Monday, March 19, 2007

Update on medium rare hunk of meat craving

March 18

It’s as if the cow knew I yearned for a piece of its flesh. The beast came
charging towards me and other pedestrians, oblivious to the honking cars,
tro tros and small tents set up along the roadside. The man with the rope lasso
in his hand could have stood to take a few rodeo lessons and a foot chase
may have been a more effective way to capture the beast.

Celebrated not getting trampled by a herd of hungry bovines by eating a
particularly well fed one this weekend. Divine and very pricey, but worth
every penny, (even the stomach churnings that I battled today.) Hours after
my cow encounter on a Kumasi highway I came face to face with the cow of my
dreams, a dead one, covered with a thick peppery sauce, oozing blood and
sweet vitality. Judging by the angular hips and emaciated state of the mad
beast on the road earlier, I knew this cow was imported. She came straight
from South Africa.

As I write this I’m forced to inhale the fumes from the diesel generator
outside our window. I ask Graeme if he wants some water, and I’m reduced to
yelling at him. I am reminded of some of the camps I visited out on the
land in Nunavut, shouting to be heard over the engine of the blasted thing.

Number of times I’m nearly run over daily: 5
Number of pineapples purchased: 12
Bowls of rice eaten: 31
Bags of plantain chips eaten: 35
Number of four-star Sudoku puzzles completed: 12
Estimated time for a package to arrive from Canada by air: 3 weeks
Estimated cost of an air package from Canada: $197.50
Buckets of sweat off Graeme’s back (size of a kid’s sand pail): 4
Buckets of diarreah (size of a small waste basket): 8 (combined)
Number of sodas (chiefly Fanta) consumed: 90 (combined)
Number of times we’ve forgotten to brush our teeth: 26 (combined)
Number of ring tones on my phone: 39
Number of times the power goes out daily: at least once
Number of times the power went out during week of ghana’s “independence”: 0
Food aid contribution from US government (2006): 22 million
Cost of ghana’s birthday party: 20 million
Portion of that 20 million spent on purchase of luxury cars for visiting
dignitaries: at least half.
Number of invited African heads of state: 12
Number installed by military coup: 10
Number of tough questions asked by Ghanaian journalists to Robert Mugabe: 0
Number of times Ghana’s president has had tea with the Queen: 1
Number of Mosquitos who have met my hand: 33
Number of ants murdered: 472
Number of post larium violent dreams: 2
Number of times I’ve thought I had malaria: 5
Number of times Graeme says I’ve thought I had malaria: 30
Number of times I’ve heard Celine Dion on the radio: Every day.
Number of colleagues who sing along with Celine Dion: anyone within ear shot
Number of goats that have tried to bite me: 2
Percentage of cabs that have a message from Jesus on their back windshield:
Percentage of cab drivers who drive as if they’ll meet Jesus around the next
bend: 90
Number of people I’ve met named Jesus: 1
Number of Ghanaians I’ve met who don’t go to church: 0
Number of South Africans who contract HIV daily: 1500
Number of numerically detailed lists I could write: endless.

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