Tag Archives: West Africa

Monrovia toe vir ‘n “joy-ride”

‘n Mens kan sommer baie leer by ‘n hond. Goete soos lê en dut in die son.  Drink baie water. Vat ‘n joy-ride elke kans wat jy kan!

My Ouma was reg toe sy sê ek is nes ‘n Maltees-hond: As die wiele draai – dan wil ek saam vir ‘n “joy”-ride. So gebeur dit dat my man gaan besighed doen in Liberië – Monrovia; ek wil saam –te bang en nuuskierig ek mis iets. Die Liberiese ambesade is in ‘n ou Koloniale herehuis stapafstand van waar ons woon in Akkra. As mens vir die vier ambesadestaflede, van die Kollenel se hoender, middagete koop, kry jy die drie-dae-wagtyd visas; sommer dieselfde middag nog.

Daar voel ek toe sommer baie veilig op my heel eerste presidentsieële vlug. Swoosh trek sulke slap Mercedes Benz mouters langs die vliegtuig in. Daar vlieg President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf en haar gevolg van vier dames saam.

President van LiberiaDis opmerklik dat so te sê al die witmans op ons vlug Afrikaanse myners, is – kakie kortbroekies en boepies wat span oor golfhemde. Hulle lyk ernstig – niks tyd vir grappies nie.  Die Liberiese Afrika-manne sit stokstyf die hele vlug deur onder wye Texas-cowboy hoede en agter Top Gun-donkerbrille. Met al daai Amerikaners wat heeltyd kom “peace keep” en olie soek en tap  – kan ek die Texas-invloed, duidelik sien.

Grootoog loer ek na al die reuse riviere hoe nader ons aan Monrovia se lughawe kom. Sekerlik kan net die Amesone riviere groter wees? Die president klim eerste af – baie interessant; net vrouens as lyfwagte. Sy bedank en groet almal en spoed daar weg.

Dit stort reën onverpoost.

Ook maar blond- ek was so opgewonde oor al die wildvreemde dinge wat my voorlê, dat ek my plat Apple Mac-maaitjie net daar in Akkra, op die lughawe se stukkende stoel vergeet. Ons klim ‘n taxi vir ‘n uur se rit na die kusstad, Monrovia. Drie oproepe later, nog oppad na die hotel- bevestig my man my Mac-maaitjie is teruggevind en ‘n oulike Ghanaian vrou hou dit in veilige bewaring op die Akkra lughawe vir my. Met my geloof herstel in die ganse mensdom, ry ons voort.

Die pad is goed en ek sit agter in die mouter en druk my neus teen die venster en kyk die reën en statjies buite verbyglip.  By ‘n T-aansluiting druk ‘n nat-agter-die-ore-donkerbril-soldaat sy AK47 in ons taxidrywer se neus op. Trurat agtertoe, want die President se sirene-kawelkade loei verby en daar bevind ek myself skielik tussen die sitplekke van die taxi toe ‘n groot vier by vier ons gatslag van agteraf. Heeldag se polisiedrama en grootgeld -as dit in Ghana was! Die taxi bestuurder vlieg om die mouterkar, gryp die buffer en gooi dit in die kattebak. Ons is stil-oorbluf. “Ok…ok”, sê-vra sy. Ons knik en daar ry sy verder, “no life-loss”, verklaar sy en daar gaat ons voort.

Ons word met hartlikheid ontvang in die Hotel. Dis net Amerikaase “peace keepers” en UN bloudoppe al om ons.  Snazzy Hotel, “baie fênsie” sou my vriendin Louisa opmerk.

Te pragtig - heerlike kos - en vriendelike staf.

Te pragtig – heerlike kos – en vriendelike staf.

Liberië het die hoogste tropiesereënval in Afrika – en daar’s reënwoud ondeurdringbare bosse en orals is reëwaterpoele waardeur mense knie-diep ploeter – hulle onthou nog waar is die voetpaadjie en slote. Dit lyk soos elke ander Afrikaland, ingerygde bont twee vertrek sementsteen huisies met sinkplaat-platdakke. In ons drie dae besoek, het dit vir enkele ure, opgehou strortreën.

Hier rits ons deur die water rond na een van die lap-informele markte

Hier rits ons deur die water rond na een van die lap-informele markte

Elke derde, fênsie vier-by-vier mouter is beplak as een of ander hulp organisasie. Die res is ou 1970-vergete roeskoetse soos Peugeot en Datsun. Met ‘n vrou as president, is die meeste wagte Indiese en Israeli vroue soldate. My taxi bestuurder is ‘n vrou – in soldaat soorgelyke univorm, die hotel loodgieter en padwerkers en vulstasie werkers is almal vrouens.   Voor jy by enige hotel, restaurant, geld wisselaar, supermark instap, word jy met ‘n temperatuur plastiek pistool op die voorkop gerooi-kol. Net met ‘n normale temperatuur kan jy voort. Orals staan waterkanne en pompieseep-middels. Voordat jy iewers instap – was jy hande. Al die water van die spoggerige hotelkrane is roesbruin, al die ander water orals van krane en toiletter is rooibruin. Net bottelwater is sprankelskoon.

Die Liberiese mense slurp hulle woorde se sterte in as hulle al bulderend Engels praat. “Ca I ge yu a be, Ma?” is “Can I get you a beer, Mate?” en jy moet fyn luister om kop of stert uit te maak.

Ek was na die informele mark toe om bont Afrika lap te koop. Als is verspoel, mense vra waar in Amerika ek vandaan kom.

Met net een wit Afrika boorling - klomp glimlagte en verbaasdheid

Met net een wit Afrika boorling – klomp glimlagte en verbaasdheid

Van hulle ontmoet vir die eerste keer wit gebore Afrika-boorling en klap so in die sit, hulle knieknoppe van verbaasdheid. ‘n Paar vra of ek nie Albino geboe is nie.  Als is geprys in Amerikaanse dollar eenhede. Die lokale geldeenheid is soos die Zim dollar in sy peetjie in.

Bont Afrika Lap gekoop in Monrovia

Bont Afrika Lap gekoop in Monrovia

Na drie dae is als te snel verby. Ebola of te nôt – ek sit en wag by die voordeur vir my volgende joy-ride.

No Ebola

Ebola freaks out the uninformed

Click on Playlist top left corner —> select the second Video….

Russell Howard really tells it the way it is! Click to subscribe to his posts TODAY.

At least he does not make fun of the actual disease but he definitely takes the uninformed apart.

Let me state that at this very moment in time we have had NO actual infected person or death directly related to Ebola in Accra, Ghana. It really freaks me out how people think that all of West Africa is infected. They should rather be MUCH more specific about the countries that are affected by the Ebola outbreak. Africa is a continent and not a country.

No Ebola

No Ebola

(Please refer to the map above.)

Not a day goes by that a friend or relative does not enquire our health and the effects of Ebola. At least some are asking the hard questions; others are hiding their heads in the sand in the hope that this dreadful outbreak will just quietly disappear. Of course Ebola affects our lives, every day in some or other way.

Expats are being pulled from Ghana at an alarming rate. The ones that left, are not being replaced. Now I am not saying that Ghana or West Africa’s economy is on the brink of collapse without expats, rather that expats represent large international companies. It’s a ripple effect, when large companies extract, so does their investment.

Each time a rumour started that an infected person arrived at a clinic, the medical staff at that clinic went awol (absent without leave). They literally ran away, and deserted their posts. http://news.myjoyonline.com/news/2014/August-1st/we-will-run-from-ebola-patients-coming-to-korle-bu-doctor.php

At present an Ebola command post or headquarters are being set up in Ghana. Lets hope this is only a post from which they will distribute supplies and medics, and not actually treat patients. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/09/un-sets-ebola-headquarters-ghana

farmers tomatoes

African Traditions are all Different

Ghana is a country with more than a thousand Chiefs, Princes, Princesses, Kings and Queens. They are traditional African Royalty; adorned with beautiful clothing and jewellery. Nothing else can leave you in genuine awe like attending an authentic royal wedding or burial. That is when you realise African traditions are as old as the mountains themselves.

In Accra you meet expats from all over the world, as they all try and find their own spot in the sun. Holding onto your own traditions can be difficult when nobody celebrates your countries’ National Holidays. Celebrating in traditional clothes while eating traditional food dishes is trickier. So we are left to celebrate local traditional days.

Farmers Day is an upcoming National Holiday in which farmers that excel in Ghana are recognised on a National scale. The day is celebrated close to Ghana’s late president’s Kwame Nkruma’s Birthday, and celebrated on the first weekend of December.

Imagine lots of grandiose speeches, colourful dancing and lavish traditional food dishes being served. This year the theme is “Grow more food”. As you can imagine, the party each and every year is bigger and better than the previous year. As it is done every year, many companies and banks have donated cars, cash, farming implements and various equipment to the government to be used as prizes for various positions. There are numerous categories, cocoa, foodstuff, animal breeding and poultry. An overall best farmer is then chosen from each category. The national best farmer is awarded with a car, cash cheque, farming equipment and even a four bedroom house.

Some traditions are upheld in the way people do things. The way they marry, the way they bury, and the way they do business. I am not sure that we will ever eradicate the corruption system in Africa. Each person knows that politicians all over enrich themselves and assist each other in covering up their pilfering. Certain African traditions will be upheld forever.

Read here about Farmers Day.. http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2014/October-27th/accra-brewery-donates-towards-2014-national-farmers-day.php

Watch here the talented Barbara van Rijn’s short film in Cashew nut farming in Ghana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL5PkeBjqPQ&list=UUUQNXwF5N6eJgi401Cf9FAg

Wake up, educate yourself

Do not avert your gaze

If you knew that a bomb was about to go off, surely you would do anything in your power to stop it. Taking into account the human loss and your own safety. The next six weeks are of vital importance.

Currently we are sitting on a time bomb. All of us know about it, but the penny has not dropped; yet!

In December the first cases of Ebola started surfacing in Guinea and Liberia, and after about four thousand died since the outbreak. No serious alarm bells yet. Then a mere two cases were registered in Texas that the World made a bit of a fuss. Not enough yet to have a significant impact. People feel strangely disconnected from those out worldly white suited workers. The next six weeks shall be a serious turn around point for the whole world. Ebola is not ‘top of mind’ for countries unaffected by Ebola and that is the real treat. Watch this space, the table is about to turn.

Without boggling you with smart maths and stats, let me enlighten you to the low down of it all. Believe me this epidemic will become pandemic in the next 6 weeks. At present it exponentially doubles every three weeks. At present 4500 died, 9000 are infected. In six weeks that will change to a 100 000 deaths and 1.4 million infections. The current effort to curb it is too slow, and the resources promised and pledges is coming in too little and too late. This is a bleak outlook indeed. Now if 70% of the current 9000 were to be quarantined, we might have been able to turn this thing around. But imagine trying to logistically quarantine 1.4 million infected people. If 1.4 million are infected, the whole world would have reached a turning point, and Ebola might somehow affect each person at some point or another.

As usual, America is blowing their two infected cases completely out of proportion, placing the spotlight on them and diverting the real focus of the epidemic in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Panic can definitely spread the virus. The solution to curbing it is rapid education and serious financial intervention. Mr Duncan from Liberia spent 10 days with his family, none of them are infected. Two medical personnel that treated him while he was dying in hospital became infected. But I hear schools in the state of Ohio and Texas are considering to close because he travelled through the state! Three cases and Obama declares CZAR, put that in perspective.

Nigeria and Senegal are shining examples whom successfully contained the spread and has been declared Ebola-free after 21 days of no new cases.

Here in West Africa, Ebola news related coverage is 24/7 about 80%. In six weeks from now, it might be the same all over the world. This as I said should be the case right now. The clock is ticking.

It’s only human to think the only option is to stop all flights to and from West Africa, and of course that was most countries immediate solution. That decision would be made upon the fear factor and not logic. Imagine you’re in a country, where ever. Your whole family were infected, some has died, and you are left-the only survivor. Do you still think all borders should be shut? Those countries affected are in urgent need of medical supplies, medical gear and food supplies. Without flights, how are those supplies to reach the affected country? Military presence to maintain peace and stability is a necessity. . Each affected country is loosing at least 30% of their GDP. It has a huge impact on the work force, economic and logistics of transporting food and medical supplies.

Currently we are talking about the treatment and deaths of infected people. Fifty years from now we will talk about the economic impact this epidemic had on the world’s economics.

In this modern age, it’s normal for people to travel for all kinds of reasons apart from business and commerce. It’s only human to unite families spread all over the continents, and it’s human to do anything to survive this epidemic. So people are traveling to Ebola infected countries and wishing to leave it for different personal reasons. The only way to curb infection is to step up airport health screening all over the world.

I know most people’s reaction is that the affected countries must financially ‘sort themselves’. Come on, be realistic. Which African country actually budgeted for an Ebola outbreak? Within the first 3 months all their excess development funds were reallocated to managing the day-to-day onslaught of the outbreak. By now, 6 months later, they are scraping the bottom of their actual spending capital. Just imagine in Sierra Leone, all of the districts are now infected. To minimalize the spread, each district is quarantined from the next. So logistically, no food can distributed nationally. Now imagine trying to feed your Nation on a day-to-day basis, when they are not producing their own food as before.   Any country would go belly-up in a matter of weeks. Sierra Leone and Liberia has reached that point already. Imagine trying to contain a scared, terrified and hungry Nation. Still think they should sort themselves out? Back to my Military support, get it a.s.a.p. And no, I am not suggesting the UN Peace Keepers. Send ones who can actually use guns to keep desperate people from killing actual survivors. CNN estimates the Ebola crises could amount to costs of 32 billion. We are talking about people’s lives, send the aid, and stop splitting hairs. Or consider how much your own country will need to spend to manage the Ebola infections once it reaches your borders.

Can you hear the ticking of the time bomb yet?

This is a ripple effect. Many people are standing with their heads buried in the sand, saying they have no infections, and it’s not their problem. In 12 months from now, you’ll realize how wrong you were. By them, it would have affected each and everybody somehow.

Keep in mind that the media is using a general brush reporting that West Africa is infected. Really – that upsets me because of only 6 countries have had infections and two were declared Ebola free this morning! And maybe I should mention that it freaks me out that reporters say Ebola is in Africa. Seriously, Africa is not a country, it’s a continent. Maybe I should mention that Italy is closer to Liberia than South Africa, and thy have daily ships and boats loads of refugees.

I cannot stress enough that education and information is part the key to our solution. Because of ignorance, people are stigmatizing the disease. The same thing happened in the early 80’s with Aids. It is said that a man survived Ebola in Liberia. His car broke down, and nobody in his community would touch his car in fear of contracting the disease. If you mention you are from West Africa, people take a step back. The AFCON Soccer tournament in January is due. Soccer supporters boo-ed the players from Senegal and Liberia in recent games. Come on, be realistic! In the UK, a Sierra Leone reporter was turned away from her rented accommodation due to stigmantation.

Fact: A person can carry the virus and not show ANY symptoms for 10 days.

So many can travel without a fever, and not show any signs, reach a country and spread the virus.

Fact: A person only transfer the virus once he/she shows symptoms.

Medical personnel should have this on the TOP of their Minds 24/7.

Fact: The virus is ONLY transferable with body fluids.

Sweaty touched surfaces are infections for a few hours.

So go and read NOW all you can about Ebola. Educate yourself and inform others around you.

Do not avert your gaze…

Start at website called Eboladeeply.org

Cotton Tree

Géén Kiekies nie….Sierra Leone

  Alhoewel ek die skriffel nou eers plaas, was hierdie besoek in April 2014. ‘n Paar maande voordat die Ebola ding ontplof het…

Wie sou nou kon raai – ons vlug na Freetown (Sierra Leone) is so te sê net Afrikaans. Vaal vellies, kortbroeke met die Ons-kán-kamp-K-way-blertsie op die baadjie en ‘n koue biertjie in die hand. Goud en diamante lê lank en warm in Sierra Leonne en wag op kontrak mynwerkers; almal Suid-Afrikaners- om uitgegrawe te word.

My Freetown na-lees-huiswerk laat my terleurgesteld. Met burgeroorlog vars in die geheue lees ek onopgedateerde webblaaie “Bly weg” daars die uitbreek van die Ebola virus, reis versekering dek jou skielik nie meer in die voorheen woeste area nie….blah-blah-blegh. Dis ‘n avontuur en ek wil eerstehands gaan kyk en beleef.

Ons land stamperig op Lundi, en koop elk ’n UDS20 kaartjie vir ‘n watertaxi na die Freetown. Hierdie ouens bondel en stoot en stamp al om jou. In gebreekte swaar Engels (Kreole) smous hulle vir jou lokale 4G-simkaarte en lugtyd in USD so deur die taxi venster aan. Tien minute later sit so twintig van ons ordelik in die piepklein watertaxi (motorboot) met bagasie tussen die knieë vasgeknyp en helder oranje reddingsbaadjies aan. Die man langs my bid onbeskaamd vir die volgende halfuur – vol beloftes om eendag te leer swem as hy dié dag oor diepsee gespaar bly.

Beide my oë val amper vanuit hulle kaste toe ons by die Radison Mommy Blue Hotel tuisgaan – dis pas oorgedoen deur ‘n Suid-Afrikaanse projekgroep, ėn van vyfster gehalte. Hulle het tien dae tevore deureoopgemaak; blink gepoets met vriendelike werkers wat elkeen kliphard groet en opreg verneem of ek lekker bly en iets benodig. http://www.radissonblu.com/hotel-freetown

Vroeg oggend is ek en ‘n kennis na die straatmark in die middel van die dorp. Verandering is die een konstante ding. Ons wip en stamp ongehinderd voort al om die nuwe padwerke. Geen haas maar baie geraas. Mense, bokke, skape, skape, motorfietse, hoenders en besoekers soos rooimiere elkeen oppdad iewers heen. Daar is ten minste 1.8 miljoen mense in die stad. Terwyl ons sit en asem ophou vir die stink bo-op ‘n brug; kyk ek hoe ‘n paar varke en speenvarkies baljaar in die modder en gemors van die stroomdrifsels onder die brug. Intussen luister ek grootoog na die advies van my gids – Géén Fotos van mense in die publiek nie. Géén fotos van enige iemand in uniforms nie. (Mercenaries) is nie kammera vriendelik nie. My hart sink in my skoene. Hoe gaan ek ooit vir iemand kan verduidelik hoe bont en ingegestop die geboue is? Orals is Katolieke Kerke – met stewige skerp-stekel sweiswerk heinings.

Die mark is vol Chinese gemorsies en bondels tweede handse ingevoerde Amerikaanse klere. Daar is geen inkopiesentrums hierso nie. Hierdie mense spandeer 60% van hulle inkomste op kos – vis, rys en plantain [groot groen piesangagtige-look-a-like wat soos aartappel voorberei word] is hulle stapelvoedsel. Minder as 20% van die bevolking het werk. In die middel van dis stad is ‘n kultuurboom: “The Cottontree”. ‘n paar slawe het in die jaar 1792 weggeloop en daar gaan kamp en bid. Vandag is dit omgespan en gedekodeer met drie plakaatfotos van vergete presidente en ‘n advertensies vir ‘n selfoongroep –verkeer stoot knap alom die kleinste moontlike sirkel. Heeldag speel oud en jonk sokker, op die strate en die strand. Orals om jou ruik jy uie en vis wat in straatstalletjies voorberei word. Hier is spierwit strande, groen palmbome en goue sonsondergange. Die see is gedurig sigbaar en hoorbaar, dis ‘n partytjie gevoel wat bly hang. In Freetown is geen kragtoevoer en kragopwekkers dreun dag in en uit, sewe dae ‘n week anders kon jy jouself verbeel dis die Caribbiese eilande.

Vroegaand gaan eet ons aanhuis by ‘n vriend. Ons gasheer het geen moeite onsien nie – hy wys my met groot aandoening die spitvark wat hy draairooster. Die heelvark word met bier “gedoop” dis vingerlekker met kraakvelle, rooiwyn en grappies kuier ons laataand op die stoep.

Na vier dae is ek gek na Freetown en sy kleurvolle mense, geurige kos maar dis te kort om als te beleef. Met die terugvliegslag is ek reeds besig om my volgende besoek te beplan. Niks op papier maar kiekies draai in my kop…

So Hop-hop oor Afrika

Net verlede week spoor ‘n langlaas skoolvriendin my op met vandagse elektroniese sosiale-media foefies. Haar boodskap lui ons tweetjies moet gaan koffie drink in die Ooste van Pretoria, (my tuisdorp) en effe opvang om die spasie van 28 jaar in te kleur. My eerste gedagte is dat sy pas geskei is en mylpale of skatte wil vergelyk. Alternatief het haar tiener-kinders haar gewys hoe om mense in Bakkiesboek uit te krap. Kwansuis lyk ek net dieselfde as op-skool maar ek is vermoed die molle en is te ydel om bril te dra. Ek reken sy is ‘n nuuskierige beginner-sluiploerder [stalker] anders het sy mos gesien ek het lánkal my vlerkies gespan en wilde woeste Afrika gaan tem!

Haar reaksie is een honderd persent voorspelbaar. “Haai sies tog, shame” sê sy toe ek haar sagkens meedeel dat ek in Accra woon, maar as sy dié kant toe kom, kan ons beslis ‘n planmaak en die koffie-ding doen. Met die wind eensklaps uit haar seile – vergeet sy van Google en haar nuutgevonde rekenaar vaardighede. Ek verduidelik dis in Wes-Afrika, Ghana en verlam van skok; verdwyn sy netdaar vanaf die sosiale netwerk. Daar gaat haar fyn Oos-Pretoria grootgeword-oppi-skultbult se maniere met die waswater uit. ‘n Hele drie dae later skalerlag ek kliphard toe haar enkele eenlyn-vragie op my rekenaarskerm verskyn: “Is jy getroud met ‘n swart Ghana-aan?” (SIC) [Die regte spelling is Ghanaian]. Sy is vir eers op die agterplaat, en ek sal haar uithonger vir my antwoord maar heimlik hoop ek sy toetsbestuur weer haar sleutelbord en bekyk van ons fotos want my antwoord is voor die handliggend. My getroude van is dan “Bezuidenhout”! Nogals vreemd en onuitspreekbaar in Ghana.

Vele ander se gedagtegang bokspring as hulle my gesin ontmoet. Ons is daardie malkop Afrikaanse mense wat sonder trompette gejuig, rustig hier tussen al die ander Ghanaians woon. Hierdie lewe is normaal soos witsous met kaas daarin. Elke oggend soek my Kobus sy boeretroos – moerkoffie, ons braai lamsvleis (maar dis solank as wat die vleisvoorraad hou wat tussen die klere ingebring is van Namibia op die laaste vlug) en luister Radio Jakaranda en Radio Wave (Windhoek) via die internet. Kinders moet rondgetaxi word agter maats aan, sakgeld bly ‘n besprekingspunt aan die ontbyttafel en DSTV se sportkanaal is iewers in die agtergrond aan.

My man het toenterjare (’91) die uitdaging aanvaar om projekte aanmekaar te sit in ‘nuwe markte’, vir die oningeligtes: dis diep Afrika. Sy verhale van eensaamheid, vreemde tale, vêrafgeleë dorpies, rakbrak winkeltjies het my nie veel geskeel nie – ek was smoorverlief en wou soos ‘n gedetermineerde sperm saamrits en die vreemde verken. Twintig jaar later wip-wip ons nog steeds regoor Afrika. Uganda (2xkeer), Nigerië, Kenia (2xkeer), Namibië en Ghana (3xkeer) het ons reeds ‘huis’ genoem. Ons kontrak het nie ‘n vervaldatum nie. Solank as wat my manlief en sy base wedersyds gelukkig is, dan bly ons aan. (wispelturige immigrasie altyd in die potspel)

Van die oomblik wat jou kinders gebore is, wonder jy wat die donker wêreld aan hulle gaan doen-malaria, polio, salmonella en vigs is in ons gesig – elke dag. My familie was meer bekommerd oor wat ék met my kinders aanvang en waaraan ek hulle ontbloot. Die beste ding wat ek vir my kinders kon doen was om hulle deur Afrika te laat fladder. My seun was 2 weke oud met ons aanland in Uganda en my dogter net 10 dae met haar eerste vlug na Kenia. In dié lande het ons twee pragtige goed aangepasde tiener kinders grootgemaak. Hulle is nou 18 en 17 jaar oud, Afrikaans, Engels geskool, selfversekerd, wêreldwys, uitgesproke en verdragsaam. My kinders het in sowat twaalf Internasionale en/of privaatskole ‘n ding of twee geleer. Ten eindelaaste het hulle op die Britse Cambridge sisteem hulle skoolloopbaan met tuisonderrig voltooi. In ons swerfsels het ons ‘n Afrika wees-pleegkind ook grootgekry. [yip hý ís pikswart]

Die hartseer ding is dat soveel ‘Expat”-vrouens ‘n beroep moet opgee om huis en haard bymekaar te hou. Dit gebeur soms dat vrouens wat soos aanhangsels stukkies van haarself verloor want die mans versmoor in werk en haar kinders absorbeer die skool en maats-ding. Oor vrou-wees hierso sal ek dikke boeke kan skrywe. Die drama is dat Afrika verstringel is in burokrasie. Werkspermitte is duur en skaars, so vroulief mag nie werk –anders pluk sy fisies die kossies uit ‘n lokale bloedjie se mond! Ga! Die skuiwergat is dat sy haar eie besigheid moet bedryf, of haar belangstelling of tuisbedryf nuwe hoogtes in te neem.

In Kenia het ek binneshuis versierings gemaak en kinderkamers opgetooi, in Uganda het ek skoolboeke geset in kleur en vir ‘n publikasiehuis gekonsulteer, in Nigerië het ek houtkindermeubels gemaak en vir die Britse Konsulaat gewerk en so ook in Ghana. In Namibië het ek ‘n haarsalon gehad en kiste gebou (ja vir begrafnisse). Tyd vir op ‘n knop sit en jammer voel oor wat ek mis in Namibië was daar ook. Tussendeur is ek bang daar is plekke wat ek nog nie gesien het nie – dinge wat ek nog nie beleef het nie… Ons vermaak onsself met vriende en braaivleis en teeuitnodigings en potjiekos kompetisies en soek interessante plekke om te bly buite Accra. Filmteaters is hier nou – maar die etiket van die mense hier sal onse mense gekdryf.

Ons het gekom om te bly. Te beleef. Te kuier, want voordat ons ons oë uitvee, is onse tyd vir sports en plesier op.