I said it!
Sunday, February 29, 2004
  Ghana's 47th Independence Day Celebration!!!

Currently Playing: Kojo Antwi -- Me Nya Ntaban 
  Here's where I point out that while at most times I try to actually post whatever song my computer happens to be spitting out, I sometimes skip through ten songs before I find one "currently playing" that I might want to admit to listening to...

Currently Playing: Tracy Chapman -- Baby Can I Hold You 
  Sika Mpoano
Whenever I walk around campus with my friends here in Cornell, one thing I can be sure of is someone yelling out to me to slow down. My response is always the same: Come on! you guys are walking too slow. I used to walk everywhere I was going when I was in Ghana. Ok, so that's a bit of a lie :) I live in Accra, Ghana's ever-growing culturally-diverse capital. I actually live in Dansoman, a suburb of Accra and lived there for twelve years before I came here to the USA. The part of Dansoman where I live is more urban than rural. Rural enough for everyone to know what everyone is doing while walking along the flat, dusty unpaved roads yet urban enough for them to gossip through phone conversations and the odd email here and there. Most people walk every morning to school, or to the numerous taxi ranks around to get a taxi to work while the few who can afford to own their own cars, screech off to attend to whatever business needs attention each morning. Dansoman is quite huge. Someone once told me that Dansoman Estates (the full official name) is the largest estate in West Africa. In West Africa or Ghana specifically, estates are a group of government-built houses that are all almost alike and allow ordinary people to own their own homes. A way to get people to appreciate how big Dansoman is, is to look at it this way: I sit in a car for about fifteen minutes to get to Dansoman Beach from my house. And this doesn't even take the poor state of the roads into account. I come from a country which is more flat than it is hilly, more hot than it is warm and definitely more friendly than it is peaceful (and it is the MOST peaceful nation in Africa). If you ever walk around and fail to see a Ghanaian smiling or laughing or just coming up to you to say hi, pinch yourself, you are dreaming! People are happy when they are selling their wares in front of their houses trying to supplement the little income they make from their jobs. Every other street has a house with a small store catering to the needs of the people living there and somehow all these people co-exist in harmony.
Cornell is cold. Ghana is a tropical country...t-shirt (or shirtless if you will) weather every NIGHT throughout the year! (Day-times you hide to avoid the heat and humidity). Cornell is hilly and seems more forboding. The sun abandones Ithaca for stretches at a time and I sigh when this happens because I know that that means it has docked in Ghana somewhere smiling on the people as they smile back. If Ghana is well-known for smileys then in my opinion CU should be known for sulleys (sullen faces). It just seems to me that people smile less here and that's the one huge difference that gets to me a lot. I miss Ghana. My home, Dansoman, Accra, Ghana feels like the perfect balance of a content people cheerfully going about their lives as they flirt with changes and influences from outside. Quite an interesting and wonderful place to live and grow.

Sika Mpoano translates to mean "Gold Coast" in English, which was Ghana's name before independence on 6th March, 1957. Yes, Ghana will be 47 on Saturday!!! Come to RPCC @ 6pm to join Ghanaians @ Cornell in celebrating this event. Ask me about tickets and any info u might need :)

Currently Playing: Eva Cassidy -- Songbird 
  Ze Ball! :D
Ze Perfect Ball!
-I think we have it!
-You say that every week, Mark.
-I know I do but this time I believe that we have created the best, truest soccer ball yet.
-Really. shoot. you have two minutes
-Okay, the ball is made of kangaroo leather coated with a special resin that will decrease contact time between players' feet and the ball. The ball itself is a sphere constructed with a radius of 11 cm. That, however, is the outer radius for we have also developed a system where there is an inner radius of 10.5 cm. Why the need for this inner radius? Well, let's start from the inside shall we? The inner spherical region houses the all important compressed optimized mixture of oxygen and other such gases that give soccer balls their charactersitic bounce and all that jazz. What distinguishes this particular sphere from others is that in the 0.5 cm space between the inner and outer walls lies a special fluid mix that adds some more mass to the ball thus ensuring that it stays true to the path that a kicker sends it on. Also, note that the inner sphere is made of a newly developed polymer. This polymer prevents the gaseous mixture and the fluid from mixing up. The outside, has the traditional alternating pentagon and hexagon shapes which are injected with tiny air bubbles to make the flight of the ball through the air as fast and smooth as possible. This makes the soccer ball just like a...
-Sorry, Mark, you can't compare it to anything. I've heard enough. I'll let you know if we decide to go with your design. Thank you.

Currently Playing: Sisqo -- Incomplete 
  In the news today..Lord of The Rings: Return of The King makes a clean sweep at the 76th Academy Awards!!! Here I am excited about a trilogy I didn't know existed until freshman year. Yeah, in Ghana, we don't read Tolkien :P

Currently Playing: R. Kelly -- I Can't Sleep Baby 
Monday, February 23, 2004
  Turns out I am a week behind in blogs...:( Sad thing is, I can only catch up on Friday cos this week is hell for me. yea, I know I am typing this up now but...
How would you describe something without comparison? By using dimensions and scientfic terms! Watch this space for my answer to: This Week's Blog!!!!
I missed the first Episode of Super Millionaire :( Hmm...no biggie...it runs the whole week. Peace. nap time

Currently Playing: Lauryn Hill -- Can't Take My Eyes Off You 
Friday, February 20, 2004
  Bring Bandages
Looking at this week's blog assignment, I realise that I don't get to hear that many speeches. A few lectures maybe, the odd poetry reading, frequent sermons but none of em are springing to mind now...time to think!
(5 mins later)Aight, I have one. I went to a two-year high school/prep school thing that is stuck uncomfortably between high school and college and doesn't exactly know what it is. That aside, it's a wonderful place to live for two years. The school is called the Armand Hammer UNited World College of the American West or simply the AHUWC. It's one of ten schools around the world that aim to develop young people into people who are more socially, politically, environmentally and everything else aware. You get to interract with people from all over the world ( in my case 83 different countries) who represent a wide array of cultures, do lots of community service, lots of wilderness fun stuff and still study for the International Baccalaureate exams at the end of your two years. In the course of my two-year stay I got to hear many different speakers, poets and performance roll through our beautiful Northern New Mexico campus to talk about everything from child labour to HIV in Africa. We once had a poet from Santa Fe come read some of her poems and some poems we were doing for English class. Her performance of the poems was really amazing and I remember one thing she said but sadly don't recall if it's her own creation or she was quoting someone. She said something along the lines of : how must it be to lean on nothing until that nothing lifts you. That quote was my inspiration for that whole week and it helped me get through some trying times.
After 10 mins of digging around on the beautiful thing that is the Internet, I have her name: Judyth Hill!
She also read a poem by Carole Gregory called "Love Letter", which I have reproduced below:


Dear Samson,
I put your hair
In a jar
By the pear tree
Near the well.
I been thinkin'
Over what I done
And I still don't think
God gave you
All that strength
For you to kill
My people.

Love - Delilah
Nice poem :)

The school has many "traditions" and the one I took part in most vigurously was the two-leg First year-Second year soccer game. Las Vegas, NM, which is where the school is situated, is up high in the world so whoever goes there needs to adjust to to le altitude! And it's in this period of adjustment that the first game is played. Needless to say, the second years always win because they have already been there a year. (Actually, if they have a really horrible team, they sometimes lose). So, yeah, we lost our first game. Months rolled by, sun and moon chased each other across the sky and it was time for the "return leg", played at the end of the academic year. Now, we were acclimatised and seething over our loss. Not because we lost but simply because they rubbed it in. I wasn't really up for the match and was actually considering not playing until our captain came to assembly to announce the date and time. He gave a little speech, and in it he said something that now sounds quite childish and simple yet when I heard those words, I wanted to play then and there. All he said was: All the second years, remember...Bring Your Bandages! Somehow, hearing him throw down the gauntlet like that (cos he is a nice guy who wouldn't hurt a fly. maybe a mosquito but not a fly) got me all riled up and ready to (sadly) break some ankles. We won the match, broke no ankles, soured relations with our second years, made up after 10 minutes and laughed about it afterwards. I still wonder to today why hearing "Bring Your Bandages" got me so worked up. Hmm...

Currently Playing: DMX -- Where The Hood At? 
  I have a bum knee :( soccer and broomball messed up my left knee!!!! :'(

Currently playing: T.O.K. -- Money 2 Burn 
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
  "I want to be Simba!"
"No, me!"
"No, I am stronger than you! and more kingly!"
Grandpa shakes his head as he watches the twins argue over who will play the majestic Simba they had just seen in The Lion King. "Kids," he said to the twins with a smile, "you remind me of Kwame." The twins look at him waiting for him to go on. Over the few weeks they had come to stay with him, they had quickly realised you don't interrupt when Grandpa starts to speak -- you wait for him to finish (if you can tell when that is). This sometimes takes a while because Grandpa has a habit of launching into side-stories that seem to have nothing to do with what he sets out to say. After waiting for about two minutes, the older twin finally speaks up, "who is Kwame?" Grandpa looks at the clock and sees the has a couple of hours before the twins have to head off to bed and decides to tell them a story. He slowly makes for his chair and sits down, his body not moving as fast as it once did. The twins sit at his feet and stare up at him waiting for him to start. "My father once told me this story about Kwame and the extraordinary adventures he had growing up in a village not too far from where I grew up. It all begun one morning when Kwame came into the world without as much as a peep out of him.

(still procrastinating)
Currently Playing: Notorious B.I.G -- Juicy 
  Too much homework! Aaaaaaaaaaaah!
If I come and grab your hand and sit you down in the cold and stare dreamily into your eyes and run on with my sentences while our hands freeze together because I had some water in my palm and I start to tell you that you have beautiful eyes that make me wonder what I am writing, which makes no sense, will you wonder what I am doing because you didn't expect me to do what I am doing since I am writing this as a way of avoiding my material synthesis homework which I will have to do at some point tonight while I read haikus and wonder: should I grab your hand and sit you down in the cold and stare...
Back to work! Wooosah!

Currently Playing: R. Kelly - Step In The Name of Love (Remix) 
Thursday, February 12, 2004
  Trying to take over the world... :D 
  Been a while since I posted anything. Well, it's been a crazy week. And it gets worse with project deadlines competing for attention in my datebook. Times should be fun this semester! :) Playing on the customer service piece I submitted in class, here is a joke I heard yesterday,
CS: Customer Service, M: Man
M - I believe my monitor is broken. I don't see anything
CS - Can you be more specific? What exactly is the problem?
M - Well, when I type anything on the keyboard I don't see it on the monitor.
CS - Ok, sir, can you please check behind your computer if your monitor and keyboard are plugged in?
M - Sure, Let me go grab a flashlight.
CS - Why do u need one?
M - Oh, there is a power outtage here and so the lights are off....
If you don't laff at that, Ima come find you and make you laff! :P

Currently Playing: Tracy Chapman -- Fast Car 
Monday, February 02, 2004
  All this talk about Super Bowl leads well into my response to "This Week's Blog"
I come from a soccer-crazed country. We all love soccer! (Well, maybe not all. Those who don't need to be deported or something. Just kidding) Anyway, Ghana is one of the many countries that calls soccer, football. I remember streets emptying whenever there was a televised game of football. Not a soul wandered about, except for those up to some sort of mischief. Even flies stopped flying, or whatever it is they do, and perched on window sills to root for the Black Stars of Ghana as our national team is called. One day while I was trying to pick a book in our local library, I came across a book that told a story about a boy from Europe who went to America and played football. I grabbed the book off the shelf, checked it out and rushed home to read about this boy who was living the dream of every Ghanaian boy: playing professional football. Aaaah, but this was not the football I was used to. In this brand of football, hands were used and tackles were made that will make a rugby player run for dear life. I had been introduced to American football. Why it was called football made no sense to me and made me a little angry and confused. Football is the beautiful game played with feet and enjoyed by the world. No pads, no quarterbacks and certainly no first downs or ups. Over the years, I have accepted the fact that the name is here to stay. I still call soccer football but only when I am talking to non-Americans. If I say "soccer" in their presence, I am branded a sell-out. I think that's unfair but that's just me. Ok, this makes no sense but yeah, that's what I have to say.
Sunday, February 01, 2004
  Sat down and watched my first Super Bowl. I have avoided watching one of these spectacles for a while now but this year decided to see what the fuss was about. Some commercials were funny but I wonder how many impotent men there are cos they showed lots of commercials selling viagra-like drugs. Game was good but the best part was the halftime show. Janet Jackson put forth quite an effort and caught my attention right at the end of her segment..:D  
  - errm yeah, so u r blogging now?
- Yep, that's right.
- you once said you'd never keep a blog.
- Yeah, I did.
- So what changed
- When I can come up with a good answer for that, I will let you know.
- aight, good luck. I will check in from time to time to see what you post.
- please don't. Really, don't. You'll prolly have more fun watching squirrels play hide and seek...Oh boy, yeah...welcome to Yaw's blog :) 

02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 / 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 / 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 / 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 / 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 / 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 /

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