Volta Trip and Good Bye Ghana!

And that’s it. Wow.

I’m sitting in the House of Beatrice now, the nice woman that kindly provides accommodation for the IAESTE group in Accra. My plane leaves in the afternoon, there is not much to do here for me anymore. Nothing but sorting a couple of pictures and writing this blog post. So let’s get to it.

Volta Trip

Thursday

On Thursday we left Beatrice’s house in Accra for a last trip to a part of Ghana we have not yet seen: The Volta Region in the east of Ghana. We, that is Raffael the Austrian guy from Takoradi and the german-speaking core group from Kumasi: John, Ben, Lisa, Olga, and me.

Fortunately, a group of students from Accra made a similar tour before and gave us a couple of important tips. Unfortunately, John got Malaria on Wednesday, making it so that all guys in Kumasi had malaria now (25% of girls got it, too). Luckily he was very fast in discovering this and treating the disease, resulting in him being able to come with us after all.

Much as the Wednesday before, thursday consisted mostly of driving. This time from Accra of course, to the east. The only stop we made was at the Akosombo Dam, the world’s biggest free-standing dam.

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It’s construction created Lake Volta, the largest man-made Lake in the world by surface area and the third largest by volume. The dam houses a hydroelectric power plant that can produce up to 1020 megawatts (1370000 hp).

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Unfortunately, as you can see in this picture, the water level is very low. It has been like this for over a year now. Actually, it is even below the minimum water level as defined during the construction of the dam and power plant. At this time, the plant is only producing 340 megawatts instead of the 1020 megawatts that make out 55% of the national demand. That’s 37% of the national demand missing right there, on of the root causes of the reoccurring blackouts everywhere.

In the evening we reached the Waterfall Lodge in Afegame, a nice place run by a nice German couple where we stayed this as well as the following nights.

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Friday

On Friday we went on our first hiking trip, visiting some caves in the mountains. John stayed at the lodge to cure his malaria while we got warmed up for the following days. We had a young and very friendly guide and joked about selling Olga to him, but we couldn’t reach an agreement on the number of cows and goats she was worth.

The trip was very nice, in itself only about one and a half hours in total, but we went there by tro-tro and hiked back to make it four hours. We visited around 5 caves of which all were quite small and three not very deep. The other two were larger and all of us could enter them at once – to stand (or rather crouch) face to face with about a hundred bats!

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On the way back we found a broken radio mast!

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Saturday

On Saturday we climbed Mount Afadjato, the supposedly highest mountain in Ghana. It has the only drawback that its peak offers a clear view on an even higher mountain. How’s that possible? Well we asked our guide and he told us that we should look closely: The other mountain actually sits on another mountain and therefore doesn’t count. In itself it is not higher, it only “starts” further up than ours. uh-huh.

Anyway, it was a nice trip and John could actually come with us, as well as a trio from Hamburg we met at the lodge. Oh, and on the way back we passed a waterfall and Raffael and me took a swim below it.

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Sunday

On Sunday we went on our longest tour, through the Wli Waterfall park.

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We climbed the mountains on the right of this pictures and then steeply descended next to the waterfall, and then down to another waterfall below. The tour was exhausting and long but also very cool.

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Monday

On Monday we went back to Accra. Originally we planned to go back on Sunday after the tour, but we were all oh so tired and the food was so good and the beds so comfy…

So we decided to stay one more night and leave on monday morning. After about half the way we had to say good bye to Olga, for she is staying in Ghana for 10 weeks in total and had to go back to Kumasi.

Tuesday

On Tuesday we brought John and Lisa to the airport. We had a last beer together and said goodbye to them, too.

Ben, Raffael and I went to Accra Mall afterwards, a huge mall that sells a lot of stuff we haven’t seen for a while (cheese, chocolate, curved LED TVs for 26000 cedi…)

Wednesday

On Wednesday I had to say good bye to the two remaining guys. Raffael went back to Takoradi to (not) work for two more weeks while Ben stayed to leave later that same day.

I went to the Maranatha Beach Camp in Ada Foah again, where we have been around 6 weeks ago in the large IAESTE group already. I wanted to enjoy my last two days at the beach and so I did.

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Thursday

Not much to say about it. Spend the day at the beach camp and went back in the evening.

Friday

Today. my last day. I leave for the airport in about 6 hours. I think I will spend most of my time reading now. Originally I planned to use it to plan my Dubai trip, because I will have a 28 hour transit stay in Dubai on my way back and use it to visit the city.

But my Dad seems to have already taken care of that, since he arranged for a Dubai Colleague of his to pick me up at the airport and show me around. I’m excited!

Volta Trip and Good Bye Ghana!

Bye bye Kumasi

Jep, that’s it. I’m in the Bus now on my way to Accra and I’m not going to be back soon. Luckily I’m not alone. I had to say good bye to most people though, feels weird. Anyway, let’s start where we left of. And please note that I’m writing this on my phone. Expect mistakes.

What happened so far

Adum again.

On saturday the 15th of August I was at Adum again, and boy is it big. so much bigger than what we saw last time on our own. This time I was there with Ben and his colleague and a specific target, but it was most important for his colleague to show us everything. Adum market is the largest market in west Africa.

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Plush Lounge

Later that day we attended the opening ceremony of the Plush Lounge in Jubilee Mall close to our favorite Supermarket (Nutella….).

the ceremony was much bigger than we anticipated, there was a laser show, a red carpet, and a television team asking people for interviews.

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The group pushed me a little because everybody trusted in my English, even under pressure. Thanks guys :) The interview was about music in general and somehow ended in all of us Germans singing the German national anthem because we didn’t find another song that everybody knew.

The Lounge itself was crowded afterwards, but not very spectacular. The music was okay, the prices were not, it is definitely aimed at the richer people around here. The photographers were hopefully only there for the day. We left after a relative short time.

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Football match

On Sunday we went to the football game of Kumasi Asante Kotoko against B. A. United. Both teams play in Ghana first league, Kotoko for Kumasi and the Ashanti region, B. A. United for the western region I believe.

Kotoko means porcupine :)

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It was really hard to find out at what time the game would start and when we came they were already halfway through the first half and Kotoko was 2:0 in the lead. It got interesting though when United closed the gap and tied at the beginning of the second half. In the end we (Kotoko) won with 4:2 though.

 Glasses

I got them fixed on Wednesday :)

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Malaria

Yes, in the end it got me, too. It all started with a cold in Wednesday and a headache on Thursday morning. I went home from work early and got myself tested in the University’s clinical lab.tmp_7877-IMG_20150820_155404-500953504

After the experiences others had at the hospital (expensive, long waiting queues, questionable results) I went directly to the pharmacy and got the same medicine everybody else got in these cases.

On Sunday my medicine was out and I still didn’t feel very good. I decided to take my Malarone Prophylaxis in a higher treatment dosis for three more days as described in the information sheet that came with it. Today, on Wednesday, I made another test that was negative :)

Malaria Tropica can be completely treated to the point where it is not returning periodically like some other kinds of Malaria. I did make an appointment with a German doctor already so talk about this and other questions. Most likely I will not be allowed to donate blood for a very long time.

Shirts

On Monday I finally got the two custom made shirts I ordered at a Tailor here :)

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Last day of work

Tuesday was my last day of work. It was rather unspectacular. After Lunch we made a bunch of pictures, though :)

All in all I had a very nice experience at Governor Steel. Thanks guys!

What happens now and soon

I’m in the bus to Accra right now, together with Ben, Lisa, and Olga from Germany and John from Austria. These guys came at almost the same time as I and will, with the exception of Olga, leave at almost the same time as I. They have become the core of “my” group here and I’m so happy we can go on this last trip together.

In Accra we will meet Raffael from Austria and together we will go on a trip to the Volta Region in the east of Ghana. We will see the big dam, Some waterfalls and climb a mountain.

On Sunday we will return to Accra and visit the city on Monday. Most of the others are then leaving on Monday and Tuesday, and Olga will go back to Kumasi. Raffael and I will stay and I’m not sure where I (or we) will spend my last days until I will leave Ghana on friday.

I’m sad to leave the others, but I’m so excited for the trip and secretly I’m also already very much looking forward to be back in Germany :)

Bye bye Kumasi

Stuff that happened

Hey guys! I’m sorry for not writing during the last weeks. A lot of stuff happened; I wanted to write a couple of articles but didn’t find the time. Now it’s quite the pile and I feel unable to keep up, so I will just try to mention everything that happened until now in one post and be done with it.

Adum

Two weeks ago, on Wednesday, I went to Adum with a couple of guys. That is so long ago that Dennis was still with us. Adum is a central district of Kumasi. It has a lot of businesses and a huge market. Dennis kindly offered to take us there and show us a shop where he had bought some souvenirs and got friends with the owner. We hoped to get good prices because of that – and did, but I’m not yet ready to reveal what I bought there 😉

Anyways, the shops where close to the business area, but of course we wanted to see the market, too. So we went there:
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The market is huge. On the picture you can see only a tiny fraction and Tro-Tros are only present on a couple of streets. The sidewalks are covered with several rows of merchants in front of the shops in the buildings. You can buy pretty much anything here, it’s just important to know your way around to know where to go. So unless one wants to only look around as we did, it is advisable to meet someone there who can show you the way.

A little orientation is provided by the macrostructure of the shops, there is an area for tourist, one for used clothes, and generally richer areas where merchants offer smartphones, laptop chargers, jewelry, and shoes, and poorer areas where you can buy kasawa and jams, feature phones, and used phone batteries.

It was interesting and very nice to go there, and by now I’ve actually been to Adum a couple of times for different reasons. Always with a guide and a specific target though. You can really buy everything here.

Rosicrucian Fellowship

In the same week, my boss Johnny offered to take me to church with him on Sunday. I think I wrote about church before, the last church I was at was very lively and close to what I remember about church from the US. Drum set and gospel choir in the front, song texts thrown on a couple of big screens by beamers, and a cheering and dancing crowd of a couple hundred people.

Johnny promised me something very different, and he was right. The church he took me too is a church of the Rosicrucian Fellowship, “An International Association of Christian Mystics”. As far as I understand, they incorporate esoteric Christianity, Philosophy, “spiritual Astrology”, and Sciences into their belief. The church is open to all who are not professional hypnotists, mediums, palmists or astrologers. As I am none of these, I was happily welcomed.

The service was rather “european”: Almost completely in English, with a lengthy preachment and some songs from a songbook accompanied by an organ. Well, an electric keyboard set to “organ” with relatively weak speakers, amplified by the speaker’s microphone. This is Ghana after all. A difference to our german church was definitely the discussion that followed the preachment. It was largely not held in english though, so I didn’t understand anything. It was a nice experience anyways, so thank you Johnny for taking me with you!

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Cape Coast

The week was rather standard, there’s not a lot to tell you about it. Last weekend we went on the last by IAESTE organized trip – to cape coast! Cape coast is a city at the coast in the south of Ghana. It has nice beaches and if I remember correctly 5 castles, the most famous of which is undoubtedly Cape Coast Castle, which we visited:

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Originally built by the Swedes for trading gold, it got it’s terrible fame later on when it was used for the Atlantic slave trade mainly by the Brits. Several hundred slaves were held here at a time, brought from all over the country to leave it through the castle’s “Door of no return”. The slaves were held in underground dungeons, only able to see the sun through the little holes in the ceiling that enabled numerous guards to watch them. “Medical treatment” was provided by the nearby sea in which sick slaves were thrown when they did not recover quickly enough. The castle is a terrible but important proof of the unbelievable crimes that were committed in this country during 400 years of slave trade.

We stayed the night at a beach camp quite close to the castle, with nice but expensive food and lots of pushy children that wanted to sell banana chips or groundnuts for a few cedis. It really felt like a tourist place but it was okay for a day. We slept in one big room and the beds were fine, if short, and everybody was provided with a mosquito net and a wall socket. (Both are invaluable for the quality of life over here).

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Kakum National Park

On Sunday, most of us joined the trip to Kakum National Park. This park is unique for it was established by the initiative of the local people and not the State Department of wildlife like the other national parks. It is covered with tropical rainforest and features a canopy walkway with an awesome view over the forest.

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After crossing the seven walkway bridges without any further security equipment, a few people and I joined the guide for a “nature walk”. For this walk we left the main trails for a couple of narrow paths through the jungle. The guide showed us many different plants and explained their features and uses. It’s really hard to write about, but it was awesome to see, a little magical somehow, really nice!

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Tailor

Back in Kumasi, I finally got to do something that I wanted to do long before and that slowly turned urgent: Go to a tailor to order a custom-made shirt! Dennis has done this before, but it was an odyssey that took him about 5 weeks and almost left him without shirt at all. Fortunately my boss offered me his support to find a good and trustworthy tailor who actually does and delivers work. So on Tuesday after work we went there together to get my measurements down and decide on fabrics and stuff.

Funnily enough I didn’t feel very involved in the design and decision-making process, mainly because the tailor was mostly speaking in the local language and my boss translated some, but not all of it. I decided to order two shirts, a long and a short-sleeved one. The tailor decided that he wanted to use a nicely structured but plain white fabric for the long-sleeved shirt, together with one plain colored fabric of my choice. He also decided where in Adum I could buy a fabric of my liking for the short-sleeved shirt. By now I have the fabric and my boss will give it to the tailor, I’m excited to see what he makes of it as I have no idea. I paid about 110 cedis for the work and the materials, which is equal to about 27€ and a lot of money in Ghana.

Jennifer

Like everything in Ghana that is supposed to last just an hour, we took a lot longer than expected (by my boss) to reach the tailor and get everything set there. That was a little unfortunate because I was to meet Jennifer that same evening. Jennifer is a student of my mother in Germany, but she has family in Ghana and went to visit them this summer.

It’s an incredible coincidence that she stayed at the same district the tailor was at, quite far outside the city center and far away from my hostel. So we met at her place spontaneously and talked about life in Ghana and Germany and what we had to get used to over here.

Her family way very nice to me and took got care of me to get me safely home that night. They had also previously invited me for the next day to join them on a trip to the center of Ghana. So, on Wednesday morning they picked me up at my hostel and together with her whole family we went north in an old sprinter. It was one of these buses that fit 22 passengers but also sometimes 24 if need be and I think we were a couple more than 22. I do not remember all the people I met, but it was her, her parents, a couple of aunts and uncles and cousins and siblings, some of them my age, some above, some below.

Together we went to the Kintampo Waterfalls and the center of Ghana. I almost made it to both places on the northern trip, but at that time we decided against it to reach Kumasi earlier. So I’m glad I got the possibility again, and even though it was a long ride it was fun and worth it.

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Afterwards we went to a place I had been to before, the Monkey Sanctuary we visited on the northern trip! It was very cool to go there again. The guide was the same as before but didn’t recognize me. But he has a lot of visitors and white people look probably all the same to him, so he is forgiven 😉 The monkeys probably didn’t recognize me either, but they were closer to and in the village this time and equally eager for groundnuts and bananas as last time. It struck me again how smart they are. If you offer them food and take it away at the last moment, they will turn away from you and don’t take food from you anymore.

All in all it was a very nice day and I felt well cared for. Thank you for taking me with you! Und Jennifer, grüß die Familie wenn du das hier liest 😉

Glasses

My glasses broke D:

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My boss tried to fix them and it looked good for a while:

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But now they broke again. I’m not sure yet what we can do. I would rather not glue the glass straight to the frame, but maybe we have to. For now I’m doing well without, but it feels weird and is not exceptionally comfortable.

Time

Time’s almost up for me! The feeling of having to leave soon came pretty much at the time where Dennis left and I had the first half of my stay completed. By now another two weeks passed and it feels like it’s getting really close. As I wrote before I will go on one last trip with some other guys at the end, starting on August 27th or maybe even 26th. That means I have less than two weeks left in Kumasi, and only 7 or 8 days of work! I will have to start with my internship reports for IAESTE and this company next week, so that I can finish my last weekly report on the last Monday and then it’s time to say goodbye already – wow!

There is also a lot of stuff to do now that I wanted to do “before I/we leave” like getting a shirt made (i hope the tailor finishes in time), buying some bracelets and jewelry from the friend of a work colleague as I promised him, going to the golden Tulip hotel and try their buffet. Oh, and writing another blog post about the food here!

If there are other things that you want me to write about, this is probably the time to tell me! Shoot me an email or comment at the bottom of this post, it really takes a long time to write this up and sometimes I need pictures so please tell me now!

And so, that’s it again, I hope you enjoyed the read!

See you, guys, and soon in person!

Stuff that happened

Malaria ?!

On Friday I had my last day of work with Dennis, who left Kumasi on Saturday. We talked to Johnny, our general manager and supervisor at the company, for a long time. I was freezing at his office because of the air conditioning, but it was a nice and interesting talk and review of our time here so far. We took a lot of pictures, together and with other colleagues. Unfortunately I don’t have copies, yet. I was very cold outside, too, although we had around 27° centigrade. That is relatively cool for Kumasi but still quite hot for Germany.

On the way home we bought a crate of beer because we planned a farewell party for the evening. We had to walk a little for that and it was very exhausting for me. My head started to ache a little but I didn’t want to get sick because of Dennis. At the hostel I had to lie in bed though because I felt really bad. I remembered that I felt cold earlier and was afraid of having a fever, so I checked with my thermometer. The resulting 37.8° centigrade were right in between the upper limit of a normal body temperature (37.5°C) and what doctors would call an elevated temperature (38°C).

I talked to Isa over Whatsapp. After I told her that I had a little diarrhea in the morning she made me promise to at least check for Malaria with one of the manual rapid tests that Olga got from her boss. The test and test procedure look as follows:

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I had some problems with the first part and I cannot remember the last time I purposely stabbed my finger to extract some blood from it. I seemed unable to gather enought blood and needed to stab a couple of times, rubbing and squeezing the finger to press the blood out of the tiny hole. Maybe someone else should have done that, because after completing the test I felt really close to fainting, unable to hear or see a lot. I was surprised that it really feels like your head is wrapped in cotton wool.

Anyways, the test needed some time so I laid down and got someone to hold up my feet for my blood circulation. After I felt better we checked for fever again, this time with Lisa’s thermometer. Either mine is completely broken or my temperature rose pretty quickly to the 39°centigrade it showed.

It is worth noting that while we were waiting for the test to complete, Ben was laid in the bed above mine with Malaria. He had already felt sick in the morning and went to the hospital, where Malaria was diagnosed. He got some treatment and was very sleepy.

Anyways, after the test completed, the result showed NEGATIVE. I also did not feel as bad as I would have expected it with Malaria, since I have heard really bad things about that. The speed at which people get worse seems especially remarkable about malaria, and it was a rather slow process for me. So it looks like I stayed clear of it for now. I forced myself to get some food and went to sleep. Of course I am sad that I missed Dennis’s party.

Fortunately I was awake when he left on Saturday morning, so I could say good bye to him appropriately. It’s sad that he left but it was certain long beforehand and we will all get over it.

Later on Saturday the others left for Lake Bosomtwe, but I stayed at home with Ben and slept for most of the day. I also finished reading Blackout from Mark Elsberg on my phone. It’s a good book that accurately describes  weaknesses of modern technology and a possible impact of a multi-week-blackout on the life in europe. It has been a good read during all the blackouts in Ghana 😉

Anyways, back to me. I felt better on Sunday and went to church with my boss. On monday I went to work. I will write about both days later. Have a nice day guys, see you soon.

Malaria ?!

Email Subscription!

Hey guys, one more thing before you can go and enjoy my other posts:

I added an option to my blog to enable you to subscribe to new posts per email.

You can find it in the menu in the top right corner of the page. Second entry. Just enter your e-mail address, click the “subscribe”-button and follow the instructions. I think you have to confirm the subscription once by clicking on a link you get per e-mail.

have fun :)

Email Subscription!

Home of Fire Products

Let’s talk about my work here in Ghana. A lot of people have asked me about it, and I think it’s about time to introduce my workplace: Governor Steel Co. Ltd. in Ejisu, Ghana.

The Company produces Nails, steel roofing sheets of different kinds and Plastic rolls and bags. Why “Home of Fire products”? I don’t really now. It has something to do with the tribe of the boss. Apparently they great each other with a friendly “fire!”. Anyways, here is how the company describes itself on its flyer (original spelling):

Introduction:

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GOVERNOR STEEL LONG SPAN ROOFING: It comes in various colors with elegance and nobility to brand your building with excellence style. The product is perfect and is founded by Advance Techniques, The brightness and glamorous nature give it another unique taste.

These Long Span products produced by Governor Steel come in TILES, STRIPS, IBR, IDT and Concave-shaped roofing sheets. The products come along with well-designed RIDGE CAPS, RAIN GUTTERS, and VALLEYS etc. to enhance your building to perfection.

Technically, professionalism at GOVERNOR STEEL is very accurate therefore special nails are used for the installation to make the roofing stronger and more beautiful, with the STRIPS, the nails do not appear directly thereby making the surface on the roofing very smooth and even in nature. With the rest, nail are covered with plastic caps of the some color of the sheets

Company Site:

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Main House:

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This is where I work. The second and third floors of the building are not completed and are also not being worked on. The first floor is finished though and is functional. All the offices are in this building, including the general manager’s office, the reception desk and the main office I’m working in.

All the windows are mirrors from the outside but see-through from the inside. Curiously, these windows are also used in all inside doors, including restroom doors. The main restroom is right behind the receptionist and you can see him and his computer screen from the inside… Can people from the other side see you? Yes, it’s actually pretty easy to recognize the inside if you know what you are looking for.

Roofing department

The leftmost building is the biggest and contains the roofing department.

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This is where the roofing sheets are made. I did not spend a lot of time in this part of the company, yet. On the last picture you can also see the store where our products are stored until they are sold. I like the roofing department because it doesn’t smell and it is also not particularly loud.

Nail department

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The nail department, located in the center, is loud. The machines here take steel wire with a diameter of several millimeters and cut it in pieces. A big Hammer also smashes the one side together for the typical head. We have seven of these machines and they sound like a dozen blacksmiths – each. Oh, and polishing tens of thousands of nails in a big drum is also not particularly quiet.

Rubber department

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the rubber or plastic department is located on the right and it smells really bad. Production Process wise it is rather interesting though and you can actually talk to the people in the hall. Dennis and I spent most of our time with this department, although not necessarily in it if we could get around that. In here, new and so-called “virgin” plastic material is used as well as recycled material. The plastic is melted and transformed into bags and rolls.

Recycling site

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The waste from the rubber department is made reusable at the recycling site. It gets melted here and cut into pellets. Not the most beautiful workplace you can imagine…

My Job

So what am I doing here?

Dennis and I usually work on task that have to to with the analysis and organization of the production processes. In example we gather performance data of workers at different stations in the rubber department and create a weekly performance report for the general manager. We also analyzed how much waste we create in the nail production and calculated the yield of nails we get from one 2-ton-coil of steel.Our current task is to reduce the amount of unfinished products that are stored at various places in the halls and to reduce the creation of waste where we can.

Sounds cool, eh? It is, and I feel that we can actually contribute value to the company. This does not mean that we work a lot or anywhere near full-time, though.

A usual work day

Work starts at 8 am on weekdays and weekends are free. I work for 8 hours a day with a formal break of one hour so I stay until 5 pm.

  • Work usually starts at 8 am with taking a small tour around the site, greeting everybody. Afterwards we usually share some breakfast if we brought peanuts or fruits or other food with us.

  • At around 9 am we start to work on a current topic. Work is only interrupted every couple of minutes by small conversations but sometimes goes uninterrupted for quite some time. This is the productive time of the day.

  • At around 11 am everything slows down to a crawl as we slowly approach lunch time. We sometimes talk with our colleagues or read the news or chat with our friends at home.

  • At 12 pm we have Lunch break. Because we work quite far outside of Kumasi, we don’t have that many options for food. We usually go to a place nearby where we can get Fufu, Banku or Rice balls and Soup. I will write more about the food in this country later. We usually talk with the cook for a while afterwards and sometimes go to the hospital to buy some fruits (fresh mango, pineapple, peanuts, bananas).

  • At around 1:30 pm we find ourselves back at the workplace and we share some of our fruits, talk to colleagues, relax.

  • Sometimes, we go for a second round of work at around 2 pm, although we rarely work for more than one of the last 3 hours.

  • At around 3:30 pm we finish for the day and kill time until we can leave

Now, please note that this is only an average day. Sometimes we work until 5 pm. Today I didn’t really do anything besides writing a couple of blog post. TIG – This is Ghana!

Electricity

Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. It’s only Tuesday but the week has been good so far. On Monday we had only one blackout for 47 minutes at around noon which didn’t affect us too much. Today not a single one. Usually, we experience around 2 blackouts a day, they are called “Lights out” over here. Last week we didn’t have electricity for two whole days.

The reason seems to be the rapid growth of the Ghanaian industry and the inability of the local providers to provide enough energy. If the demand for electricity is to high, some districts of Kumasi get more or less randomly switched off. There is no warning and not much of a pattern behind it.

zooosh – post out

Home of Fire Products

Weekend update

Hey guys! As always I was planning on writing an article this weekend, and as always I did not find the time because of a trip. This weekend we went to the beach again, although another one this time.

Busua Beach lies in the western part of the Ghanaian cost, close to the city of Takoradi. All in all this weekend was pretty similar to the last one, the accommodation was a little bit better but the beach was not quite as nice. We could eat good and affordable in a small village nearby and different from last week we could leave the beach camp to see some of the attractions around.

Unfortunately, there was a lot more drama this time, starting with me cutting myself on the way out of our tro-tro. I did not notice it, but I must have touched something sharp in there while climbing from the last row to the sliding door. When I wanted to pay for the ride, blood was already dripping down my leg and I had a 4 cm cut right under the knee.

Later on Friday, Stella, the Greek girl, almost drowned in the sea after getting pulled out by a strong current. She was with Christian, one of the German guys, who was able to get my attention when I was relatively close by, surfing (more on that later). Together we tried to get and keep Stella on the surfboard and pull her back to the shore. Being trapped in the surge of some huge waves though, we were unable to do either. Christian then went back to the beach to alert the lifeguards, while I tried to keep Stella afloat and pull her further back and out of the breaking zone. The waves were too high and too frequent though, so we could merely brace ourselves for the next one and not really do much. The waves spun us around wildly and at some point we lost the board when it broke away from the string that attached it to my ankle. The water was shallow enough for me to stand in between the waves and I never really felt seriously endangered myself. I was really afraid to lose Stella, though, and very relieved to see the lifeguards coming with further boards. Together we managed to lift Stella on a board and pull her further away from the shore and out of the surge area. They then decided on the best way back and we made it back to the beach safely.

Far less thrilling but probably worse in the long run is that some guys are now complaining about flea bites. Until now we could not determine where exactly they got them, but fortunately it seems to not be our hostel in Kumasi. I’m very happy to not have any, since they are really itchy and might carry diseases.

After all it is worth noting, though, that we also had a lot of fun this weekend. The weather was very good and we made two trips on Saturday and Sunday, one to a castle with a great view and the other to a small village of fishermen built above a big lake. The food also was really good and affordable, we might have found the source of Ghana’s best pancakes.

And we learned how to surf! At least a little. There was a surfing school right in front of the beach camp and it was not very expensive. I did not expect that I would ever get into surfing, but I gladly took the opportunity and had quite some success! Unfortunately no pictures from my side. And that’s it for now. There will hopefully soon be another article about my work, though! :)

Weekend update