Osu Night Market – Hosted By Naa Oyoo Quartey on CHALE

This is a first for me. I did not realise that there was a Osu Night Market. Come to think of it, I have a rough idea where this market is located. Entirely not my fault on being ignorant of this location, for reasons best known to me. These are some of the night scenes in Accra that make you love Ghana. I am no historian but I bet the selling of food at the night market has been going on for years. Can we call it “unadulterated” traditional food selling? It certainly stirs your appetite to see an assortment of various tasty foods being displayed. I will not say a lot but rather let the video educate you as it has me. Nice one Naa!!

Posted in Ghana - Facts, Patterns and Polictics, Home | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flight BA0081 from Heathrow To Accra – An example of Excellent Customer Service

I always fly British Airways. Well, that is not actually accurate. When I started making regular trips to Ghana, my initial preferred airline was Virgin. Actually before Virgin started flying to Ghana, I took flew Ghana Airways once, then when they went bust, I flew with another airline that went to Ghana frequently – I cannot remember their name.  Anyway, after that, I flew BA once and then a few times with Virgin. For reasons best known to themselves, Virgin suddenly dropped the routes to Ghana and I found myself flying with British Airways [BA]. I had no problem flying BA. They were always punctual in departures and arrivals. The crew are always friendly and quick to step in when a passenger needs help. Everything slotted in just fine for a “World Traveller” like me. Many friends had issues, and some still do with the fares, but my way around that was to plan my trips when BA was either having a sale or to travel outside school holidays – tickets are always cheaper outside school holidays. I know a few people who would rather purchase a cheaper tickets with another airline that offered several hours stop-overs/transits elsewhere before arriving in Ghana. I cannot imagine myself engaging in such a trip. I would rather spend extra in having a direct flight than having to stop over at another airport for several hours only for the sake of saving money.

My trip to Ghana on the 14th of November started of with me driving to Heathrow in heavy rain. It rained non stop from Northampton to Heathrow. The driving conditions were absolutely horrendous.
Tip 1 – always check in as early as you can. The check in staff are very nice when the queues are short and hence they are less stressed. The advantage is that even if you are 3 – 6 kilos over the your weight allowance, they are sympathetic and will make you language as HEAVY and check you in.
Tip 2 – always engage in light conversation with the check in staff. They always appreciate this. After all, they are humans too. Ask them how their day has been so far and what time they knock off work. After checking in and buying a few things from the Duty free shops, I finally bordered my flight and airborne on time to Ghana. Then we hit a snag. The crew were having issues with the onboard entertainment. All attempts by them to resolve the issue proved futile. So we ended up not having any entertainment for the duration of the flight.

A couple of days into my stay in Accra, I tweeted BA informing them of my lack on entertainment and suggestion of a refund. After a couple of tweets between myself and @BritishAirways, my British Airways Executive Club account was credited with Avios Points. Well done BA. You have yet again proved that Customer Service is at the forefront of your airline operation and I look forward to flying with you anytime again in the not to distant future.

Posted in Home | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Letters From My Mother – Looking Back

I grew up in that era where, as a student in a secondary school miles away from your parents, the only means of communication was by you writing a letter to your Mum/Dad or them writing to you. For other students who were fortunate to have their families living close, a visit was a convenient way to catch up with your family. When my Mum and I moved back to Ghana in the 70’s, I entered secondary school form One at the age of 11. My Mum was posted to Dormaa Secondary School to set up the Home Science Department there. After a couple years at Dormaa, my Mum had to leave for another postings in Kumasi, Sunyani Aburi and Accra. Instead of uprooting me from a perfectly good school and moving me , she decided to leave me where I was. So this is where we developed our fond habit of writing to each other; the conditions that presented themselves offered one logical means of us communicating, and that was by writing letters to each other. This carried on even during the school holidays because in those days, taking a trip from Darmaa to where ever she was, just for the period of school vacation was not worth it. The roads were herendous, not to mention the time it took to make such a trip. I always looked forward to letters from my Mum. One particular habit of hers was to correct my letters to her and send them back to me to review my mistakes. Of course at that time, i found this annoying. least did I know that she was doing me a huge favour. The other thing I appreciated about her letters to me was her handwriting, She had such lovely handwriting.

I do not think my Mum was one to embrace technology. I suppose it push came to shove, she would have made some effort. She never had a telephone installed at home. Even through she was an avid reader and was up to speed with how things were changing in terms of Information Technology, I strongly feel that information technology was the least of her worries.

When I moved back to the UK after my National Service, are main means of commnication was through letters. Whiles most people tend to throw away or distroy letters from a loved one, I have kept most of the letters my Mum wrote to me. I am sure if I search properly, I will find some more letters from her hidden away somewhere in my study.

Posted in Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Saturday Morning Interlude – A Walk to SurfLine Offices Osu. Accra

I am currently in Accra, Ghana preparing for a project to be kicked off. Prior my trip, I happened to come across an advert regarding fast internet access via 4G supplied by a new company in Ghana called SurfLine. I immediately became interested for a reason. My previous visits to Ghana have found me using mobile internet provided by Vodafone, MTN and TiGo. Non of them, I am afraid to say, were able to fulfil my needs. My current job with Rockwell Automation enables me to work anywhere in the world providing the location I am in has a good internet connection and that management also approves. My bandwidth requirements are not extreme. I use IP Communicator [aka CISCO phone] and access to emails, all through VPN connection to my company network. Vodafone, MTN and TiGo failed miserably in attempting to give me a constant reliable connect to the internet. So you can imagine my delight when I came across SurfLine’s advert. I arrived in Accra on Friday evening and the next day, Saturday, took a walk from Nyaniba to SurfLine’s offices just off Oxford Street.

Customer Service was very good. I was disappointed that they needed an ID card from me before they could register their SIM card in my name. I immediately informed the lady attending to me that this should have been a bold stipulation on their website. Anyway, with that out of the way, I was directed to another part of the office where my SurfLine Router was configured.

I am yet to take SurfLine through its pace. I will fire up my  work laptop tomorrow and see how it handles Voice Over IP. Using SurfLine on my Macbook Pro to surf the net has been a pleasant experience. I have had no break/drop in connections as I did when using Vodafone, MTN and TiGo wireless internet packages.

Posted in Home | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

CHALE! Trotro Diaries

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

Posted in Ghana - Facts, Patterns and Polictics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Home | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Project Nyaniba | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments