Wow! It has been ages since I came here and I am a little ashamed. I started this blog project with the idea that I would publish something every week. I have not been on the block since last May. And now? Well, I am back.
So much has happened since my last visit to the block. I am now officially a senior citizen of Ghana, having retired at the age of sixty. Public sector workers must retire at age sixty. I will receive my first pension at the end of this month, and it will be around 2000 Ghana Cedis a month, which is about $640. And for our standards, it is a very good pension. I dare not complain, but it is difficult to downsize one’s budget and lifestyle. I knew this situation was coming, but am I ready? Why should we earn less after a lifetime of work? Isn’t this the time to enjoy the fruits of one’s labour?
As I write, government workers are on strike, demanding better pensions.
I thought that I would find some peace, living out here on the Akwapim Ridge. This period of my life would be restful and relaxing, I thought. But I have very powerful and influential neighbours who are not allowing me any peace. I will not mention their name here, but they are a big Pentecostal Church with lots of money. This Church has put up a huge complex in the little town I live in. After months of noise from the construction of the complex, they are now working on the landscape. A concrete road is coming up along the western perimeter of my home. From 7 am to 6pm every day, there is an endless hum from the concrete mixing machines and the sound of male voices that rise above the drone of the machines. My windows are dusty, my cream coloured voile curtains have now turned light brown. Last week I had a verbal altercation with one of the pastors in charge of the construction. One of their trucks broke part of my wall and I complained about it. They said that they would repair any damage they cause. The pastor thinks I should be pleased that the road is concrete. I think they should have told me about their project. Surely if they had informed me I would have been better prepared psychologically for the noise ? “The land belongs to us. We have paid for it, and we can do what we like on our land.”
I still have great expectations for my retirement, I do not want to lose hope about the future of this country. I am still hopeful. But I think we need to find a way of dealing with powerful acquaintances and neighbours.