My #2016bestnine on Instagram

Last year I increased my presence on Instagram and ended up with 244 posts which were liked a whopping 6971 times! Thank you!

(and if you are not part of the 800+ people who follow me yet, I am @KajsaHA there too!)

You apparently like:

  1. Me graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in African Studies from University of Ghana
  2. Me taking a selfie with an umbrella and a yellow Ginko Biloba tree at the Mall in Washington DC (steps away from where people did NOT assemble for someone’s inauguration last week)
  3. My daughter Ellen zipping up my dress.
  4. Smiley husband and I on a night out at the National Theatre.
  5. An intimate sibling embrace.
  6. Girls being silly in new swim caps.
  7. Garden marvels (it is palm nut kernels!).
  8. Long shadows on one of the shortest days of the year.
  9. Live broadcast technology that allows my mother in Sweden to follow my graduation in Ghana (see #1)

Comment on what you want to see in 2017!


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Manifest and Efya’s New Music Video “Asa”

“Asa” means “dance” in Twi. Manifest is one of the most interesting artists in Ghana (and the grandson of acclaimed Africanist Prof. Nketsia, I recently found out from the grandfather himself at a book launch last month!). Efya is a lovely vocalist and the two compliment each other very well.

Really, art is what makes life worth living! After a heavy week, I am welcoming this trip into the world of clapping, rhythms and Ghanaian dance. Medawoase!

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Swedish Media Personalities Visit Ghana: Gina Dirawi and Kodjo Akolor

A friend just sent me a tip about this 30 minute travel program featuring two Swedish media personalities. It aired on Swedish TV earlier tonight. In the program, Swedish Ghanaian radio profile/comedian* Kodjo Akolor visits Ghana together with his best friend Gina Dirawi, known from Sweden’s first web-TV-series*.

See the trailer below which leads you to the full program if you click on it.

I actually heard through the Swedish Ghanaian grapewine that Kodjo and Gina were here in June to record the program, but had kind of forgotten about it. I love seing Swedish productions from Ghana, last time it was Felix Herngren and my friend Magnus, because they often capture something about Ghana that I also see.

I have a hard time putting my finger on exactly what it is, but it is something like the yellow light before the sun sets, the brightly painted houses and the quirky details of Ghanaian everyday life.

(* as I have not lived in my native Sweden since they became celebrities, do not quote me on if this is how they are actually known).

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Back in Ghana

Our daughter is now 13,5 months and everyday with her is like a month. She learns a lot, she is so funny and also runs around with a speed that makes me feel tired after just a few minutes. I have been asked how she dealt with the travel this summer.

The answer is that she took it very well even though we visited many new places and people. We were on the road for a month, and upon our return to Ghana she needed just a couple of days before she was fully reintegrated into Ghanaian everyday life, see below!

Click on pic to see it in full!

Edited with Pixlr.

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Blogs I Read: Shiloh /Holli Holdsworth

Looking for an online getaway? Follow blogger extraordinaire, Holli Holdsworth, on the journey of her life (as in she sold it all, bought a boat and will now see the world!)

The blog is SV Shiloh – notes from the boat.

Holli kept a much read blog writing out of Ghana, and in her last post she writes beautifully about her host country for 16 years:

Ghana raised me from the blinding grip of naiveté, helped mold me, open my sheltered eyes, gave me a new world in which to raise a family and learn some heart piercing lessons about love and loss.
Ghana has been everything to me – from a highschool bully to my tour guide, my big sister, a boss you can never quite please.

Let’s see what Holli will say about the world!

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Back in Ghana and Green Wood Hoohoe

Saturday, Selma and I returned from the cold north to the warm south. Waiting here in Ghana were Selma’s father, her paternal grandparents and our big extended family including many good friends. Some of them we have seen the last couple of days, other we are still to meet this weekend.

Coming back always entails thawing aka getting used to the heat. First night is almost always fine, the second I woke up panting for air. The third day, I woke up to empty taps. I think I am halfway thawed so far…(Selma seems fine. Babies take this much better!)

Much is like I remember around our house, but plants have grown a lot in six months and our house was repainted by Selma’s father to welcome us home!

This afternoon, Selma and I sat outside admiring our newly painted house. But that wasn’t the only thing new! This beautiful tropical bird with an orange-red beak and long tail (called Green Wood Hoopoe I have deduced after some googling of “red beak and long tail”) also jumped around our backyard. Seemingly looking for insects to munch on. Smiling in the sun.

Picture borrowed from Wikipedia.

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What to Bring from Sweden

I have been quiet here for a while, mainly because I am starting to say goodbye to life here in Sweden. As a part of that process, I have to decide what to take with me from Sweden to Ghana.

My first year in Ghana, that list was quite long. Edibles like kaviar, nyponsoppa, knäckebröd, and then loads of books formed a substantial part of my luggage. With time, the list has grown leaner both because I have learned to live without certain items (kaviar, nyponsoppa), but also because many items can now be bought in Ghana (knäckebröd, for instance – I buy the Ryvita bread at any supermarket).

This time, I am traveling with a Kindle in my bag, so most of the books I’d like to read carry no physical weight. (I’m still in awe, isn’t this amazing?)

This year, I think the list is down to:

  • Cheese and Coffee – the amounts and qualities I need cannot be found within my budget in Ghana
  • Swedish candy (Although, now I can apparently order it from Candy from Sweden)
  • Swedish Home Decor magazines (with that special blend of Scandinavian design and IKEA).

But of course, what I most want to take with me, I can’t. In my case – my Swedish family and then the bandwidth…

What do you have to bring from home when you travel?

Pic from Candy from Sweden

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When Did You Last Learn Something New?

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Came across this beautiful movie called LEARN created by three guys who traveled the world (on the expense of a travel agency). Out of their trip came three separate and wonderful short films, except for the LEARN film above also MOVE and EAT.

But even though I love traveling and eating, I realize after watching this film there is nothing that compares with learning something new!

Which is your favorite?

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Impressions from Marseille

I had such a lovely time in Marseille, in the south of France!

Top left at a visit in a vineyard in Cassis, a small town outside Marseille, a sign at the vineyard which translates to “a meal without wines is like a day without sunshine“…then the lovely local fish soup Bouillabaisse (not too different from a good light soup with fresh fish, I must say…read all about it in the Bouillabaisse charter here) and last but not least with friend since 10 years, Cris, who lives in Marseille and hosted me.


The next collage is showing the time working – which was the lion share of my stay, I promise! Here you see Mary Gentile and symposium/workshop organizer Antony Bueno of Bentley University conversing, the Euromed Management campus, a workshop group session and a presentation by the hilarious Aaron Nurick.


I felt like this trip connected me to the wide world of teaching (Australia, Taiwan, Uganda, US), opened my eyes to new academic opportunities and at the same time reminded me of how small the world is…

…like this was not enough, French food was of course great, living in a nice hotel was amazing and getting to also see an old friend was a big plus…

…that is a pretty fabulous week, in my opinion!

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When I Visited Rijksmuseum at Schiphol Airport

Riksutställningar Ghana Amsterdam SchipholWhen was the last time you went to an art museum at an airport?

For me, it was in August.  I wrote a snapshot article  for Swedish newsletter Spana! from my experience Rijksmuseum at Schiphol Airport in Holland.

With Google Translate (and some translating services on my own) it goes something like this:

AMSTERDAM: Between two flights I haste to Terminal D at Amsterdam International Airport Schiphol. Passing VIP lounges and chocolate disks you can find a branch of the Dutch Rijksmuseum. Here some 20 works are displayed, mostly paintings from the era of Dutch great painting. Three visitors of all ages – and a suitcase – are scattered in the room and below we can see the excitement travelers.

Dutch Lisa is standing viewing a portrait.
– I always take my time to go by here. Anyway now the money is finished!
She laughs and holds up a shopping bag.

Despite a gift shop which is at least as large as the exhibition space, the Rijksmuseum at Schiphol provides a unique opportunity not to consume during the waiting time at the airport. With its very existence the museum site challenges the space – are airports really public places when they most closely resemble shopping palaces?

Lisa with the bag is also critical.
– The selection is too narrow. At the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, there is so much more.

Apparently, the Rijksmuseum thought the same thing, for later this year will open a new, larger museum at Schiphol airport.

Find the article in original in the Spana! September edition (click on Netherlands).

Surprisingly, there was an article on Ghana too in the newsletter, but not by me but by fellow Ghanablogging member Osabutey Anny – translated into Swedish! I must say this network is going places…

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No Planes? Words on a Aviation Free World

Air Plane, Paper plane, Alain de Botton, “recent writer-in-residence at Heathrow airport” (sic!) and also the writer of a wonderful little book On Love that had an impression on me, now dreams up a world without planes, of course relating to the volcanic disruptions of air traffic.

Everything would, of course, go very slowly. It would take two days to reach Rome, a month before one finally sailed exultantly into Sydney harbour. And yet there would be benefits tied up in this languor.

Those who had known the age of planes would recall the confusion they had felt upon arriving in Mumbai or Rio, Auckland or Montego Bay, only hours after leaving home, their slight sickness and bewilderment lending credence to the old Arabic saying that the soul invariably travels at the speed of a camel.

I urge you to read the whole BBC column by de Botton. It somehow has a soothingly effect on my nerves when I think about how the volcanic ash cloud may steal my summer in Sweden away from me…

Thanks to GeorgiaP for the tip!

Drawing borrowed from Kathy.

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