Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Odd Jobs

There aren’t exactly jobs coming out of the woodwork here. This adds up to a lot of poverty and a lot of people with too much free time. But for those who do manage to keep working they have a long list of odd jobs. I love to hear about where people are from (or where their family’s ancestral village is) and to hear about the path people have taken to end up in Accra. Small Sami, who drives a van for NYU used to be a solider in the Ghanaian Army. After that he was a Rasta Tro Tro Driver. Then about a year or two ago he cut off his dreads and got a job with Avis. Richard the night security guard hunted in his home-village. Apparently he has killed a good amount of warthogs in his days, but they’re very dangerous so he usually stuck to grass cutters. Grass cutters look a lot like giant rats. Once they are smoked you can make them into soup and eat it with fufu (our friend Forson is going to show us how to cook it). So Richard hunted grass cutter and sold it at a roadside stand. After that he worked as a seamstress (tailor?), and then moved in with friends down the street from us and got a job working the night shift as a guard. Debbi, who lives with us and works in NYU’s office, also has a family bread making business. Krista the program coordinator apparently has a West African jewelry business. Our friend Forson is currently "working" as a security guard across the street, but will hopefully be moving to Amsterdam (or somewhere like that) soon to be an au pair. He should probably work on his riddles (Tolis) first because they don't make any sense. I’m always amazed at where people come from and how they’ve gotten here.

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