So our second four day cycle load shedding has started. If the first cycle was anything to go by we will be without electricity for nearly 2 of the 4 days!
On Monday we had our electricity turned off promptly at 6:00 a.m. Didn't complain too much as this was scheduled. Got back home at about 6:45 p.m. and it had just been turned on again. Settled down to watch TV and do the usual stuff when it went off again! Calmed myself with a shot (or was it two) of good ole' Jamaican rum and went to sleep. Suffice to say when I was leaving for work on Tuesday morning it wasn't back yet.
Then got a call from my neighbour updating me on the problem. Apparently thieves broke into the sub-station in Tema and cut a power cable. In the process one also got electrocuted. Now in order for the ECG guys to turn on back the power, they are insisting that the body be removed - a fair enough request I think. Up to 6 p.m. it hadn't returned. Could it be that the body has yet to be removed? Heaven's forbid. Am also wondering if the authorities will deduct that from our present rations - hmmm, doubt that.
Finally at 7:30 p.m. there was light! Am trying not to wonder too much what happened to the body.
Got a note from a friend asking me about the value of the Ghana cedi. To be honest that does deserve a post in itself, but the rough conversions are:
1 USD = 9,250 Ghanaian cedis
I Euro = 12,000 Ghanaian cedis
1 English Pound = 18,000 Ghanaian cedis
It's a common joke here in Ghana that people can become instant millionaires just by changing one hundred euros, but with bread at 10,000 cedis a loaf you soon see that this disappears quite quickly. Going to the supermarket becomes a test in counting in multiples of 5, 10, or 20 thousand notes, not to mention fitting the bills into a regular sized purse!
The largest bill is 20,000 cedis and so going to the bank becomes an experience in itself. It's the only place I have been where your money is given to you in a polythene bag! (i.e. scandal bag for my Jamaican friends). All that will soon change though as the cedis is about to undertake a major currency revaluation come this summer.
This will be the second currency change Ashes and I would have experienced as we were around for the change from the guilder to the euro. Curious to see how that will go - am sure will have more posts in future.