Yesterday’s meeting started with an ode to Jesus; today’s with an ode to the first world cup in Africa! The men wore white to celebrate. We have begun working hard and only caught glimpses of the beginning of the South Africa vs. Mexico game and Ghanaians crowded around TVs watching. We got to join a couple hundred on Oxford Street in Osu for the last game. Traffic was blocked off and a local telecom company set up a large screen. Tonight’s game was not so exciting, but I can’t wait to watch in the streets with everyone when Ghana plays!
And, yes, we’re working. It’s exciting to see the great effort being put into malaria control here and that distributions of bed nets have largely been carried out successfully. More broadly, it’s fascinating to meet foreigners working on health here and to get more of a sense of the workings and not-workings of international aid organizations and contractors.
There’s a Swahili saying, pole pole ndio mwendo; slowly slowly is the way. Someone once described it to me by telling me that Africa is very hot so you have to move slowly to remain comfortable. Things seem to be so here too. The meeting is likely to start late and you can’t reliably book the next for a few hours because people like to share their own perspectives and let everyone have their full say. It may take 20 minutes to check out at a store or for your take away sandwich to be made – but this presents the opportunity for a cold coke, language lessons, and a few minutes of world cup watching.