Time for a road trip (with music)

In late January, a friend (the BFF) and I set off on a long awaited road trip. We started separately, catching up with family and friends in different parts of New South Wales, then met up for a big loop through Victoria that took in the Great Ocean Road, magical forests, historic goldfields and long straight roads.
2016-02-02 11.40.52-vic-road

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Back from the USA

Young man holding snowballs

AM had never seen snow like this before.

Well, we are back in the land of Oz, reality, home, summer, call it what you will — our big holiday is over, although the jetlag lingers.

I can’t remember the last holiday AM & I had together. It would have been one of our regular beachside visits to my parents in their Mid-North Coast retirement village sometime before they died in 2011. We haven’t been overseas since 2008, when we embarked on a marathon journey to visit AM’s family in Ghana (via the US and Germany). If you’re interested in reading about that adventure, the story starts here

This time, we didn’t make it as far as Ghana. The aim was to visit my niece and her family in Orange County, California, as well as friends in San Francisco and Boston, and to generally have a good time after two years of hard slog for AM, who finished high school forever last November. Continue reading

Monday Music: Ghana old school

Obaapaa’s sister and her husband have been visiting us from the UK. Well, when I say ‘us’, I mean DadaK & family, but AM and I have got to see them a few times. To celebrate, I’m playing music that was popular when they were a whole lot younger than they are now. Like this (which I think is the first Ghanaian music I ever heard, back in 1989).

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Monday music: Tugende e … (let’s go to) Kampala!

In the early 1990s, the small HIV organisation I worked for received a letter from a man in South West Uganda – let’s call him by his Ugandan nickname, Atwoki – who was seeking funding for an HIV support organisation he had started. We barely had enough funding for ourselves, so we couldn’t help him out, but we responded to his letter, pointing him to various aid agencies.

It’s because of this letter that in the middle of 1992, I found myself on the streets of Kampala, buying a Philly Lutaaya cassette.  I’d decided to pop over to Uganda and visit Atwoki after going to Amsterdam for the International AIDS conference … via a safari in Tanzania…as you do … or maybe you don’t. Continue reading

Ghana Street food #4: snacks

Condensed milk sweets, home-made by Abrantie for AM's birthday. A bit darker than you'd find in Ghana, but otherwise typical.

Condensed milk sweets, home-made by Abrantie for AM’s birthday. A bit darker than you’d find in Ghana, but otherwise typical.

After all the excitement of my last Ghana street food post on turkey tails, what can I possibly say about Ghanaian street snacks that would impress you?

Well, probably quite a lot.

I could marvel at the scary woks full of boiling oil at about toddler height, where street sellers deep-fry meat pies, yams, koosé.

I could mention how if researching etoh (pounded yams with palm oil and peanuts) you will enter into the realm of things that are hard to find on Google. I wondered if it’s because I don’t have a Twi keyboard to spell it correctly? I believe it should be ɛtoh. (I stole that character). But no, now impossible to find. (Oh wait, I just made it possible, hehe …. so to add value for Googlers, apparently you can find a recipe in this book.)

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