quiet

Accra is a city of sound Singing, always beautiful. Lively conversations. Shouting, always good natured. Calls to prayer carry the wind. Taxis beep, into forever. Music wins. Tropical, so the birds have their say. They fill the void both early in the morning and at dusk, reminding us it’s time to get moving. And time […]

heroic

The yellow kickball sits, tantalizingly close to the Four Square court, yet just out of reach. It teases the 9-year olds as they try to somehow coax it down. The red corrugated roof flashes heat, each indentation creating a perfect track for just such a ball, and, perfectly spaced places for it to get stuck. […]

dive bombers

ksssssssssht ksssssssht ksssssssht kssssssssht ksssssssssht ksssssssht ksssssssht kssssssssht The sprinklers are melodic and consistent, beating a rhythm and keeping time as the afternoon sun passes overhead. We’re at the field, launching bottle rockets. And we have company. 4.41 seconds I shout to Rhino after the launch and subsequent grounding of his San Pellegrino bottle, decked […]

stars

Tonight it’s just me and Rhino We’ve had tension lately. A couple missteps and disagreements, for me, and him. He, soon to be a teenager and all. And me, getting older, being Papa and all. So we needed this tonight. Just me, him And 35,000 friends. My friends! Ete sen? E ye Wo din de […]

old meets new

white maaaaaan The sunglass vendor slides me an easy smile and holds in his hand three different styles. I’ll give you a very good price I shake my head, smile, and move along. No sale today. Although I could probably use a pair of sunglasses. It’s bright today. I’m wandering Oxford Street, in Osu. The […]

Today’s Solutions

The six men, uniform in blue coveralls, get to work. The sound of their makeshift brooms is the only noise on the playground. It’s a welcome quiet, punctuated by gentle rhythm, sneaking its way in after the boom of the rain. When rain comes to Accra, it arrives suddenly, barges through without hesitation. A deluge […]

coming and going

Au revoir, a demain! C’est La Semaine de la Francophonie, so our farewell today is, naturellement, en Francais. 19 quick fist bumps, and it’s time to go. It’s breezy today. The wind funnels down the lane as we join the scores of kids meandering towards pickup. But it’s more than just a simple transfer. This […]

balance

The light turns red The man wearing twenty-seven hats and carrying thirteen more in his arms ambles between the bright yellow tro tro and the towering truck beside it. He navigates a path wide as a grocery aisle. But there are no carts in these aisles There are, however, motorbikes. They appear suddenly, snaking the […]

power through

You’ll be in the middle of it, whatever it might be. And everything that seems important stops. Lights, fans, A/C. All still, all silent. All off, instantly. Life in a country with a sometimes irrational power grid demands flexibility. And a good flashlight. But the benefits of a sudden outage help to keep us, like […]

Supply and Demand

Everything. Is. Dependent. On. The <pause>. Supply. Of Dollars. In. Relation. To. The Cedi. The shrill, halting voice of the African economist filters in and out of my consciousness as I stare blankly at the vehicles, stacked row upon row, seemingly to the horizon. I consider changing the station. Since it’s Thursday, traffic shouldn’t be […]