Diskussion über Themen der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (EZ) in/mit Westafrika einschließlich (und vor allem) der politischen sowie sozio-ökonomischen Bedingungen in den Ländern und was EZ bewirken kann -- oder auch nicht -- oder ob sie aber nicht sogar schadet. ACHTUNG: In Ermangelung von Kommentaren lediglich Beiträge zu EZ-Themen. _________________________________________________________________

9. Februar 2007

An Eglishman in Accra

Wir (d.h. meine Frau Tanja und ich) lieben die Briten. Dass ein junger Engländer, nach nur knapp einer Woche in Ghana (genauer: Accra), einen derartigen super Bericht abliefert, bestätigt nur unsere "Liebe"!

The Ghanaian Chronicle
By David Harrison | Posted: Thursday, February 08, 2007
Arriving at Kotoka Airport, Accra, at around 7.30pm I was instantly struck by the intensity and vibrancy of my surroundings. Coming from the murky, grey climate of Britain, the sheer heat even at that late hour took me by surprise. After four days spent in the fascinating city of Accra, I have yet to fully adjust to this new, dynamic way of life that the Ghanaian people undoubtedly take for granted.

I was born in Southampton, but have spent the majority of my life growing up in the town of Swindon, which lies to the west of London. From what I have experienced so far, Swindon is as far removed from Accra as possible. Yes, my hometown is a bustling, noisy town with a reasonably large population, but it simply cannot compete with the Ghanaian capital in terms of character and spirit. There is a vibrancy of life running through the heart of Accra emphasised by the affability and easiness of the locals. This friendliness I witnessed first-hand on my third day in the country. Travelling to the Tesano district from Circle, I found myself lost and alone with no form of communication with which to contact my host family. Fortunately for me, a kindly local took me under his wing and lent me his mobile phone so that I could ring my host family for assistance. Though this may not seem like much to the readers of this article, for me it was proof that the commonly used phrase “Ghanaian hospitality” which is so often thrown about is not a myth but an actuality.

The local residents of Accra I have so far met have been both warm and extremely sociable and have contrived to make me feel quite at ease. It is only after spending a little time in Ghana, that I have come to realise just how self-contained the English way of life is. I would not go as far as to say that Brits, and Europeans in general, are anti-social, but they certainly give the impression of being concerned primarily with their own situation before that of others. It perhaps would not be such an assumption to claim that Ghana’s rapidly expanding tourism industry can be directly accredited to the warm and accommodating spirit of the Ghanaian people themselves.

Despite the welcoming nature of Ghana, I have experienced much that has served to reinforce the fact that I am a foreigner immersed in a culture far removed from my own. This “culture shock” of moving to Ghana will perhaps never recede but I am slowly finding myself becoming more immune to events which I had previously found so curious and alien to my way of thinking. The transportation system in particular, which at first appeared so incomprehensible and unstructured to my Western viewpoint, now makes perfect sense. Though the tro-tros are crowded and appear at times to be incapable of even starting their engines, they serve a basic purpose and do so swiftly and effectively.

The Ghanaian way of life seems at times to be chaotic and unorganised; yet clearly underlying this perception is the fact that day-to-day life runs smoothly and generally without bother. From the perspective of a Westerner coming from a country where so often legislation, political correctness and bureaucracy take precedence over common sense, this apparent “organised chaos” is a refreshing way of life.

Over the last four days I have tried my best to fully immerse myself in the culture of the Ghanaian people which, for me, most importantly includes its cuisine. The local delicacies I have so far sampled have been unusual to say the least, but nonetheless quite delicious.

A particular favourite of mine has been fried plantain with beans (red-red) which I sampled for the first time whilst relaxing with a cool Star beer on Labadi beach; a most enjoyable experience and one which I would recommend to anyone visiting Ghana. Other culinary delights have included jollof rice and fufu accompanied by a sort of gravy soup. Frequently, the dishes have been laden with spices and other flavours which heighten the vibrancy of the food and give it a vitality and freshness that is not unlike the character of Ghana itself.

I came to Ghana expecting a population that was both sociable and laid-back in equal measure; so far, I have experienced this and more.

Though I have only been here for four days, I have already had the pleasure of meeting some of the warmest, most likeable people imaginable. I only hope that the remainder of my visit to this country continues in such a pleasurable manner.

Photo: The Author; © Ghanaian Chronicle; taken from: » Source

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