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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays, Seasons Greatings, Happy 2007, Peace Love and Hope to our friends, family, colleagues, and other readers of the Suokojamin World Tour!

We are headed to an Eco Village near the mighty Volta, near the Togo border in southern Ghana, for a relaxing (we hope) Christmas Day.

I leave you with a flashback to December 13, a Wednesday:

Mostly Wednesday was spent with Rich, an appropriately named 'Marketing Executive' who showed me where the government buildings are so that we could meet with a PR Man who was too busy and red-eyed hungry to see us. I had plenty of time to get to know this young man from Kumasi who hopes his job will get better. Selling advertising is a tough gig and I was given ample evidence last week. Frankie Boy replaced Rich on Thursday and he was a bit more talkative, wanting to know my likes and dislikes about Ghana - he really sympathized when I told him I love the friendliness and warmth and openness of people but hate how overwhelming those same great traits can be when they kick into oburoni (white person) induced overdrive. "They just are excited to meet a white person," he said. "But they need to respect your privacy and space." Frankie Boy is a smart guy, but that got us no where with the big men to whom we went begging, offering fluff pieces for a price and I realized I was wasting my time. But that day the paper ran the best piece I've done here, about village life and development, and I got a nice call of kudos from Rich that night. Frankie Boy promises to take us to a soccer game so all was not lost. Even Bossman himself was impressed by my early works. "I don't normally read the paper," he admitted. "But yours was very impressive." On my third and last day as an uninvited corporate guest I met Eddie, the only woman of the Mark Execs - she gave me a hard time until I confessed having had a poor sleep. The four of us were crammed into the company hatchback with our driver, who had just re-emerged from a week of AWOL. The conversation was fast and Twi and my head was filled with English-language worries abut the upcoming special edition, for which I'd met none of my assignments and would fail to do so if I didn't escape the clutches of a certain Marketing Manager with psychotic tendancies.

Fortunately it was Friday by then and nothing takes away the pain of a working week like sushi, ice cream, brownies, and real cappacino! You see it wasn't an ordinary Friday, it was the 3.5th anniversary of mine and Miia's fateful first date at the legendary El Mocambo, where Mick seduced Maggie back in the 60s or 70s or some other decade I don't remember. Emboldened and exhausted we embarked on another Accra weekend. Alas it was brownout night, and sleep was taunting in its evasions.

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