Saturday, 27 December 2008

Ghana Trip - 4 - 27th December 2008.

sorry i haven't updated my blog in a while as I haven't had a chance.

I'm in Accra just now for the weekend to watch the Celtic-Rangers game (in about 2 hours from now). I went out last night, the club we went to was terrible, but anyway....

So we started working as volunteers. Digging holes, cutting grass (with a machete, yes, not using any machines) and other stuff. Also, interacting with local people, learning the language etc.
It has been weird in the past 2 weeks. A lot of (stupid) drama within the group (which we all sorted out like Adults). I sometimes forget that I'm in Ghana, I think I passed the stage of being merry being in a foreign country. To sum up, I've been feeling weird being here, but I'm managing. Last night, me & joshua was talking to this German girl (who happens to be beautiful) who has been here for 9 months. And I've only been here for 3 weeks, wake up jamie.

So... we had our special christmas, or was it. Christmas Eve was a riot. We went to the local church to perform few things. I had to sing 2 songs but the microphone broke, so I had to sing it louder, in front of about 100 or 200 people, with kids talking & grannies falling asleep. Yes...
I managed it as people liked my harmonica! After that we had to do a play, on "Xmas in the UK". I played granma! I had to dress up in a dress, yes, and wore a pair of specs & had a walking stick. About 50 kids were right in front of me, laughing their heads off, so I guess we done well!!!
After that we went to the bar in our village to celebrate. Because it was xmas eve, people were going mental. All the kids were playing with fireworks, throwing it at each other. crazy...
Christmas day was pretty uneventful.... That day I listened to "River" by Joni Mitchell, I think it summed up how i was feeling.

Another thing I learned about my villege.
Anyone who has a scar on their left cheek is a Togolese. (incase you are not sure what that means, Togolese are peopel from Togo). We live right on the border so it's quite interesting.
Another thing I learned about Ghana in general.
People are either the nicest people you have ever met, or they are a scamming bastards, it's true.
Unfoirtunately, most people only earn about 2 or 3 pounds a week, so that leads to them doing anything for money.

Last week in my village, I made 2 little girls cry. I don't know why, probably they've never seen a white person, but they were shitting themselves, crying & running away from me. All the other kids thought that was funny. I didn't think that was funny...

When we arrived in Accra yesterday, the taxi driver tried to charge us 40 cidies (about 20 pounds) for a 10 minute ride. He delibalately went to the wrong place and tried to charge us 20 cidies (10 was what we agreed on). Then he started shouting at one of us. That was pretty scary. We are staying in Osu, posh part of the city. Many asian & chinese people live here. Fancy cars like Mercediez Benz drive by us every 5 minutes and a lot of posh looking people. Theres a posh suparmarket where they sell things that only these people can afford. After that, we were at this bar where this little boy, who looked like he's from morroco, started following me asking me for money. The girl at the bar chased him away with a whip. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, beating or whipping kids is acceptable here, crazy. Anyway, I obviously didn't agree with all this devide between the rich and the poor. I've seen this guy walking around with hardly any clothes, dirty & he looked skinny. And last night, I've seen alot of Ghanaians who are probably Millionaires ($). Jesus....

Anyway, enough of that.
I'm loving every minute of being here. Beautiful people, amazing food & amazing weather.
I wrote 1 song which is probably the best song I've ever written (about what happened to me 2 weeks ago). I've photographed about 600 photos, I think few of them are the best images I've ever taken in my life.

I'm sorry I'm missing the xmas & new year, but... oh well!
Celtic is going to win today, I know it.


Saturday, 13 December 2008

Ghana Trip - 3 - 13th December 2008.

t First thing first, Do not get offended by my mother! She means well, LOL. I actually forgot to brush my teath, so point taken...

This may be my last blog in a week or 2 as we are leaving for the Mt. Afadjato now.

Few very important things happened to me in the last few days, but I cannot reveal anything, as there are many people reading this, if you know what I mean. Don't worry mum, I didn't smoke weed (you get 10 years in Jail), or turn Gay (it's illegal, im not homophobic obviously but fucking out of order, talk about human rights...). It's something else, I will tell you about it another time.

We might return to Accra on the 27th as theres a BIG football game we want to watch.
RANGERS VS CELTIC. One of the most important events in SCOTTISH CALENDER!
We got other Scots in ma group, they are both Billy (rangers fans) so I tease them by singing Celtic songs! They know im only joking. But they consider Queen of The South fans not kindly! LOL!

Anyway, this is our last morning in Accra, we done so many things, we many so many people, we also more 2 people from Norway.
Something strange happened yesterday.
We were at the memorial park for Ghana's 1st President. One of the most significant sites in Accra. Right beside it, what did i see? A Peace Pole! (Poles my mum's Peace organization plants around the world). It gets even more crazy. On the way back to the hostel on the bus, I sat beside my Language teacher Vincent from Ghana, I told him about this and he said he was
there to planted it as a Guide, so he knew about WPPS! Also, he said it was planted 3 years ago.
I thought about it for a moment... I asked him about Jessica, my mums coleague who was here 3 years ago on Peace Work, and he vaguely remembers her!
How strange is this!?!?

We also went to the market. It was mental. All of us got taken away individually by different people, saying they are friends and trying to sell us things. I was a bit scared because these 2 Ghanians took me away to their drum shop, little distance away from where we are supposed to be. But they were nice guys, so nothing happened to me, but I really need to be careful. This market is a little deprived, a slum if you want to call it, but full of amazing things, gifts, clothes, Ghana Football top (Puma) for 7 pounds!

Oh, another thing, our Drum teacher at the SYTO is making us all a Jambi Drum for 50 Cidies (25 quid), hand made, hand painted and everything.
Also, Ghanaian music is in crazy rhythms, 5 beats, 7 beats, 11 beats... Not the traditional 4 beats you guys know (unless you love Jazz, Prog or Metal LOL). Stephen the drum teacher said he'd give me a private lesson in Ghanaian Music.

Anyway, we better go.
jamie x

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Ghana Trip - 2 - 11th December 2008.

So back to last monday night...

I met up with all the platform2 volunteers in a hotel near Heathrow.
7 english, 3 scottish (including me) and 1 welsh girl! bless her... her accent is awesome.
They are all nice people, we get on so well it's unreal.
Anyway, we left Heathrow on tuesday morning. We changed out flight at Frankfurt, Germany.
We stopped for 30 minutes at Lagos, Nigeria!!! None of us knew about it so it was awesome to be in the country I've never been before. So we arrived in Accra, what a mental place.
It's a wee bit like Jamaica, but in Ghanian colours. They Love Footbal & Reggae. Awesome.
But the difference between the rich and the poor is really bad. terrible...
Anyway, it's hot here, today was 32 degrees. We went tae the beach today and swam, awesome.
And at the hostel reception, theres a christmas tree. strange...
ok, to round things up (times running out on my credit!), I met many great people, australians, dutch, swedish, danish (YES! MANGE TAKK!) , canadians (1 crazy boy fae Quebec!) and many many ghanians.
Alot of them try and scam me all the time, but they do have a heart of gold. People here are amazing. Many secret hand shakes and all that!

anyway, for gods sake, some one please send me the Queen of The South results on here!!! LOL.
And also, general gossip, haggis, Buckfast abuse, recreational use "hint hint" of plants and all the other jazz i miss in scotland.

jamie x

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Ghana Trip - 1 - 6th December 2008.

Hello everyone!

I have created this blog website so you can check out what I've been up to.
I might spell some words in scottish, so please watch out!

I've finished packing and I'm leaving tomorrow.
I'm staying at my sisters flat tomorrow night (sunday 7th), then I'm heading to heathrow on monday night and staying a night in a hotel. Then I fly on tuesday morning via Frankfurt (Germany).

I'll try and update my blog as much as i can, maybe once a week.

jamie x