Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A Birthday to Remember

Welcome back to my Blog. I have returned from travels with Jeny and Kate and have new tales and photos. I don’t think there can be too much left in Ghana for me to see as a tourist and I wonder if I could set myself up as a guide now. Before I start those stories I must write about yesterday.

Yesterday was my 58th Birthday. After so many I recall some being very exciting, some expensive and extravagant and a tiny minority forgettable. Yesterday was my first day back at the office in Nadowli.  My friend Louisa arrived with a live chicken and a bag of palm nuts hanging from her moto handles. The chicken was my Birthday gift from her mother! Not a gift to keep, you understand, but to eat later with fufu and palmnut soup! I was assured I didn’t have to kill it myself but I should watch and learn. Anyway, the chicken was placed unceremoniously in my bicycle basket for me to take home and keep in the veranda until after school closed. She was a beautiful specimen. On arrival at the house I discovered an egg in the basket too! To begin with, the condemned chicken behaved as you would expect, rather depressed and full of doom. I was advised to give her water and a handful of rice. After half an hour she perked up and demolished her last meal ……and seconds too!

Well, it poured with rain all day yesterday, which apparently is good luck here. Obviously, I am very fortunate as the same thing happened last year. As soon as it paused Eric from Stores knocked on the gate to announce his arrival as executioner. I did watch and it was quite quickly performed with a sharp knife across the throat.

Later, when Louisa had pounded the palm nuts but before she pounded the fufu, I took a fascinated look inside the bird. I have never seen the workings of a laying chicken before. I could see the production line of eggs in varying stages of development. It was rather like a very small factory production line. Evidently, if we had let her live we would have had an egg a day for a couple of weeks at least. I suppose that would have been an option although she would have had to live in the veranda all the time or I would have lost her!

Anyway, the meal was delicious. I have never had a celebratory Birthday feast like it, nor one that was prepared from the most basic raw ingredients in my kitchen. Within 2 hours, (remember there is no such thing as fast food in Ghana), a chicken, a yam and a bag full of palm nuts were transformed into a dinner to relish at the end of a Birthday to remember.

I also received many Birthday wishes brought to me through a range of technology and the post, which made me feel very close to family and friends despite being quite a few thousand miles away from almost all of you. Many many thanks for all of those.


  1. sorry pressed button before checking....
    hope you had a lovely birthday..........