Monday, 20 June 2011

Farmer Boy

I am back. Monday lunchtime and I have half a post wedding workday under my belt. Not exactly sure what I feel about it. Since I landed on Saturday night I have been in various states of excitement to see my friends, confusion of where my life is going and deep depression that I have a long stretch of work in front of me.
The wedding was amazing and it was good to see some of the old Manchester crew at Parklife Festival. It appears that sometime whilst I had been away an edict had been given in Manchester declaring that all girls, regardless of shape or size must convene on Plattfield’s Park wearing hot pants. I was treated to a two day to a jamboree of thighs and bums set to a soundtrack of drum and bass. Having been largely deprived of the site of white flesh in Ghana I couldn’t decide whether to be attracted or repulsed.
Despite the flesh fest and the copious amounts of food and alcohol consumed I have returned to Ghana refreshed but with a slightly heavy heart.
Coming out to Ghana at the end of March was not a difficult decision. I was good at my conference sales job but it was a dead end job in a dead end company. I spent much of my day speculating with Tricia about what would come first; the bankruptcy of the company or the getting together of my boss, a bleakly cynical bully, and his right hand woman who I will call “Geraldine”. Geraldine was a fairly attractive hardnosed divorcee entering into her late forties and for some reason had fallen for our bespectacled short arsed boss. They would often disappear to “business meetings” or “business lunches” at odd hours and would ensure that their hotel rooms were on a different floor to mine at international conferences.
Ghana offered me an adventure and escape from the car crash of my last job. It represented a new working environment, an escape from London’s dank and depressing weather and, I hoped, a new position would help to me launch my career.
Having been in my new position for a few months and seeing whether the grass was really greener on the other side, returning on Saturday was somewhat harder. Even the not particularly keen eyed amongst you will have noticed that I was perhaps a little dis-chuffed about my working life and the atmosphere in Accra. I had come to Accra convinced that having done a MA in Conflict, Governance and Development I should be doing something to “save the world”. I thought that an exciting life in hot and exotic locations with an NGO was for me. I thought that the human rights initiative would be a good stepping stone. Now I am not so sure about what I want to do.
The England I left in March was also a very different England to the one I left on the weekend. In March I left a spare room in my sister’s house, a morning commute, grey skies and naked trees. In June I left the farm, which even if I am not involved in agriculture will always be my spiritual home, in the bloom of summer and just on the cusp of harvest season. Harvest is and will always be my favourite time of the year. I love the smell of hot dusty air, the whirring of the combine into the evening twilight and the conversion of a year’s hard work into a saleable produce. Yet, like the past three summers I have forsaken the simple pleasures of this time of year and buggered off to Africa.
Maybe I am more of a farm boy than I realised?


  1. Good blog Henry, interesting comments regarding where you think you belong. What are the future plans in Africa or are they yet to be formulated?

  2. Thanks Dave. Still yet to be formalised although I have irons in the fire with regards to a new working environment