Ghana… so far

June 8, 2011 at 13:06 | Posted in Ghana | Leave a comment
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3rd week into PA… got stuck in a rut… not good
So it’s time for some reflection…

Tema
My current location is in Tema.

Tema is to Ghana, like how Kaohsiung is to Taiwan. It is an industrial estate and a harbour town, so you will see a constant layer of smog in the air.
Of course, one cannot compare the infrastructure here in Ghana to Taiwan… asphalt roads are a luxury, even with it, it is dotted with pot holes are high humps (so high that your car needs to come to a complete stop) that makes travelling around here a bumpy experience. You can also see the amount of effort they put into city planning by conveniently putting a roundabout at every cross junctions… vehicles coming from all directions just have to work their way out themselves, instead of having traffic lights to control the flow of vehicles.

There is a huge Chinese community here…what I heard is that most are here for construction projects. Due to high inflation, some Chinese are also here to bring in their Made-in-China products that are cheaper than those produced in Ghana. With Chinese, comes social vices like gambling and lup-sup KTVs which is quite prevalent around here.

But all-in-all, Tema is generally a safe place … perhaps even comparable to Singapore.

Golden Cocoa Guest House
It is a bungalow-turned-staff accommodation rented by the company for their staff from mainly Indonesia & Malaysia working in Ghana. Food, laundry, and room cleaning services are all provided for, so there’s little to worry about here. There’s a gym where all equipment are not usable, so it’s only the good old free weights that I use for training. Plus lots of protein coming in from the fried chicken I eat for lunch & dinner almost daily, I’m sure I could put on some muscle bulk when I return to Singapore …LOL

There’s a small swimming pool that gets spurts of algae growth and debris floating all over… so when the pool is cleaned, I would jump in for a quick swim.

On Sunday mornings, it will be long runs. The flat dirt trail roads make good running surfaces.

Food isn’t fantastic, but I don’t pay for it, so I shouldn’t complain.
The chef seems to know only a few methods of cooking, so it’s either fried chicken or chicken in some unknown gravy… can I have a day of steam chicken? haha
But breakfast of barley porridge or oat porridge is awesome… full of fiber to help with digestion

Entertainment are few… but thanks to satellite TV provider that the guesthouse subscribed to, I get my daily dose of Al Jazeera news in the morning during breakfast, documentary/movies/football during dinner. Visited a lup sup bar called Manila Bar and a casino called Easy Win Casino, nothing great really…

Having foreign staff staying in the one place is a good idea, it provides good opportunity for bonding. Quite interesting to hear stories of “refugees” who worked in neighbouring Ivory Coast but got relocated to Ghana due to conflict, and people who worked in Africa for some time and observed the quirks of an African worker.

Work
And finally work…

My job is to help simplify the process of SAP entry, by coming up with a sort of “cheat-sheet” for users to follow when they do their entry. Upon further interaction with the users, they seem to know what they are supposed to do… and how what they are doing will affect other users.

Then my organisation supervisor wants me to come up with an Excel chart which users could use for reporting & uploading to SAP…
Then she wanted me to identify the sources of error that cause the accounts not being able to reconcile…

In other words, I’m being pointed in all directions without really knowing what I’m supposed to do… so now I’m actually quite lost.

I tried to exercise initiative by following the SAP team when they go around helping staff post entries, but I find myself sitting beside the SAP person watching her send emails to request authorisation for users…not helping at all & simply a waste of time!
And like I said, the users know what they are doing.

I also went to the production site to try to find out possible sources of error… really trying to do something I could…

I know that problems are not always what it seems… what we see is always a tip of an iceberg, or like a blind man feeling an elephant… the problem is always bigger than it seems.

I need to take a step back to see clearly so that I can provide a long-term solution to the real issue.

So now I’m here going through all reports again, hoping to see some light… hoping for a more enlightened tomorrow 😐

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