Monday, 28 February 2011


Having justified the right to write the Ghanaian blog whilst on a brief break in the UK, I realised it might be best to explain that we're only back for a few weeks and that we're back because we were both ill. It seems that despite taking regular anti-malarial prophylactics, it is still quite feasible to get malaria. I'm not entirely sure what treatment Cheryl Cole took but we'll be looking to follow her lead as long as it costs no more than £4.99. In Ghana people seem to get malaria so regularly that those suffering from it get about as much sympathy as someone suffering a common cold. It feels significantly worse and seems to last much longer but they would be astonished to hear of this fuss we can make of it here. I don't have a picture of the malaria parasite to illustrate this blog so instead I offer a photo we took of one of the traditional fishing boats with the words "Oh God" on its colourful hull. His name crops up on almost every sign in the country, in some form or other, and the main response after being diagnosed with malaria or typhoid or whatever other tropical treat, is to seek help from God rather than medicine. Back to the Cheryl Cole treatment...

Looking back

It's most likely obvious to the majority but I've just realised - when pondering how to write the blog whilst on a rather unexpected sojourn to the UK for malaria-related reasons - that by the time an event has been written about it is inevitably in the past anyway. By the time one describes the particular tone of the sunset in words it has usually become redder or paler or disappeared altogether. And so it is that I feel justified in writing about things which happened before we came back to the UK to rid ourselves of tropical diseases. The first thing is that Ghana seems infinitely more appealing and rosy now we're not there. The memory of the heat fills me with nostalgia rather than making me sweat to the point of becoming dessicated. The constant shouts of: "Obruni, obruni," seem softer and less intrusive now they're no longer a daily occurence. Placing the looking glass in reverse, after a couple of weeks (for me - months for Andy) of drawing upon the wonders of the Ghanaian health service, our experience of being admitted to hospital in the UK and being treated by the NHS has been quite wondrous. Ghana has given us a new measuring stick by which to compare and appreciate - in this at the very least - how fortunate we are to have been born here.