I've been in Ghana for a week interviewing candidates for my department (only to be told yesterday that they've cut my budget so I can't offer a job to any of them...)
Tuesday was a public holiday. I worked for most of the day on training programmes for staff I now won't be able to recruit (okay you get the picture - I'm rather unhappy about this), but then took a wonder along the street from the hotel, to the old British colonial sector, Jamestown. It was such a lively place - very poor, but the poverty hasn't stopped a number of people buying enormous sets of speakers, which were blasting out reggae and rap to people who were actually dancing in the street.
I noticed a sign advertising the Champion's League game to be shown on TV Wednesday evening and thought it would be a great place to watch it. Two weeks ago I watched the first leg with my friends in the Medina district of Dakar, with some 150 of us crammed into a tiny space creating an absolutely superb atmosphere. But I thought I had better check with colleagues here as to whether it was safe to go there at night. Particularly as there would be very little light around given the power cuts here (lack of rainfall meaning the hydroelectric dams are mostly inoperative and electricity is now rationed, even in the capital, to every other day). How sad to be told that there was no way I could go there safely after dark. That there was a high likelihood of being mugged, and that if I carried no valuables I could be physically harmed in retaliation for having nothing of value to those trying to mug me.
Tomorrow I travel to Togo, where I will be for three weeks. I will probably not be able to post anything here, as there are real connectivity problems in that country right now. The only internet provider, Togo Telecom, currently has only 2MB of bandwidth for the whole of Togo!
So, in the absence of anything particularly interesting to say, this seems like a good opportunity to show a little of my home in Dakar - the courtyard and the kitchen.