"What you are sharing with me...wow...really wow...I never knew, and I do not think many of my people know!" declared Mr. Karl and looked around. People were walking on the tracks above them put on a small dam.
"I am not sure, Sir. I mean, when your people live here for sometimes with us and when they are not fools but have eyes, ears and a brain that makes them think and after thinking understand...than they should know and not keep quiet!" responded Frederic Ansare, putting down the tools and to start his lunch break. He greeted his young boss, crossed the Tema-Accra Beach road to walk along the shores along the Gulf of Guinea. The three saw the fisher folks packing up their nets for the day, checking on their wooden boats for a last time before heading home to their families.
"You see their nets?" asked Frederic Ansare Mr. Karl. He saw the nets of the fisher folks very well. "And you see the pipe down there just before the restaurant coming from underneath the road we have just crossed?"
"Yes, I see!" said Mr. Karl while Princess was walking by his side. They looked over the Sea up to the horizon seeing ships hankered in front of Tema Port waiting be to be offloaded or taking cargo around the continent of Africa.
"Out there, far away from our eyes, trailers from your own people are there fishing our fish which you will buy for small money and chop. While our fisher folks here...guess what they fish mostly not being able to go far out into the Sea?"
"Small fish?" asked Mr. Karl while Frederic Ansare stopped a young woman selling pineapple in light rubber bags ready cut for consumption. He bought three rubber bags and handed them around his friends. The young girl, more than young, a girl supposed to be at school by now but money for school books and uniforms was not at hand having to support the family buy going to the beach from early in the morning selling pineapple and later fried coco yam. She looked tired not only of the day and hard labour, tired of her misfortune. Mr. Karl flowed her with his eyes. The girl noticed it, turned around for a second smiling at the unknown White Man.
"Not only small silver fish," laughed Frederic Ansare his head off that a White Man like Mr. Karl would not know the hardship of his fisher folks around Sakumono and in other places of the country. "Plastic, TV covers, small plastic stripes, plastic bags of which we have so many in this country, plastic bottles...that is their daily labour...not love labour...destiny self-inflicted, Mr. Karl. When we all, or many of us, complain about the hardships you White People have inflicted on us in the past, the slavery, the punishment and killings of Millions of our brothers and sisters in Africa...and still some of your Governments having bad mind s about us, only intending to use our natural resources for small money and run away with it or bribe our Politicians and take our precious timber as illegal logging...that is all said and true...but these here right in front of our very own eyes...that is us messing us up. I have never seen any White Man in Ghana dumping any plastic anywhere. I always see them to make sure not to litter the environment. When they finish sachet water and have empty plastic or glass bottles in their hands, they look for a safe place to dump them, either in their homes or wherever it is assigned for to dispose waste off. But here, in our beaches, in our immediate water bodies...no, Mr. Karl...that is done by us and by us only. Once I waited at Kotoka International Airport for a friend to return from England. I saw two small girls, one white the other one black. Both had empty water bottles in their hands. The black girl threw her bottle onto the grass at their side asking the white girl to follow her example as the bottle emptied now would be useless. The white girl refused to do s the black girl did and explained that in her society no one is supposed to do that in fact with such bottles money is generated for some people."
Frederic Ansare looked around feeling hungry. In the distance he saw a matured woman having boiled eggs stacked on top of each other on her head carrying it on a silver plate around for people to buy. the eggs were covered in loss of salt and still in their brown eggshell. The lady came to them, put down the silver plate, asked if she should add a spicy read sauce inside each egg and walked off with small money in her hands. Then he said while walking further along the road making sure no stone would hit them, no plastic bottle destroy their mood, no glass in the sand below their feet would cut their skin and make them bleed: "You will see more of the nonsense that we inflict as a people onto ourselves and which has nothing to do with our different skin colour or our historic past or our political and economic present...nothing whatsoever, Sir!"
"Wow...I am most impressed, to say the least.
"You will learn so much more and hopefully be able to come up with good ideas and a plan," expressed Frederic Ansare his desire as he liked Germans a lot not really knowing why. "But it is about time for me to go back to work. Let me only briefly say this which we can discuss later in more details as you wish. It is true Whites took our land for free, used it as farms and used us as cheap labour. All true...but...true is also this is history and yesterday is gone, you cannot change it. What you can do is to think and act today for a better future. In many corners of our continent you see Governments given in the demand of their people to hand back the stolen land to their original owners with no compensation as they feel this would be another injustice done to their people. Now, these people demanding such drastic strategy are always surprised, but basically do not care and learn, that when the farm is given back to the original owners these people that once were farm workers and not farm managers do not know how to run a farm for which reason you can see in many places farms in ruin or less productive. Zimbabwe is a clear and visible example of a good idea going so sour that a country once exporting food has problems to feed its own people. Other countries like Namibia are wiser and pay compensation to the White Farmers in exchange for them to train the farm workers well so that over time they are very qualified to take over and run a successful farming business. Without a good plan and good preparation only based on propaganda...this never works well for any people. But, Mr. Karl," arrived the three back at Frederic Ansare`s workplace under the red and black canopy, "I am so happy to have you as my new friend. I am sure we will be met more often and sit down to discuss further. Thanks so much, Sir!"
"The pleasure is all on my side, as I can see in you a man of great wisdom!" took Mr. Karl his sweating hands into his own and walked off alongside Princess that was always smiling with great wisdom in her eyes.
"Good morning, Mr. Karl, hope you are doing fine?" asked Princess while serving him sugar bread with nothing except tea with milk, the only form of tea he would drink. She smiled; the heart started to rise again seriously. Soon Harmattan season would start again with immense problems for traffic and breathing conditions for the people. As the earth is turning around the sun in a certain angel. When the constellation of the earth by end of each year is closer to the sun winds coming from the north of Africa, the Sahara, would carry fine, fine sand with them which would eventually make landfall around the equator classing with the same winds from the south, the Trade Winds. Like heavy fog drivers would encounter serious problems on the roads having to slow down speed and drive extra cautious. For pedestrians, the light and fine sand could easily hit their eyes and function as smear paper to cause Apollo and make them see nothing anymore. By that time, the rain season would have been gone long time again, one of the two seasons in Africa. Raining in Africa can last for days, not only for few hours.
"My head is paining me, Princess!" answered Mr. Karl holding his right hand to his forehead. "I guess I need some form of pain killer!" His voice was broken, his eyes tired. He had got used to eating sugar bread with milk tea in the mornings. He was so grateful to Mary Trebarh that washed his clothes every third day.
"I am very sorry, Mr. Karl...but why is your head paining you so, so much?" was Princess concerned and took Mr. Karl`s left hand into hers.
"I have been here for two weeks now an all the information I get from around here...I mean that is causing me great headache. Seriously, I do not know whether this country would ever be for me. It is a place here in this room with you people filled with love and compassion. But out there in the streets, when I see something is wrong, wrong by facts, people call me racists. I mean, come on...how can anyone do that when a human simply speaks up and his mind. People do not have to agree with me, no not at all, but to call remarks I make when something I see is wrong by proven facts...to put me into a corner I never belong to...than this makes me sad and tired...and causes me serious headache."
"I can see in your eyes, Mr. Karl, there is hate and love at the same time for our nation...and I love it as it proves that you have an honest and big heart for us here," put Princess her arms around Mr. Karl and hugged him for long. "The best and most honest friends we can have are not the once telling us how good we are, how peaceful people we are, that smile into our faces and behind closed doors call us names. No, I have the feeling we both have known each other even before I was born, that you have been always here with us even not physically in person...but somehow your spirit from the time your spirit was born."
Mr. Karl received a pain killer handed over to him from Joseph Trebarh that was about to leave home and start walking to work. Mr. Karl welcomed the nice gesture and said: "You people are my true family here. I am honoured!"
Joseph Trebarh smiled all over his face and looked at Mr. Karl saying: "We are humbled that a great man to be stays with us in our humble flat and sees us as equals. Our leaders, the elite of our nation, they only see that we have not much money, just make it all right form day to day. Our own people when we are poor, they look down on us, they would never come to us, sit down with us and see as us equal citizen that they with a greater understanding, of wider knowledge should put their wisdom to good use so that all of us as citizens of this country can move forward together. No, this is what I love about your white people so much. You are simple, not perfect of course...but simple. In your society, that is what we see on TV and social media, Presidents and Prime Minister use public transport or go shopping in their local supermarket all by themselves. In our society, Mr. Karl, this is never seen. Our Presidents they make a big show of their position and who they are. They are humble in front of cameras but when put to the test...they run away from us...so, so sad. We Africans, we have a serious problem with ourselves."
"Yesterday I had a very heartwarming experience...," started Mr. Karl to share his story with Joseph Trebarh but he had to excuse himself not wanting to show up at work too late.
"We talk in the evening!" waved Joseph Trebarh good-bye wishing Mr. Karl and his daughter a very pleasant day.
"My father always makes sure to be on time, at work or when he has an appointment," explained Princess and started to wash the dishes. "He hates to be late. But not all of us have that kind of attitude. You will see for yourself how much time you will lose in this country even when you tell one of us, they should decide about the time of a meeting. You will see, most of them will never ever show up on time. When you sit in your office and call them, they will tell you `I am on my way coming`. This you will hear often and think, they are on their way stuck in traffic problem. But they even are not on their way, they still must finish their lunch, or must bath before getting into their cars. Oh gosh, you will lose time in this country that no one will ever give you back, Mr. Karl. Our people really steal time...they are champions in that!"
"I will see how far I can get with Ghana...or whether I simple will give up, pack my bags and go into a country where there is easy living with trusted disciplined and cooperative people...we see!"
"Yes, you are right, Mr. Karl," finished Princess the washing of the dishes and put plates, knives, and cups aside to be dried by the sun. "But you wanted to mention a story...."
"Oh yes, that story...it is so nice...really nice," stood Mr. Karl and Princess in the door frame of the apartment greetings the neighbors passing by. He was stretching his back as sleeping low on a thin mat race was not something his back was used to besides the fact that he had to endure back pain always since teenager times. "It was two days ago. Arriving by Trotro at Teshie-Nungua Junction, I mean First Junction, I had to cross to the other side to take a taxi from the taxi rank. While I was walking, I saw a lady standing just before one of the shops there, the once you know also, and she had just finished eating plantain chips. The rubber she threw down to the ground. I picked it upholding into her face and asked her whether she wanted me to take it home and dispose it off in my litter box or whether she would do that. as I was holding the rubber well straight into her face, she did not know what to say. She looked at me with wide opened eyes. And you know I am quite tall, so most certainly she was a bit scared, a tall White Man standing with her thrown away rubber right in front of her eyes. Eventually she took the rubber from my hands and put it into her handbag and left. When turned round a man, not young, not old, of middle age, shouted for anyone to hear that I am a true Ghanaian. I looked at him with great surprise, thanked him from far for his flattering compliment, greeted him and looked for my taxi to come here. Feeling the leg of a lady in the crumbed old taxi next to mine on both of my legs, I started to realize what just had happened and why that nice and friendly man made his remarks. He seemed to have seen honesty in me and great interest for what is around me regardless where it is and what it concerns and who is involved. I have to admit, I am deeply humbled by that and will most certainly never forget that moment in my life."