Unfortunately my holiday in Ghana will be coming to an end in two days time, and I’m not yet ready to leave the heat, the beaches, and the general vibe of just chilling. One of the things I really am going to miss though is not having to clean up after myself!
I’m very fortunate in how I am able to live when I’m over here. My dad lives here, and though he isn’t necessarily rich, he had a very good job before retiring, which afforded him the luxury of a house, car, security guards, domestic help and household allowances. So in that time he obviously became accustomed to that standard of living, and took a few of those aspects with him to his own house he had built, which he currently lives in. He is also currently having a 6-bedroom house built in his home town of Mamfe, and when I went to visit the site all I could think was that this so-called house looked more like an entertainment venue!
Some people who have no real idea of Africa, for whatever reason, probably think that when you come here you either live in a shack made of sticks, live in the jungle, or live among lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) who cross your path as you take a stroll around your compound, like they did in ‘Zamunda’. I can assure you that isn’t the case. The quality of life that you would be able to afford yourself, coming from the UK or from the Western world in general, is very good. In our house we have a everything you need to live comfortably; running water, air-con, a generator for when the government’s useless power supply instruments cut out unnecessarily, wireless internet connection (which is what I’m using to speak to you right now) and even house help – a houseboy and a cook.
It is very normal to have a houseboy/girl, and contrary to popular belief, they are not always mistreated. I actually sometimes find it hard to let them do things for me, because I know that if I was at home (in London) there’s no way that would be happening! Plus there’s no way I would be rude or treat them like they are beneath me, because the next thing you know I’ll be wondering what this slimy substance is in my food…
Quite often, being the houseboy or housegirl comes with the opportunity to go to school or learn a new skill or trade, as their families are usually poor and can not afford to send them. The boy we have here will be taught how to drive, which is a skill he really wants to learn. He’s extremely helpful and my dad is constantly describing him as “a very good boy.” I blame him and the cook for my needing to knuckle down on the weight loss when I return to London. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!
So now I have two days left in which I can eat and not wash my plate, not clean my room, not hail a taxi myself, and not be sent to the shop inconveniently.
This, indeed, is the life.