TGIA – Thank God it’s Africa

A trip to the local shop...not your average big box store.

A trip to the local shop…not your average big box store.

First World Problems – it’s the new catchphrase of the year (decade?) isn’t it? I think it’s kind of hilarious, a recognition that we’ve all become far too precious in a life filled with labour saving devices and just generally too much….stuff. There is, of course, a web page cataloging such problems: here’s a few of my favourites:

“I want to go for a walk around the neighborhood but I can’t until I find one of the six iPhones in my house that plays my walking music.”

How about this one:

“The rental car I got on vacation had plates from a different state than the one I was visiting, so I looked like a tourist.”


“I don’t have enough chips for my dip, but if I open another packet of chips, I won’t have enough dip for my chips.”

Now, while we live in the developing world, we carry with us all the nutty thinking of the first world. It’s enough to drive you mad, first world expectations in a developing world…and if that isn’t a ‘First World Problem’ I don’t know what is.

The house we live in where Bill works, which is in regional-rural Ghana (ie not in a major city), is a total first world house. Sure it hasn’t been significantly renovated since, like 1947, but we’ve got mosquito netting on the windows, airconditioning, the house itself is huge – bigger than our house in Australia. We sleep in king sized beds, and Jock can skateboard down the hall. Sure the power and water cut out intermittently, but its more reliable than in Kumasi. Compared to a typical house in Ghana, its a freaking palace.

But the water did go out the other day. Just as I was finishing cutting a kilo of onions and a clove of garlic. Sticky, stinky hands…and nothing to wash them with….gross…first world problem, right?

A couple of hours later the kitchen tap belched, then gurgled, then from deep within the plumbing let out a roar.

We raced to the kitchen, expectant faces staring at the taps:

[email subscribers, Click to play. It’s only 7 seconds long].

Woo hoo! Coffee on tap! Can you imagine how much you’d have to pay for that in the First World??!!

Not your average fur baby either.

Not your average fur baby either.

13 responses to “TGIA – Thank God it’s Africa

  1. Hilarious!

    Yes, we had a bit of that On Tap Coffee here in Kumasi the other day. Delicious! This must be one of the system improvements resulting from that 99.39 percent rate increase the Ghana Water Company implemented earlier this month.


  2. I’m directing my friends and family to your site because I love your expressive observations that I’m so familiar with (after 15 years in Ghana). Be blessed! Marian


    • Thanks Marian! Pleased you are enjoying the blog, and feel free to spread the word…that would be great. Hope all is well in your world. C


    • Thanks Jay. I’m trying to make it the glass half full sceanario…shame it doesn’t quite taste like coffee…actually I don’t know, they’re no way I;d drink it!!


  3. That is interesting! The village we live in has major water issues. City water comes on maybe twice a month, three if we’re lucky! We have to fill our tank when its on. At night we leave a faucet in our bathroom on with a metal pan underneath so we can hear when it comes on. We then rush to fill the tank.


    • Thanks for your comment. Whereabouts in Africa do you live? We’re lucky here in that when city water goes off, we have a supply on site. As an Australian I am always surprised that people in Africa don’t seem to routinely harvest rainwater; it is very common in Australia, and indeed is now compulsory for any new house being built.


      • Hello, I live in Somanya in the Volta Region. I am from the Virgin Islands and we harvested rain water there. We also harvest it in Ghana. It is compulsory in the VI too. We have a few tanks so when it rains we get that too. I have always wanted to go to Australia, its on mu bucket list! lol


  4. Hi, we live in The big city, in Accra, well, in East Legon, and we have had water 3 times since February, so I’m quite envious! Just wanted to say thanks for your blog; witty, sensical (yep, that’s a word), finger on the pulse and feet on the ground, plus the pics are fab.


  5. As usual you make me feel like I am there with you living the experience, pics are great and colours so vibarant. You are such an expressive writer.


  6. Currently it appears like BlogEngine is the best blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?


It's always great to hear from you. Please leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s