My #BlogCamp13 Troubles. Was it worth it?

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It is 23-3-2013 and the D-Day of #BlogCamp13.  Apart from a date (no pun intended) in the evening with one of the cutest daughters of Eve I know, my schedule has been cleared for weeks including coordinating a coast to coast tour package for Keta to Axim which would have fetched some good money. But hey, who am I to miss out on an event set up by like-minded people, people who want to see Ghana do well alongside the rest of the world especially when it comes to ICT and using online resources. These are serious people (@BloggingGhana) who are serious about projecting Ghana’s image in different ways, in all the different respects and in all the different related topics to society ranging from text blogs, picture blogs and just general blogs. This they do through social media and with all the technological devices available.

Prior to the day of #BlogCamp13 I was psyched up for this, being among the first to register for the event. But time constraints had prevented me being at any of the pre-camp events which were a prelude to the main event. Furthermore hearing good things about the last camp, even made the anticipation grow leaps and bounds.

On the eve of #BlogCamp13 it had been a school day and a late night out. I could not resist an Accra City Blues Moment when I had found myself near the Korle Lagoon and I needed to see what that area looked like at night. Accra City Blues is an initiative I started with my friends @ofoli_kwei and @dcdynamics that roamed the streets of Accra raising various issues of Urban Life on social media especially after dark. We intend to get stories titled Urban Chronicles and as we travel to different cities we Chronicle our experiences in whatever city for example #Tamale Chronicles which became very popular on my Facebook wall based on my travels to Tamale in the past.

#AccraCityBlues involves writing on social media everyday events that are typical to urban life like a trotro ride with a woman who bleaches during the day and alternatively kayayei going to sleep in dirty streets after a hard day at work. On this night in particular, I discovered that there has been a proliferation of makeshift pubs on the Korle Bu – Mamprobi route which means that more and more people are consuming alcohol in Accra and we need to figure out why.

#BlogCamp13 is here. It is D-Day and I almost oversleep until that call wakes me up. It is my father-in-law’s daughter who works more effectively than an alarm clock when I have to be at events. I attempt to go back to bed and just ignore her but now she calls all three of my phones simultaneously until I pick one up to confirm that I am awake. What would I do without an alarm clock like that?

The first thing I do is to attempt to go the bathroom and get freshened up and ready to hit the road. My bathroom has been taken over by some visitors I have in my house and apparently it is so comfy one of them was seemingly asleep in there. I have a long way to go, I think, so I rush downstairs to the standing tap and take a wash down right there at the tap then back upstairs to jump into my already ironed clothes, thanks to ECG.

 I have to go all the way to Teshie Kofi Annan Peace Training Center, where I think the event is going to be held. Yeah right! Shake your head at me. That is where I thought the event was going to be held and apparently I wasn’t the only one. Sorry to my fellows who got lost, we are kindred spirits.

When people tell me that Sowutuom (where I live) is far I retort that we live in a global world where at the touch of a button you can be in another part of the world reading experiences of people as if you were there yourself. Why can’t we apply that to transport? We read about other places and get to share experiences because somebody has taken their time to paint the picture in words or pictures for you and that is the blog or through social media. This is what #BlogCamp13 is about I think.

So I first jumped into a Lapaz trotro and the driver’s mate had the pungent overnight odor like he had slept in his clothes. Who cared? I was on my way to #BlogCamp2013. Next I boarded a car from Lapaz bound for Teshie Nungua because the venue I was thinking about lay on that route. The trotro moments were interesting like de fish selling woman who ate a whole breakfast of kenkey, fish and ‘wele’ in a polythene bag right there on the trotro. Furthermore, like in every trotro interesting conversations developed and I will admonish people who really want to blog on social issues to just board a trotro once in a while. There is a dearth of information in one trotro ride than will take you a day to research on the same issue in a library or online.

Today the trotro conversation was moderated by a well dressed young man who claimed to be from Kwahu, a region in Ghana known for its astute businessmen. The Kwahus also like a favorite animal for their soup and that is the bat. His whole conversation was hinged on the bats that were roving freely and flying atop the trees at the 37 Military Hospital. This young man had heard that the soldiers will not allow anybody to even attempt to catch a single bat unless at a time when one morning the bats were hunted down and given to the people around who wanted them for all kinds of favorite soups.

His contention was that if Kwahus were allowed to hunt these bats freely, the bats wouldn’t the nuisance people claimed them to be. He gave a whole cooking program recipe on how to prepare bat soup where the whole soup resides in the bosom of the bat and to get some of the soup you have to press the bosom also known as ‘mia ni bu’ (press its chest). He also talked about the current Asantehene being an astute businessman consolidating all the Asante projects and promoting the kingdom through education by setting an example himself of enrolling in Regent University as a student. The humor part of the conversation was when he said that if there was a sea In Kumasi, the Asantehene would have put a wall around it and gained revenue for it from eco-tourism. This I found pretty interesting.

Early morning drive through the streets of Accra and people milling about going about their usual business. Typical commercial drivers weave through lanes always in a hurry. Finally I get to the Kofi Annan centre at Teshie and am surprised not to see any people going in or out. Baffled, I walk across the street to the security gate only to be told that I had to go to the centre’s ICT annex. I leave you to imagine the expletives that went on in my head but I calmly asked the security where it was located. He politely told me to head back to Accra mainland. Now I get back into another trotro and try to call @ofoli_kwei. Then I remember his phone number that I have is the one he lost a few weeks back. Oh chale! Another wahala in the making when I discovered I had lost my wallet in the first trotro but had some coins to pay for the fare to Osu then resort to walking past the Stadium, the Osu Cemetery, the State House then the Scholarship Secretariat to the AITI Centre with 2 laptops – one in a back pack on my back and the other slinging on my arm.

Like everything else that I do, the walking was tiring but it was fun. Never believing in coincidences and taking advantage of every situation, I found the walk through the Osu area opposite the Castle Road, the former seat of Ghana’s government very enlightening with how the Ga local people go about their Saturday mornings, their social sleeping arrangements in compact compound houses and general welfare. Meeting the old woman who was obviously older than the obituary on her door reminded me of Achebe’s proverb “an old lady gets uneasy at the mention of old bones and death”. Quite ironical, in this case, to live in a house with an obituary poster of another woman you are older than on your door.

For the events at @BloggingGhana’s #BlogCamp13, you just have to log on to twitter and follow the hash tags and if you are a good reader, a marvelous story will unfold before you. I say Ayekoo to the organizers and sponsors of the #BlogCamp13 and @BloggingGhana Awards. Kudos to all the award winners, keep up the good work of putting Ghana on the map of the world. We are a small country but with our voices raised, we can shout with our fingers and our pictures too.

As for me, I will tell my story later.

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3 Responses to “My #BlogCamp13 Troubles. Was it worth it?”

  1. Meeting the old woman who was obviously older than the obituary on her door reminded me of Achebe’s proverb “an old lady gets uneasy at the mention of old bones and death”. Quite ironical, in this case, to live in a house with an obituary poster of another woman you are older than on your door. ~ My fav part. Sorry for the lorgorligi moves 🙂

  2. Interesting read. Seeing you on the day with all the smiles, it was hard to tell you had gone through all this hours before. I guess, life must go on.

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