>My Third Midsummer in Ghana

> Today is Midsommarafton, one of Sweden’s biggest holidays and just as all the other Midsummers in my life – it is celebrated! Here in Ghana the special feel of that “finally it is summer” is difficult to bring out since the tropical weather is constant, but the food and drinks and a few songs can be arranged. Also, I have been celebrating midsummer on the blog since I moved here:

2007 I spent midsummer with some Swedish friends in Accra.

2008 I hosted a big to-do in my garden with the Swedish diaspora that was here then (and later missed home anyways).

This year, it’ll be a bit more low key.

A beer on the beach with a friend and a flower in my hair.

In the pic: A hibiscus flower in my garden.

>Papaya Pondering

> If something has started to grow inside the paw-paw (or papaya) you are planning to eat, does it mean its expiry-date has passed?

>Smoothie for Breakfast

> The papaya (in Ghana “paw-paw”) in my garden, planted about one year ago, has started to give me ripe fruits every other day, and this is what I most often do with them.

I throw them in the blender, maybe with some juice, and here with some passion fruit. Run for a few minutes and voila, the best breakfast ever.

This post is part of my new tag Food and Drink. Hopefully I will follow up with more of these in 2009.

>Happiness Is…

> …a yellow sunflower swaying in the breeze.

In March I planted some sunflower sticklings about one inch high. I have almost forgotten about them since, but it seems the raining season has saved most of my flowers.

It is just so amazing that something can grow a meter and a half in two months. Seing it makes me happy.

Pic taken just outside my doorstep yesterday.

>Independent Celebration

>
Today is Ghana’s Independence Day. It is a public holiday and there is a huge parade in Accra which I had planned to attend. But then a Ghanaian friend of mine told me that these parades consists mainly of

school children standing in the scolding sun and big men enjoying themselves

I thought that I can see every day and changed my mind. Today I will be celebrating Ghana’s 51 years as a sovereign state by smelling the flowers in my garden.

In the slideshow: Ginger, Bourgainvillea, Marigold, Lilly, Hibiscus, Papaya and Green Peas. All in bloom right now!

Update: Also Nwia feels the same about the Independence Day parade (Mr. Sexy being Ghana’s president John Kuffuor):

I haven’t celebrated this huge day in Ghana for a long while. I don’t even know how I am going to celebrate it. As you guessed, it’s a holiday so most of us are staying at home. Not me. What will I do if I stay at home? Watch the 8th and final independence parade under Mr. Sexy Eyes’ watch? Not enough. The man would not find the faces of the hundreds of children who’ll have to stand under the scorching sun for hours at the Independence Square sexy.

>My Garden

> Today, I experienced my first ever harvest! I plucked a watermelon I grew all by myself in my garden! It all started in November with eating a very juicy melon and sticking its seed into the fertile Ghana soil!

Watermelon grows like a earthbound net, and just one seed can make a huge plant with several yellow flowers, later maturing into green, perfectly round melons. In my garden, I am also growing banana, papaya, tomato, ginger, garlic and herbs along with some bushes like Fycus, Queen of the night, Hibiscus and “Big grass”. It is of course amazing to see things grow in a tropical climate and being a rookie to this whole thing called cultivation, I fully enjoy every step of maintaining my garden. Drying seeds in the sun, planting them a decimeter a part, adding supportive sticks and – at night – watering them under the stars while the frogs and geckos run about.

Credit for my garden should also go to my father who taught me most of the above described steps.