me of a month in Arivaca in August.  Until the cooling thunderstorms.  From 6 to 9am it’s ok.

People have told me the same – stay here!  

I hear France is taking a militaristic show of force to its people.


  We had a great powerful morning thunderstorm today, keeping things cool/ish for a nice long walk with Ama this afternoon.

When friends write saying Just Stay There in Ghana (as if I had any choice) it helps. Lots of time to make long notes for getting the cars running.