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Ghana Day #10:
GMT Time

By 10th May 2018May 29th, 2018Travel
My first meeting, at Echohouse, last week, was scheduled for 14:00.


And I was seated, without a Nice Cup Of Tea (see Day #4 ), in the boardroom at 13:55 sharp.


At 14:05 I checked my cell phone clock to make sure I had the right time.


At 14:09 I added Accra time to the world clock on my cell phone.


At 14:14 the first person walked in. I joked and said something like ‘I am happy to see you, I thought I was in the wrong place. Is the meeting still happening?’ To which he responded “Don’t worry, they will come.’


And they did. At 16:57.





Bright, one of the Echo House founding partners, told me that they also adhere to GMT (Greenwich Meridian Time). But here it stands for Ghanaian Male* Time. (*And female)



Coming from an advertising and publishing background, where everything we do is deadline related, adhere to GMT time. And not the Ghanaian Male Time variety! And, when working on a pitch, I switch to Swiss time-keeping.


Which is why, on Saturday, when we are set to meet at 14:00, to work on the pitch, I got there at 13:00. Everyone else arrived at 15:00.


I am spending a lot of time in empty rooms.


But to quote my wise friend Cara: “Our (time-driven) Western mindset does not apply here.”


I read this yesterday: “To Ghanaians, people are more important than schedules.”


So, going forward, instead of getting worked up, I am going to take a deep breath and go make myself a Nice Cup Of Tea. Or ten.


Because, people are more important than schedules.




*Except Richard for (the Echohouse driver) that is. Richard adheres to Swiss time-keeping.


Our conversations usually go something like this:
Richard: “What time tomorrow?”
Me: “Thank you, Richard, I will be ready around 8:45.”
Richard: “We will talk tomorrow.” (Which, I have learned, is code for: “I will pick you up earlier.”
The next morning the phone rings, like clock-work, at 8:00.
Richard: “Are you ready?”
Me: “I have just showered.”
Richard: “So you are ready?”
Me: “No, I have just showered.”
Richard: “So you are ready?”
While I stand with the towel around me and water dripping on the floor.
Me: …“Yes, Richard. I am ready.”

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