You Know You Are in Accra When…

A celebrated part of new Dust magazine (that has been mentioned a number of times on this blog already) is the section called “you know you are in Accra when…”  Basically a list of fun stuff that we can see daily and only become funny when highlighted. I have observed, similar things have been posted on Twitter with the hashtag “onlyinGhana”.

Anyhow, I have some to share with you:

You know you are in Accra when…/Only in Ghana…

…an envelope can double as a bag to carry about town.

… A meal costs anywhere between 70 pesewas and 70 GHC.

…you hear “I’m coming, eh!” when someone walks away from you.

…parking is free, but throwing your trash, going to the washroom or drinking cholera free water has a steep price.

…you have to run to cross the street, even if the “green man” is giving you way.

These are just some I thought of when driving to work the other day – do let me know your homemade ones as well in the comment section below!

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My 500th Blog Post

After celebrating turning 30 last week, I thought life couldn’t be more festive, but here I am celebrating again! This is my 500th blog post! Woo hoo!

So how did it all start?

Well, I kept a diary since I learned how to write (or from just before, scribble, scribble) and always loved the act of writing. In 2006 some Swedish friends had blogs, and though I thought blogging was a brilliant forum, I couldn’t really find my own tone or topic. When I got the opportunity to move to Paris, I found myself reading blogs, not books, about Parisian life. I think that spurred the decision to start blogging myself. And then the topic was clear: “Non, je ne regrette rien!”

When moving to Ghana in 2007, the blogging really took off. I wanted to write positively about Ghana and Africa, as I thought most reports from this part of the world was negative and chose the reverse image of a dry desert as my blog name: “Rain in Africa”.

In this post, I thought I’d chronicle my blogging experience with looking back at some of my blog posts.

1st Post: First Let’s Have A Song

Jan 9th 2006.

As an Edith Piaf lover on my way to Paris, I started by blogging with the lyrics to her hit Mon Grand Paris.

The post has one link, for the student hostel where I had just gotten a room.

“Paris, je m’ennuie de toi, mon vieux.
On se retrouvera tous les deux,
Mon grand Paris.”

100th Post: First Gear

Dec 18th 2007

I had moved to Ghana and just enrolled at the driving school. Some months later I had my licence, still one of my proudest achievements, and I rarely omit telling anyone who wants to hear that “I learned to drive in Ghana!”

“My goal is to sometime next year be able to navigate between goats and Mercedes-Benzes, yellow taxicabs and banana sellers.”

200th Post: Plantain at Work

Jan 29th 2009

I was now working in the corporate sector in Ghana and decided to tell this funny story about a stray comment during a meeting with suits.

It is in the “only in Ghana”-category…

“Bored, I glance out the window and see some green leaves. To be a bit funny, I turn to one of the guys in the room and ask:

– Are you the one growing plantain out there?”

300th Post: Developing Blogging, Leaving Blogger for WordPress

Oct 18th 2009

Here I took the first step into professionalizing my blogging. Its a post of the advantages of “going WordPress” and also an interactive piece where I am asking my readers for help. From the header you can also see that I now, thanks to fellow Ghanablogger David Ajao, understand how the title of the post should be filled with keywords, rather than just being witty.

“What do you think? Does the name of a blog matter? How it looks? How its posts are categorized? What topics it presents? What URL it has?”

400th Post: Minor Field Study (MFS) in Ghana

May 18th 2010

At this time, I had migrated my blog to wordpress and the domain When the blog looked as I wanted, I was motivated to write more.

This post reflects that I have added a topic to my blog: academically related texts. This particular one, outlines the Swedish MFS program and my current role within it.

“Back to yesterday afternoon. I first took Emma and Ebba to eat some fufu and drink some bissap at Buka. We talked about everything from clinics to corruption, from surveys to soup, from PhD to perfect beaches.”

A bit more than 5 years of blogging in three countries and 500 posts.

Thanks to all of you who read this blog, thanks for your insightful comments and for stubbornly coming back for more.

Out of my 500, which was your favorite post?

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