CHALE! Trotro Diaries


One of the many reasons why I love  Accra, there is never a dull day in this City.

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At Church Today – Everyday Champions Church


Everyday Champions Church is simply an awesome place to be – at least every Sunday. As part of my duties as a church member, I  help out with car parking on a rota basis every other Sunday. Today was my turn and here I am with two other church members, Phil and Dave, who assisted in performing this task this morning.
We are currently going through a series “Be Stirred, Not Shaken” and had, yet another blessed opportunity to listen a to an exceptionally gifted young man – Sam Gill. Another description I normally tag to Sam is that he is ‘Articulately Gifted” in delivering the word of God. Keep up the good work Sam!

Time for a quick optic before it gets hectic parking cars

Time for a quick optic before it gets hectic parking cars

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Ideas For Open Offices – Riding Off Rockwell’s Office Renovation


The UK Head Office of Rockwell Automation, where I work, are currently renovation Building 3 and 4 in Milton Keynes, where they are currently based. The renovation started off with Building 3, which is now completed. The next phase is to now renovate Building 4. The transformation has been absolutely amazing. Unfortunately I did not capture any optics of the office environment “before”. I did however manage to get optics of “after” the renovation; before users IT kit was shipped back their desks locations. I am very impressed, although I am sure quite a lot of money was spent in bring the offices up to its current standard.

Anyway, I took optics of various parts of the office to give me some ideas regarding my project in Nyaniba. The architectural drawings will show the ground and first floor as offices, but as Open Offices. The architect should finish these drawings by the middle of next week and hopefully I should be able to give you a glimpse of how things will look like.

Using glass seems to be the choice when people are designing open offices. I believe this tends to give the area it is used in a more professional look as opposed to using bricks or solid partitions. Of course, the benefits are numerous. Check out West Park Contracting Ltd website for more information

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ECG, Ghana – “Domsor” My Own Personal Experience Today!


There is a general saying that if something does not personal happen to you, you do not appreciate the effect of what that thing has had on others. The Electricity Corporation Of Ghana has had to adopt some very strict processes due to various reasons and as a result has been rationing Electricity to homes, factories and companies for some years now. An attempt to find the real cause for this has been futile; there is no one specific reason. When this all kicked off, I was made to believe that it was due to the lack of rainfall and hence the low water levels at the Akosombo Dam. It appears – from Google – that the reasons are uncountable.
So this is how Domsor (by the way, the term “Domsor” as I understand it, means the unreliable and frequent power cuts and power restore typically in the city of Accra, Ghana) made my day.

If you recall (if not, check out this link ) I mentioned that I was planning a project to change the face of Nyaniba. Briefly, this involved demolishing the current building on Plot 22 and erecting the two storey building. After careful consideration, I final selected a contractor whom I was going to go with. With several emails and sketches going back and forth, we came to an agreement on a final sketch and I instructed him to proceed with the Architectural, Structural and Design drawings. Being eager to get the drawings done as soon as possible so that I can get a Bill Of Quantities and then subsequently determine if I had enough money to fund the project, I made a trip to the local Post Office in Wellingborough, UK and had what they call a Global Priority delivery of a cheques sent to the Architect, Justice. I paid 59 quid for the service and was told that it would get to the addressee in 9 days from leaving the UK Hub. From the tracking system in place on Parcel Force website, I was able to confirm that the cheque left the UK on the 30th of August. A mental calculation told me that Justice would certainly receive the cheque by, tops, the 10th of September.

Fast forwarding things up, I got messages from Justice informing me that he still had not received the cheque. I called EMS in Accra today and was given a number for their Customer Care/Service. I tried calling the number but was not successful, so I called the first number I was given for EMS again. This time the chap who answered the phone took my tracking number and then asked me for my  number so that he could call me back with some information. Unfortunately he stopped me just after I had started with +44… and said he could not call back to an international number. Sweet. Desperate to get to the bottom of where the cheque was, I quickly said I would call back in 15 minutes. I called back in 15, as promised only to be told that he could not check the whereabouts of my registered letter on their computer system because they were currently experiencing a “Domso” moment.
I don’t know, but for some reason, I suddenly started laughing. The chap on the other end wanted to know why I was laughing. I did not bother to give him an answer, but on a serious note, I fail to see how EMS can let “Domso” affect their business. For a business that other international Postal Services depend on, what happened to purchasing a medium sized generator to run, at least, the computers onsite.

I have some shares in FAN Milk Ghana, and monitor the value of the shares, from a regular newsletter I get from CAL Brokers. One that I received recently was a PDF document – Fan Milk Ghana/HYR 2014 Earnings Review. Of interest was the below snippet (underlined emphasis, mine):

Sluggish revenue growth due to weak consumer confidence: FML has reported
weak revenue growth of 6.2% YoY compared to the historical average growth rate
of 22.0% during FY 2009-13 periods. The weak revenue performance was driven
by the slow-down in Ghanaian economy since FY 2013 due to high fiscal deficit,
unreliable power supply and weak foreign exchange position.

The Ghanaian Governement cannot expect companies already running a business in Ghana to make substantial profits, or assist in the growth of the economy by employing people if they cannot be assured constant power supply. It is not rocket science. Eventually these companies are going to move their operations/businesses elsewhere.

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The Truth About Beats by Dre!


Last night I watched another awesome YouTube video by a tech reviewer called Marques Brownlee. If you missed it, check out the link below.

I woke up this morning and Marques had made a posting on his Google+ Account:
MBThe funny thing this is that Marques is not the only Tech reviewer on YouTube who has made a Tech review on Beats by Dr Dre. If you do a quick search on YouTube using “Beats by Dre” you will find a whole list of reviews either praising them of knocking them as useless. Interesting enough, Marques has made other Tech reviews on Beats by Dre way back in February 2012 ‘”ATH-M50 vs Beats by Dre Pro, plus a mini rant.” – Uploaded on 14 Feb 2012″. Dr Dre did not want to talk to him then. Nor did Dr Dre, as far as I know, want to to talk to the other reviews os his product.
So Apple now buys Beats and they now want to talk to, I presume, to the first person who has made a review on their product. There is a lot to take away from Apples sudden interest in Marques’ review, and I will leave you to list them in the comments section. My only advice to Marques though is that he takes a lawyer with him [if he is having this talk at Apple offices].

I will be interested, if Marques is allowed to reveal the contents of this meeting to the general public, what was actually discussed in this meeting.
Anyway, nice one Marques – keep up the good work. Whatever the outcome of this “talk” with Apple, don’t let it stop you from reviewing the iPhone 6 when it comes out! ;-)

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Ghana Parliament – The Need For proper Email Communication.


I do not know what exactly  prompted me to go digging, but I vaguely remember reading a Twit from one person to another. The first person making the Twit appeared to be a member of Parliament in Ghana. I was not too sure so I did a quick Google of his name and got the confirmation that he was actually a Member Of the Ghanaian Parliament. The confirmation was from the Ghana Parliamentary website. So that was good enough for me. Then something struck me. His email address was listed as a “@yahoo.com”. I did a quick scan of other members of parliament of the Ghana Parliamentary website and noted that there were a few others that had “@yahoo.com” email address. Some even did not have an email address!

I found this very strange. So it means that if one member of parliament wants to send an email – lets say a sensitive email – to another, it has to be routed from one “yahoo.com” account to another. Since most of the members listed do not have email addresses it means that exchange of emails is something that hardly occurs. Coming from an IT back ground I was expecting that there would be a proper utilisation of a  mail server, setup to cater for all members of parliament. The lack of proper utilisation of mail server can be attributed to various reasons. I will let make you suggestions in the comments section. What comes as a surprise to me is that when you go to the “Contact Us” page, there is a “info@parliament.gh” and “webtech@parliament.gh” email address. So the question is, why have all the Members of Parliament not been given a valid “@parliament.gh” email address?

To get a comparison, I took a look at the Parliamentary Site for members of Parliament in the UK. The result was totally different. So lets take a look.

Here is the link to the Ghana Parliamentary WebSite => http://www.parliament.gh
I
 must admit, most of the names that I sampled do not have an email address! The ones below are using their own personal email addresses. One does not have an email address.

This is the link for the UK Parliamentary WebSite => http://www.parliament.uk

So you can see what I am getting at in terms of my comparison. My next step will be to send an email to info@parliament.gh and ask why every member of parliament listed on the website does not have a valid “@parliament.gh” email address. If I do get a response, I wonder what the response will be.

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Christenings – Just Love Them: Amelie’s Christening


I love Christenings, even though I do not attend as many of them as I should do for someone who loves these events. Last week, I got an invite to attend one which was hosted in a little village called Stanwick, not far from where I live.

But before I continue to narrate events of that day and share optics taken, I would like to share an article I came across on the internet, buried in the archives of the New York Times. Essentially it saves me the trouble of explaining to you what an Outdooring is and what it involves. The article does a good job on this. From my personal experiences of outdoorings that I have attended in Ghana, these occasions are more intricate and detailed when performed in Ghana as a lot of other things are taken into account in preparation for that special day.

Naadu, Ewurabena and I arrived about 10 minutes early, found a spot to park and made out way into this lovely English medieval  church. The ceremony did not take that long, after which we all made track to an English pub not far away for food and drinks.
On the flip side, I also love Ghanaian Outdooring Ceremonies. Ghana being quite diverse in its culture, there are obviously different formats these Outdoorings take depending on the tribe/region the couple hosting the ceremony are from. What strikes out immediately at a Ghanaian Outdooring are the colourful traditional clothes worn by guests.

I have not been to a Ghanaian Outdooring Ceremony for quite a while, so I have made it one of my calendar events to attend one on my next visit to Ghana this September.

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