10 Lessons from the Lockdown

1. You can’t please anyone. Don’t even try to.

2. Humans are not as powerful. A ‘small’ virus has proven that.

3. Wishing someone a ‘happy new year’ and ‘happy birthday’ would have a new meaning henceforth.

4. There may be times that money, clothes and possessions won’t matter.

5. There are several interesting bloggers writing relatable content.

6. Reading and commenting on other blogs is essential. Don’t just write, read and comment on other blogs.

7. I think I can blog fulltime if I have my basic needs met. 😁

8. Twitter is a useful tool for promoting your blog.

9. Working from home takes a lot of effort and will-power.

10. Physical church service over online church service. Any day!

*This is the final post of the 21 lockdown blog challenge. It’s been an exciting 3-weeks of creating posts and interacting with other bloggers all over the world. I feel my world is a lot bigger now. Thank you for making my lockdown worthwhile.❤*

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My Rants

I love my country. I listen to the radio a lot and read stuff on social media. Do you know the feeling that makes you love and hate something at the same time? That is how I feel about content of these media platforms sometimes – they wear out.

Naturally, humans are hard to please but Ghanaians on these media platforms (in my opinion) are the hardest to please. There are two many ‘experts’ and this era has made them popular.

When Ghana started recording some covid-19 cases, the ‘experts’ started advising the president.

Ghanaians:

The president should close our borders,”

“He should quarantine all travelers,”

“He should lock the nation down,”

Then the President called for a partial lockdown in some parts of the country.

Ghanaians:

“The president is two weeks late,”

“Oh, why did he call for a partial lockdown. It should have been a total lockdown,”

“Why didn’t he put in immediate measures to prevent people from travelling to other parts of the country,”

“The president did not explain what a partial lockdown is that is the reason our markets were flooded prior to the lockdown,”

“The lockdown should have been immediate. Why did he announce it on Friday only for it to take effect on Monday,”

Now that the partial lockdown has been implemented for three weeks,

Ghanaians:

“Ghana is not developed for the president to lock us down in this manner. The people will die of hunger,”

“The president promised us food. We want raw rice and oil. We don’t want it cooked,”

“Our economy (90%) is mostly informal. Why lock us in our homes for 3 weeks. What does the government want us to eat?”

“Our markets are dirty. The government should use this period to clean,”

The President will address the nation later tonight. I’m not too sure what he has decided to do since the ‘experts’ are calling for him to revise Ghana’s lockdown model. I do not envy the president.

PS: How do you call people who follow you on social media only to unfollow when you are not looking. They wear me out too!

*20th post of the 21 day lock down blog challenge and the writing prompt is: Rant about something*

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Book Review: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus

Purple Hibiscus, narrated from the perspective of 15-year old Kambili, whose father, Eugene, was affluent and a ‘strict and very adherent’ Christian. He related with his family with the special kind of love that he knew.

Even though the family seemed comfortable, they lived on a ticking time bomb that started erupting when Kambili, her brother, Jaja and their mum came into contact with Eugene’s liberal sister and widow/lecturer at the University in Nsukka and her three children.

One visit to Ifeoma’s home, which later paved way for several others, became the mirror that revealed all that Jaja and Kambili lacked, even in their affluence.

Purple Hibiscus is beautifully written, keeping the reader in suspense. It also reveals the thin line that may exist between religion and fanaticism.

The introduction of Father Amadi in Nsukka and Kambili’s crush on this personality, who has sworn to be celibate all his life, is my favourite part of the book. 😊😊

The tragic twist to the plot in the concluding parts caught me offguard. It left me with mixed emotions.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus is my best read for 2020 (so far). I would give it a 4.6 ⭐s.

*19th post of the 21 day lock down blog challenge and the writing prompt is: Review Something*

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How a Typical Lock down Day Looks

2 am? It’s not even morning yet. I close my eyes and try to go back to sleep. I remember the number of covid-19 cases Ghana has recorded and if there is anything I can personally do about that.

4:44 am? I wake up fully, pick my phone again and send out devotionals to my church’s Whatsapp group pages. I forward links of my pastor’s audio broadcast while contemplating on what do next – Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, WordPress?

5:30 am? I have wasted some time on those social media pages. Where is the YouVersion? I read the verse of the day, share that to my social media platforms and read several of the devotionals they offer and pray. YouVersion is awesome. Remember to check it out if you haven’t.

7 am? Mostly I would have taken my bath and in the kitchen listening to the radio while thinking of what to have for breakfast – pancakes, puff-puff or something easier to prepare.

8 am? Little girl wakes up and that is when my day really begins since I virtually have to force her to do everything – brushing her teeth, bathing, eating. That takes so much of my energy and I can’t wait for school to resume.

10 am? I’m supposed to be working from home so I sit behind the laptop and turn the TV on for the little girl. On good days, I am able to complete tasks. On bad days, I just lie down or play WordCross or read to the little girl or fix puzzles with her or watch Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig or Abby Hatcher (I’m tired of seeing these cartoons).

1 pm-2 pm? I prepare lunch which mostly serves as supper for me.

3 pm? Depending on how productive I have been, I pick the laptop and still try to do some real work from home. Intermittently, I check to see who has posted anything for the lock down blog challenge. I read as and when I find the time.

8 pm? I work on the blog for the day. I sometimes send and read emails for work at this time. This is the most conducive time to do anything productive since my little girl would have had her supper and bath and either preparing to go or will already be in bed. Implying no interruptions and more productivity.

10 – 11 pm? Sleeping and praying time.

Weekends or Weekdays? I can’t really tell because the days are all the same now. The only difference is that I still laundry on Saturdays.

**18th post of the 21 day lock down blog challenge and the writing prompt is: Take us through a day in lockdown**

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The Silence of Her Words

She had dreadlocks, dressed casually and wore glasses. Her background was in communications and planning and she seemed confident.

“This is the back end of the organisation’s website. This is how to post new content,” she said.

I got highly interested and researched on blogs. I created a personal account on WordPress and that was the beginning of a passion. I served as her assistant for about a year and when social media was not very common, she stressed on the need to tweet for the organisation.

She gave me the responsibility of producing weekly updates for the project’s blog and pushed me to take bigger assignments that I thought I was incapable of. She had a personal blog too and it was featured on one of the biggest websites in New York.

As a young University graduate who had just completed her voluntary National Service, I was intrigued by her. She provided me with a picture of my ambitions. She believed in my abilities when I did not know they existed.

Seven years on and I seem to have followed in her footprint somehow. It wasn’t the words of her advice but her silence, faith and actions were exactly what I needed at that time.

**17th post of the 21 day lock down blog challenge and the writing prompt is: Share the best advice you have ever received.**

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The Real Struggle of Pastry-Making

My second attempt at this and it must go well. That is never the case with pastry making – your second, third and fourth attempts could be worse than your first and you’ll never know what went wrong.

You may have listened and watched all the tutorials, listed and purchased all the ingredients that goes with the recipe but boom – the results could be disastrous. Trying new meals could be an adventure but pastry-making could be a ride on a roller coaster. Brace yourself because anything can happen.

My second attempt at making puff-puff (a popular West African deep fried snack) and I felt I was properly armed this time. I called the commander-in-chief (my sister) who run me though the recipe again (for the purpose of revision). I made mental notes. I had no idea my brain was this sharp. I was able to memorise everything she told me without writing them down – flour, sugar, nutmeg, salt, margarine, flavour, yeast and baking powder. Mix dry ingredients. Mix the liquid ones. Put dry and liquid ingredients together and ‘beat it’ to introduce some air. If it’s too thick, add a little water and make it sit for about an hour. Cover it!

Truly, after an hour, the dough or batter had raised. Oil in pan, I allowed it to heat before dropping the spongy dough into it. That thing turned brown by soaking almost half of my oil. They came out looking like some soggy compact disks. Not today, I said to myself. Probably I did not give it enough time to raise. I allowed the mixture to sit for an additional hour and poured the oil into another pan. It was probably the pan. It did not make the puff-puff round. I heated the oil again and started dipping the dough into the oil. The results was even worse than the first.

I turned off the fire and called the commander -in-chief (my sister) after I had sent her photos of the disaster I was making in the kitchen.

“Did you allow it to raise,” she asked.

“It’s been sitting in that kitchen for two hours now,” I said.

“Sieve more flour into the batter. You probably made it too watery,” she diagnosed.

That was how I added more flour and fried again and this time, they actually came out looking a little rounder. I am not a failure after all.

Not the perfect puff-puff but a good attempt (in my opinion)

It’s amazing how this snack is common in our markets but very difficult for me to figure out how it is made. This lock down period has shown me how challenging it is to make pastries/snacks. The least mistake you and you’ll be preparing an inedible nameless substance.

**16th post of the 21 day lock down blog challenge and the writing prompt is: Document your experience trying something new or giving something up.**

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A Letter to me – 2 Decades on

Dear Dee,

Two decades on and I am not driving the latest car nor do I have the most thriving career. Neither do I live in the most beautiful apartment in the plushest neighbourhood. I use public transport and once in a while, I update my CV and send out applications. I have quit several jobs, infuriated a number of bosses and let some down because they thought I was going to work with them for a much longer time. I have gotten disappointed in myself on several occasions, cried my heart out on certain days and oh, I still have a tight tighter budget. I don’t close my eyes and spend anyhow but I think about the expenditure, check to see if it’s on my budget before I spend. Shocking eh? Wait till you start paying rent.

Don’t be surprised, we all thought things would have ‘fallen into place’ but I am sorry to inform you that my relationships (with God and humans), wealth status, career and family life are all work in progress, which I’m still figuring out.

I know you are in a hurry to ‘manage’ your own life but as my friends and I jokingly say, “adulting is a scam,” so relax. It is more challenging when you have to make your own decisions – should I wake up or remain in bed? Should I pray or read? Should I go out or stay indoors? Buy that land or take that course? Mutual fund or stock market? Should I buy that dress or give to the needy? These may seem trivial but they all contribute to the growing process.

So you think you are popular, wait till you grow and you’ll literally shed off a lot of acquaintanceship. You’ll make some friends but be prepared to lose most of them. Even family members have their favourites and there is nothing you can do about that.

It’s not all gloomy but I want you to enjoy your development process – every stage of it. Don’t take life too seriously. Have loads of fun (the Godly way) because as you grow, responsibilities may make you forget how to have them. In all you do, don’t push God aside because He is the one with the manual. Growing up is not a destination after all but a process – accept and enjoy every bit of it.

**15th post of the 21 day lock down blog challenge and the writing prompt is: A letter to my younger self**

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