Have you ever had one of those days when the universe is determined to piss you off. It seems that I am having one of those months. So what is it this time….
The River Volta dam they say is at normal capacity, Ghana provides electricity for the surrounding borders, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo who by the way, apart from during the political turmoil have constant electricity. So why oh why I cry does the country who provides this source of energy to its neighbours, never have any for itself.
It started on Tuesday, at 9.48am (I know this as I was on the phone to my mum at the time and constantly checking how long she had been chatting away for), the lights went out. I had purposely taken the day off to relax and get myself together but the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) decided otherwise. So I went into town, had to get a few things and check on the price of security doors so I took this as an opportunity to get my otherwise lazy backside out.
I got to the security door company around midday, parking was a nightmare but I being the bright spark I was decided that I was going to see if I could park in a really tight spot, which the wall on one side and what I can describe as blocks on the other. Managed to squeeze in with only a minor hitch but no real damage to the car (my poor car has been through the wars, I’m surprised it is still kicking). So after I was told that it would cost GHS3,205 (approx £1,600) for the doors and nearly having a heart attack I left to go back home. My car was blocked in front by another car, and even brighter spark that I am instead of finding the owner to mover the car decided I was going to see if I could drive over these blocks. Front wheel went over and then thud then oh, oh, I’m stuck. I cannot come back to the original spot, I can’t get the back wheel over the block.
I sat in the car just silent, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t even do the girly thing and cry. Thank the Lord for the Good Samaritan who was passing by. He could see that I was in total shock, he didn’t berate me for being so utterly stupid (although I would have deserved it). He organised for a whole load of the area boys to come and literally they lifted my car and put it back in it’s original spot. They then found the owner of the car who had blocked me and I was able to go on my merry way. Only in Ghana….at least I can laugh about that one now but at the time, I was thinking, Lord what else.
I got home in the early hours of the afternoon, still no light, I tried to sleep but it was not forthcoming, night fell, and still no light, 8pm when finally the lights came back. The reason ECG gave for cutting the power off the whole day, I am yet to find out.
The next day I went back to work (painfully hard and still wishing I had a few more days/weeks leave) and between reading up on the 160 outstanding emails and catching up on my blog, I didn’t get home until 9pm. I drive into the estate and low and behold, no light again, I had a feeling that this time we were going to be without power for the whole night and I was right. The government have increased the price of electricity yet still I don’t know where the money is going (although I have an idea), a country of 20 million people and we are going the same way as Nigeria (holding 150 million), whereby every household will have to buy a generator, it is very sad. We ask the government why this is happening and what’s there response, a whole lot of spin but no sense, but what do they care living in their mansions with constant electricity and a back-up generator.
So last night I took my own plan B and stayed the night at my cousin who had power. Eventually the lights came back at around 6.30 this morning, and then as luck would have it, there was a thunderstorm (when it rains it Ghana it really goes to town to the detriment of my porch as I haven’t done the paving yet so the soil washes up all over it), had to quickly iron my clothes and boil the kettle before the power went out again, luckily (surprisingly because usually that is also a good reason for the ECG to turn of the power), it stayed on long enough for me to get myself ready and out of the house before work.
I can remember not so long ago living in London I used to take basic utilities such as constant electricity and free flowing water for granted. Living here in Ghana has made me appreciate these things ten-fold.
This morning after a somewhat light traffic (30mins as opposed to 1hr), I drive into the car park only to be greeted by one of those Long Goods Vehicles which really had no business being there and to be honest I don’t know how it managed to fit through the gate. Made parking so much fun this morning.
Anyway back to work, we are a team that does a little bit of everything and a whole lot of nothing. Our supply chain manager complained that we don’t have a sense of urgency because we don’t escalate important issues to him in time. It’s little wonder when we are always adding more jobs to our profile (with zero financial benefit), but who am I to talk, I am just a lowly worker what do I know, as long as I get paid at the end of the month and I can pay my mortgage.