Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rice and Stew Very Plenty

Today we are gonna enjoy a nice dinner. Something like waakye. The way you can make it in Norway, in Levanger, at least. Hubby is preparing a nice stew, with boiled eggs, and totally free of wele.
Waakye is rice and red beans cooked together. Hubby tells me that waakye is a word in Hausa, meaning beans. But it has become the name for the mix of rice and beans, served with stew, shito, meat, fish, vegetables, pasta, gari. Back in Community 2, where we lived when I stayed in Ghana, waakye was Sunday food.
We woke up at 6 to go to the 6.30am Mass. At 8.30 we closed, and Hubby often went out to buy waakye, FULL of pepper usually, and the good times - fried COW meat. Mmmmm. We put all the food in a bowl, and ate it together with Ghanaian gospel booming in the background, and our neighbors making noise as usual. Yum.

Of course, considering the contents, it's a heavy meal. Like most Ghanaian meals. And, as tradition, every Sunday, a few hours later, fufu waited in my in-law's house. Sunday in Community 2 is eating day.

 <-- Waakye, Norway style

 Today we enjoyed our waakye, celebrating that Hubby has survived a whole year in this country so different from his homeland. Tomorrow it will be exactly a year since I drove the looong way to the airport, shaking, so nervous to go pick him up at the airport, in NORWAY. It was unreal. Now having him here seems like the most natural thing in the world. We should have celebrated tomorrow, but I am (hopefully) travelling to Norway's smallest city, with 2 good friends, to visit good friend number 3 from African Studies. Will be FUN!

Have a smashing May 1st weekend!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I just love my cow skin well cooked

Ok, I do dig my own grave alot of times. Like when I ask my readers to suggest blog projects, as I did in the post below. This time a loyal reader, and lovely blogger, Nana Yaw, suggested I'd blog about Ghanaian food. For a whole week! Awurade, boa me.
Let's see what I can do. I can't let Nana Yaw down.

Ghanaian food no. 1.
Wele. That is, in English words, cow hide (skin).
Mmm. Yummy. Or?
I have never seen the joy of eating cow hide. But Ghanaians, they just love this curled, chewy thing. I had to do some research beyond my own head for this, and found much information on GhanaWeb. A whole article actually.  

"Some “Wele” are hard and others soft, however it is a common delicacy in almost every meal-particularly cooked rice, “wakye”, ground-nut and palm nut soup." 


Soft? Hard? Chewy is more like it.


“Lots of Ghanaians consume “Wele” because they see it as fun when chewing it"
  
Oh, how fun to chew on a piece of skin that you can never bite through. Mmm. Ok, so I'm not wele's best friend.

Here is worst case scenario for me, and wele. I am in Ghana, someone has gone to buy rice, or waakye for me from a street vender. Waakye is rice and beans cooked together, will go further into it's phenomenon on a later stage. Back to the meal awaiting. I have asked the buyer to get some MEAT with the food, not fish. When you buy rice or waakye or something from the street in Ghana, there is always several protein sources to choose from. You get your rice, your sauce, and then pick: an egg, fried fish, fried meat, salad, pasta, beans, gari (one day...), and..... WELE. I would ask for fried meat. I get my food in a bag, opens, put in a plate, digs out the meat and... OH NOOOO! The highlight of the meal is the meat. Imagine my disappointment when I find WELE. A curled up, chewy, light brown, hairy?, piece of cow skin. You can't chew it a) because it's chewy b) because the thought of what it is is ewwwie..

I say: "But... I asked for meat."
Ghanaian friend/husband etc: "It is meat. It is wele!" Followed by a big grin, and watery teeth, looking at the wele in my plate.
An alternative answer could be: They didn't have meat.

And you think WELE is a good subsitute? You might as well give me a plate full of lizard tails. (Maybe that's good?)
Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging Ghanaians for enjoying their wele, hell no, I am in awe of their ability to enjoy the WHOLE part of every animal, how they find fish bones as good as the fish itself, chicken bones, WELE etc. It's just me. And the texture of the food, more than the taste. I eat animal skin. Our Norwegian traditional Christmas dinner is all about getting the skin of the pork crispy. But that's the keyword. Crispy. Not chewy.

That's it. All I can say about wele. Appearently, according to GhanaWeb, it's cancerous cos of the way it's being processed. Finally I have a better excuse not to like this lovely delicacy.

Picture and info borrowed from GhanaWeb.

Monday, April 26, 2010

dream big

Write, write, write.

I don't understand why a person who dreams of being a journalist or creative writer, can't think of topics to blog on? I want I want  I want to do a journalism course. But maybe I should be an author instead. How fun won't it be to write a book? Hmm. What would it be about? Biography? I am such a famous person, people would just storm to the stores to buy my story, right? Even if it was so, I have such a bad memory, I wouldn't remember all the things that has happened in my life.

I'm 27 soon. I want to have a dream to follow, yet at the same time a steady income. Oh, fellow blogger, NY, inspire me to write! I have stories in my head, but they don't come through my fingers. Yet.

Challenge for bloggers. What book would YOU like to read? What should it be about? Give me a topic. Maybe it can be my new blog project. Who knows. I need something to excite me. Life is getting to normal!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Up in smoke

Europe is in trouble'oooh!

We find ourselves in an absurd situation. A volcano is stopping huge parts of air traffic in Europe. Norways airspace has been paralyzed since Thursday morning. And many other countries, including the UK is also shut down.

It's fascinating and a bit scary actually, to see how powerless we really are now. We can't do anything about this volcano erruption, we just have to obey by it's rules. We are all of a sudden unable to control our own ways, we are controlled by nature. It's been alot of talk about a bigger volcano in Iceland, Katla, which might errupt too, and it will have catastrophical consequences. Not only for air traffic, but also weather conditions all over the world, pollution, floods etc.

In a country like Norway, stranded planes are very serious. Not just for the passanger planes, but rescue helicopters and ambulance planes. Norway is a super-long country. The distances are vast. From the north to the south its over 2500 kilometres. It takes 1-2 days to drive, if you drive more or less non-stop. In my county, the nearest hospital is 2,5 hours away. Let's say you are giving birth, it would take 10 minutes in the air to get to a proper maternity ward. Now it will take ... 2,5 hours. Nobody knows if people are gonna die as a cause of this, but no matter what, we can't do anything about it. One of the main newspapers in the country has opened their own "hitchhiking central" where people either search for rides here and there, or offer rides. And it's amazing how many people are now reaching out to give strangers a ride. Lovely for our cold natured people! But some people has of course seen how they can make money out of this and offer seats here and there for lots of money.

But this one sweet guy says this: The ride is of course free since I'm going there myself anyway!

Volcano, please don't blow out ashes for weeks, I want us to go to Oslo in May...

Picture borrowed from: VG,no

Friday, April 16, 2010

Morning glory

It is Friday morning. The best day of the week. And I start work at 9.30! Yes, that means I close at 5pm, but it's not the worst working hours. We are quite spoilt here in Norway. Yesterday I went to the gym for a 90 minute spinning class - yay for me! Unfortunately I had plans with my lovely friend to go for the morning class today, at 6.45am... Yes, it's early, but oh Lord, how good it is afterwards. And the main reason for going, is that after the shower, the gym gives us breakfast, and when we both start late, we can sit and talk for a looong time while enjoying our healthy cereal and coffee.. A nice start of the day, and you go into the weekend feeling that you are allowed to eat GOOD stuff cos you have worked out. Blah blah blah. ANYWAY... This morning my legs were really tired. My phone went beep:


05.50am
Friend: Oh shit..

Me: I know...
Friend: Are you up?
Me: My eyes are up..
Friend: I'm lying still.
Me (trying to fool myself and being her inspiration as usual): Rise and shine!!
I get up, go to the bathroom, and then.... beep.
Friend: I can't do it. Shit. It is snowing..

(Pic from last Sundays bike ride around the area: a flower! SPRING!! Or..?)


Thoughts inside my head: %&¤%&¤"%#!¤"#/&!#(/#)(/"!"%¤#¤!#"¤¤"!#"¤!#"¤%!#"%¤!#""!¤#"!%&!"
Why the H.... is it snowing now??

Me: Ok, sleep tight.

I slept till 7.30 and dragged myself up. It is now 8.30, I have eaten and I'm dressed but I need make-up, clean up a bit..., brush my teeth and be on my bike in 50 minutes. Doable? Yes I can. But, I have something really really dangerous on my lap. A lap TOP. I need to get rid of it.

So. You got a morning report from my life, enjoying the fact that I got this lovely morning all to myself, but right now I need more hours. Luckily the snow melted as fast as it landed, but something tells me that this wetness that has just landed, is gonna make the kids overly muddy, yet again. Oh, how fun sand and water and mud can be! I'm glad I'm not taking the clothes, and the kids with me home. 

Have a lovely Friday and weekend!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dishes

Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned.
It's been 10 days since my last post.

I have dishes to do but I don't wanna do them.
How come dishes are so hard to do? It is such a boring task.
Give me rather a floor to wash, even a toilet is better than dishes.

Tomorrow is the application deadline for school. I have filled in my application, but I can still add more to it.
I am playing with the thought of a study in journalism. Unfortunately I have to pack up and move far from what I now call home, to do it. It's not exactly what I want. I have grown old and I wish to settle somewhere. I have travelled so much back and forth the last few years, I have changed towns and jobs and what I was gonna do the next 6 months, was always the question. I am satisfied with being in one place. But this particular place doesn't offer a journalism course. I'm gonna apply for more work where I already work. And take a journalism course on the side, online through a renowned school in Norway. Good idea? Yes.

I have applied for creative things. And children things. Anyhew. No matter what I choose, I'd still have to do dishes.

Here are the main reasons not to move from here...
  











This little cutie pie, and his parents

This little amazing princess and her mother and father
 

Monday, April 5, 2010

When I was just a little girl..

I asked my mama "what shall I be"? And I am still asking, going on 27 I still don't know my place in the world. And I am tired now of "Que sera, sera". It is about time it turns into something graspable (word, NanaY?).
My problem is that I suffer from severe indecisiveness.

When I was 20 my sister said: Hey, I found the perfect study for you. African Studies. Oh yes, so exciting, different, interesting, I'm gonna end up working in an aid organization, a orphanage in Africa, do great, adventurous (??) stuff blah blah blah. Did that happen? No. Did the studies totally break down all my stupid illusions? Yes. Did I gain the best friends ever, great experiences AND a husband indirectly through it? Oh yes.

So it's not all bad. It is just me who dont know how to put my education into use. In a village in Norway.
Now I am working in a kindergarten, that is all I have done since I completed my bachelor. And of course, travelled. I travelled back and forth to Ghana the 3 years after my degree, to be with hubby ♥
I spent time in Norway in between, working in different kindergartens, cos that's where I got work. Short term contracts, living at home with my parents, going back to Ghana... That was what life was about for a while, and I forgot about everything else. What will become of me? The goal was hubby to come here, and to get him here, I had to work, again. Being a student would not bring in the cash I needed to prove I had to get him here. I looked for work, now in another town. But it was still kindergarten I got. And I do love it, don't get me wrong. Working in kindergarten is very rewarding and meaningful and it gives me alot. But. I am not trained to work with children so my salary is low low low. I am not trained to work with kids so my responsibilities are less than what I think I am capable of. I want more challenges, I want more responsibility, I want more money.

This August the chance to go back to school is so very present. Hubby is here, I don't need to work for anything but for the fact that making my own money is so much better than living on a student loan... April 15th I must have submitted my applications. And I can't make a choice.

I feel so guilty cause I have all the opportunities in the world. I am so priviliged. I can get into anything I'd like (except those physics, medicine, science mathematics stuff that I hate anyway). I can be whatever I like.

JUST SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT I LIKE!

Ok, I'll make a list:
  • I like to be creative. No, I LOVE it. I would LOVE to make a living just...creating SOMETHING, anything.
  • I like the way we work in the kindergarten, all colleagues, together. Not in your own office, alone.
  • I like to plan, organize, fix, write lists (but I am a control freak and having a job like that would make me take all the work home, and worry about work in my free time..).
  • I like kids.
  • Languages.
 I took two tests online that were gonna show me what job I am suited for. One said bartender. The other said I should work with in the field of health and social work. Anyone wanna pick for me?

I just wanna create. And make money. Unfortunately they don't always match so well. The schools are few, and/or private, meaning it costs my shirt to go to school there. The jobs are few. And the schools are far away from where we kind of wanna stay. 10 days. Clock is ticking. :-S

The pictures above is from my two jobs I ever held in Ghana. The first: unpaid nursery teacher in a public nursery. My plight there can be read of HERE.
The other pic is from my only real, paid job. As towel folder (and shop keeper) at Una Agencies Ltd. at Airport, Accra.

 I liked selling, the only problem was that everyone thought I was a customer there, so all the real customers approached my colleagues rather than me when they had a question. But when they allowed me to make beautiful gift baskets, with towels, soaps and candles, I was, again, happy. And creative... If I dont end this post now, it will never end. So consider it ended!



I made this... :-) Talent, huh??

Friday, April 2, 2010

pasqua




This is how it looks in our apartement for Easter. I just love the colors. No furry chicken in this house, table cloths with chicken or bunnies. They are safely hidden in a drawer (sorry mamma, who gave them to me). The eggs on the tree I have painted, the candy and lily my mom gave me, and the Easter egg I bought myself, but it's currently empty. The sun is shining, nothing scheduled, just enjoying playing with Photoscape, a free photo editing program, and dreaming of a mirror reflex camera...

In the last post I mentioned Hubby's birthday on April Fool's day, also known as yesterday. If you can't read Norwegian, you would still get a pretty good idea of what happened on his birthday by checking out the video on my Norwegian blog.