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Ghana Day #18:
Early Birds

By 18th May 2018May 29th, 2018Travel
This morning when my alarm went off I was surprised by three things.


1. How quiet it was.


I wake up naturally every morning. With naturally I do not mean I wake up unaided. I mean, nature wakes me up.


Every neighbour in a 5km square radius has a chicken. And each of these chickens is taking part in Ghana Chicken Idols. Which starts every morning at 5:00 sharp.


(Or at any point during the night, should a dog bark. In which case the performance goes something like this: “Bark”.. “Crow”.. Bark, bar”.. “Crow, crow”.. “Bark”.. “Crow”.. “Bark, bark, bark”.. “Crow, crow crow..” “Crow”.. “Crow”.. Chicken always wins.)


2. How dark it was.


At first-light, long before the sun is over the horizon, the heat arrives. But this morning it was darker and cooler, than usual.


In my sleepy state (I had gone to bed quite late), I remembered that “The Rain Season” has started.


Rain in Ghana is quite something. It arrives in 5 minutes, lasts for only about 5 minutes, but in those 5 minutes about 5 waterfalls fall out of the sky.



3. How late it was.


“Waking up naturally” means I am awake around 5:00. But it was 8:00 already!






I quickly showered, have breakfast


At 8:20 I wait for Richard’s usual “Are you ready?” call. Nothing.


At 8:30 there is still no sign of Richard, which is very unusual. Richard is never late (See Day#10)


At 8:45 I call Richard. “What’s going on Richard? Is it a holiday today.”


Richard just laughs.


“Are you ready now?”


“Yes Richard, I am ready.”


So ready that I am standing outside the complex gate by the time Richard’s car pulls up.


When we get to the office just after 9:00 I am surprised by how quiet it is.


But then I remember that we had our We-Won-The-Pitch celebration last night. The Echo peeps must be sleeping off their hangovers.


I make a Nice Cup Of Tea and open my laptop.


Why does my laptop clock say 7:52?


I check my phone. No, it is 9:48.


I carry on working.


Wait for a second…


I check the World Clock on my iPhone (which I seem to be doing a lot lately). It says “Accra 7:53”.


It is 7:53.


“Riiiiiiiiicccchhhhhaaaaaardd!” Richard is in the kitchen.


“Richard, what time did I call you this morning to pick me up?”




My phone must be missing Cape Town because it decided during the night to return to Cape Town time.



PS This reminded me of a time, when we were small when my Dad woke us up to tell us we were late for school.
We got dressed and was having breakfast, when he walked into the kitchen half-asleep and laughing, saying he thought we realised that he had been joking.
It was 2:00 in the morning. (Ja, my Dad has a strange sense of humour.) We all went back to bed, in our Port Natal school uniforms.
He got his comeuppance though: His little joke kept him awake all night.


PPS Some more “Natural Alarm” moments.



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