Ian’s First Days in Ghana

Ian writes:

After some uncertainty over the last year, the work in Ghana has finally come to pass. I flew out on the 28th September, leaving Sandie in High Wycombe for another month to be on hand at the birth of grandson number two. Before leaving, I had a meeting in London with the professor who’s sponsoring the work, at the Athenaeum Club in Pall Mall of all places! The contrast between the surroundings there and in Ghana where he’s now working is quite extreme.

I’m based in Oblogo, on the western outskirts of Accra, close to the main highway that runs along the coast. The organisation I’m working with (Omega schools) has its office here. It is dedicated to providing low-cost reasonable quality private schooling for low-income families.

One of the Omega schools

Assembling for school

The environment is quite a culture shock to those of us from the affluent west, even compared with some parts of South America. But the people are friendly and happy, and have been very welcoming. As I walk to work in the morning I’m constantly greeted by shouts of ‘Obroni!’ (White man!) from all the children.

An interesting local establishment

'Hey, Obroni!'

The flat where I’m living (and Sandie when she comes out) is on a hill, with a steep dirt road down to the bottom, and it takes about 25 minutes to walk to work. The flat is very spacious, but quite sparsely furnished. It has most of the essentials, except that at present there is no hot water – hopefully that will be rectified in the near future.

Our first floor flat

I’m mainly working in the office, helping the staff to analyse data from the tests they are using and provide useful information to guide teaching and learning. I’ve been out to visit a couple of the schools, and found them quite different from English schools. The classes are crowded, but the children seem enthusiastic and quite hard working.

One thing that is bad is the traffic, especially on the main road. The driving is shocking, and accidents apparently frequent. The only supermarket is about 4 miles away, so it requires a taxi or ‘tro-tro’ (minibus) to get there and back, which can be slightly nerve-wracking.

Oblogo rush hour

A nasty smash on the highway

Watch this space for further updates on life in Ghana, or on the baby front from England.

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