Mar(k): Travel, Hiking, and "Doing Good"

musings on our life of travel and volunteering

01 January 2010

with 2 comments

As another year come and goes and we enter into a new decade, I thought I would write a few words on the festive season that has just passed us by. I trust all of TheADVOCATE readers have had a peaceful and restful break, if indeed you are some of the lucky few who got to take some time off in the past few weeks.

This festive season is one of tremendous celebration for Christians, and is an important mark on the Christian calendar as believers of this faith celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. It was interesting in the lead up to Christmas here in Tamale, then, as many other Western people commented on how it “did not feel like Christmas”. True, for many of these people, who hail from colder climates, this time of year traditionally would be one of cold, perhaps even snow bound, winter days. Being from Australia, I am quite used to the lead up to Christmas being the start of the summer season, and I love the heat of this time of the year in Perth. Here, however, I believe some of what was “missing” for some folks was actually the rampant consumerism that is most definitely associated with Christmas in the developed world.

I must say I did not miss all of the frenetic, stressful lead up to the holiday period. Often times, a lot of excess is seen, with people over-indulging themselves in food, drink and expensive (and often unwanted) gifts. It gave me pause to reflect, and to say that here in Ghana, although the excesses were (fortuitously) not evident, I did experience what I believe is a much more reasonable demonstration of the festive season; that is, friends gathering to share a laugh, to reminisce over the past year, and to look forward to the coming one.

The end of 2009 closed on some exciting notes including the finalization of the much awaited Copenhagen Climate talks. Although it is clear that the outcome was below expectations, it does indicate that world leaders are serious about addressing the warming of the earth. Another highlight during the year was the election in the United States of America of its first black president; a fact which I know so many Africans are justifiably proud of! Finally, as we look into the next year, I know that for many of my Ghanaian friends, one of the key topics of conversation will undoubtedly be how the Black Stars are faring in the lead up to the World Cup in South Africa! Sports, politics and saving the planet. It certainly gives us enough food for thought, doesn’t it?


Written by Mar(k)

January 11, 2010 at 10:11 am

2 Responses

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  1. Hey there – Mark, I had to put in the vote for you … support the family and all of that, but I know you would be a better cheat than Mar, so you have that on your side! ( I’ve seen the dodgy adding up )……..


    February 15, 2010 at 10:36 am

    • hey Jill. what about the sisterhood, and all that??!! geez…. very disappointed with your vote! But I definitely concur – Mark DOES tend to *want* to keep score… and he IS rather dodgy. could explain a LOT of things about our Scrabble tournament….. m. x

      Mar Knox

      February 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm

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