OCTOBER, 2013 ISSUE #149

One month away from the end of our African adventure we continue plugging along with the project, the gardening and packing, making sure to take time out for friends, bird watching and running around with Eric.




Bob explains the infrastructure at the site on October 8th to a group from WSUP, who will be taking over the site for the next research project.



20131011MarvilSpot  20131019BobAgye

Especially special friends like Marvil and Agye!



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The leaves, they are a blowing and the winds are beginning to shift. Harmattan is sniffing around the corner, eyeing the cracks underneath our doors.
Here’s a picture of our side yard after raking and one taken before we arrived in June, 2012. There are more pictures of the house and grounds before it became Casa Kumasi here.



20131016BarbetPair  20131025PlantainEater

A pair of trees outside our kitchen and bedroom are the best feature of our home in Kumasi. The palm is an oil palm and the other we call the Bird Tree because it’s a hot spot for birds but its scientific name is Schefflera heptaphylla. A pair of Vieillot’s Barbets sing their haunting duet high in the bird tree, now nearly devoid of leaves. A week or so later, a Western Plantain Eater stopped by, chuckling away with its unmistakable call.
When the schefflera was finished shedding her leaves, she put her energy into producing loose blooms the size of grapefruit. In the evening the flowers open to send waves of divine fragrance indistinguishable from Night Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum.)



20131015Pineapple  20131016NorthSideAM

Pineapple takes two years to produce fruit but Bob planted a few pineapple tops anyway. The next person to move into our house will get to eat the fruit. They’ll also inherit the lawn which just keeps getting nicer and nicer thanks to a weekly mowing. As per usual, we try to leave things as nice or a little better than we find them.



20131016GlassWall  20131016Glass

When Bob was growing up in Ghana he lived in a compound enclosed in concrete walls with shards of glass set into the tops of those walls. This security method is still commonly used. This wall belongs to the compound behind our compost pile as seen through our razor wire system.


WESTERN PLANTAIN EATER (Crinifer piscator)

20131025PlantainEater2  20131025PlantainEater1

20131025PlantainEater4  20131025PlantainEater3

Camille captured some nice images of this chatty bird late one afternoon.



20131025CamilleHorseSkirt  20131022JayBikeHelmetCam

Camille models her new skirt, made by the seamstress down the street and Jay shows off his newest invention, a bike cam with swivel option mounted to his helmet.




This is what 2 yards of Kente cloth will get you – a vest and a styling jacket. Something fun to wear in Morocco on our way through in December. It seems like one yard of this very expensive fabric should have done the job, but heck, who’s counting?



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Bob spent countless hours packing and repacking this crate with personal belongings and gifts. No peeking!



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And off it goes, in a shiny new van, to the port for fumigation and shipping. Bon voyage.




Looking for breadfruit, shea butter and rasta baby stickers, we passed through the Queen Mother roundabout and saw a woman making T-Zed. T-Zed is a northern staple akin to fufu but made of corn and much lighter, a lot like a fresh tamale without the filling. Eric says he won’t eat T-Zed because of they way it’s dried, out in the open for birds to poop on and what not. We ate it when we were in Tamale (coincidence) and liked it a lot.




There are precious few breadfruit trees in Ghana but Eric knew where one was and took us there. We’ve been thinking about breadfruit since we got here 16 months ago. Heck, since we left Nicaragua in 2005! Eric and Bob knocked down a medium sized fruit with a long stick fitted with a nail supplied by the tree owner and paid her 2 cedis. We’ll let our prize sit for a week or so and hope it ripens gracefully enough for us to eat. Stay tuned!



“Make no mistake. We are in war with entrenched vested interests to shift the world to a sustainable energy path. And the first casualty of war is the truth.” – Glen Estill from “Small Stories, Big Changes: Agents of Change on the Frontlines of Sustainability”

It’s odd how those who dismiss the peace movement as utopian don’t hesitate to proffer the most absurdly dreamy reasons for going to war: to stamp out terrorism, install democracy, eliminate fascism, and, most entertainingly, to “rid the world of evildoers.” – Arundhati Roy

“The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

“Everyone speaks of peace; no one knows what peace is. We know at best a poisoned peace. No one has lived on an earth without weapons, without war and the threat of war on a large and small scale.” – Christina Thürmer-Rohr


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