Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lunch



Of course when you go shopping you have to find a place for lunch. Fran's was it!  Fran standing on the top of her restaurant caught my attention. For a home-style hamburger, crisp fries and onion rings Fran's is the place to go. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bunnyboy?!


You find this Bunnyboy on top of the sign for Uncommon Objects. SoCo (South Congress Street, Austin, TX) is quirky and eclectic.  On Labor Day, Beth, Cassie and I took a stroll along the street. We were hoping for some local color and we were not disappointed.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

I'm Back...

So in my last post I optimistically said I'd be back the day after our move from Sugar Land, TX to Round Rock, TX. Silly me. Not only did moving in take over my life for two weeks but I also had a family emergency. Things are better back East and I am now in Round Rock again eager to explore my new  home.

Tomorrow look photos from South Congress Street (SoCo), in Austin, TX. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flower Girl


I am moving from Sugar Land, TX to Round Rock, TX  tomorrow so I may not post tomorrow and Saturday. I'll be back on Sunday for sure.

-vc

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hartford Habitat Build


In May 2005 I had the chance to photograph a house in Hartford that Habitat for Humanity was building.
This happened over 7 days in May.



-vc

The story of the founding of Habitat for Humanity.


New Book About Ghana

"My First Coup D'Etat" by John Dramani Mahama



"Sensitive, honest autobiographical essays… A wonderfully intimate look at the convulsive changes, and deep scarring, in post-colonial Africa."Kirkus Reviews


Kirkus liked this book and this review magazine hardly ever gives a rave review. "My First Coup d'Etat" by John Dramani Mahama, the current Vice President of Ghana, tells of his coming of age while the new democracy of Ghana is also coming of age. If you want to know more about the first African country to gain it's independence you couldn't find a better book to read. 

Listen to an interview on Morning Edition - African Politics, And Afros, In 'My First Coup D'Etat'.


-vc

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ghanaian Women





Women in Ghana work hard. They get up early in the morning to start the fire. They cook on coal pots and grind their sauces and vegetables by hand. Most of the small businesses are run by women. My friend Perpetua had a bakery. She baked bread for 4 traders in town and two schools. She also ran a small provision store which is like a convenience store. She cooked three meals a day. Washed her clothes by hand in two large metal basins. When I was first at Sandema she had a small girl, Madua, who did the cooking, the wash and she sometimes watched the store but Madua left.

It's often the woman's income that clothes the children and sends them to school. They  In "Half the Sky Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn say that men tend to spend their money to show off. They might throw a large party, or lavish robes but women usually reinvest their money in their families, businesses or communities. The book tells stories of women in Africa and Asia who have received aid and the good work they did with that help. Many of the stories in the book resonated with what I saw in Ghana. 



Saturday, July 14, 2012

Windsor, CT

I loved downtown Windsor, CT, maybe because it was the first place I live on my own. In college I had roommates then I got married right out of college so in 2004 when I moved to Windsor was I living alone for the first time in my life. I think the first place you live alone is special. Like where you grew up or the towns your children were born in or the first house you bought. Anyway back to Windsor, CT.

My Apartment
Windsor's main street was Broad Street, from there you could go anywhere as this street sign indicated!


The buildings on Broad street were typical New England.

Masonic Hall

Town Hall

Post Office
CVS was on Broad Street and the Windsor Public Library. I found a lovely diner, Dom's that I visited for breakfast at least twice a week. The waitresses new I wanted my tea with milk and kept bringing me hot water until I finished the newspaper. A piece of Maine was on Broad Street as well. The local ice cream shop sold Gifford's Ice Cream. Gifford's is the best ice cream in the world. Better than Ben & Jerry's. Although they are in Skowhegan and not Madison, Gifford's Ice Cream still tastes like home. 

Bart's Antique Auto Night
Bart's was a local drive in that expanded to an eat in restaurant as well. Bart's was located down by the river and once a month they had an antiques auto show.

If you are ever in Connecticut, north of Hartford, you should go to Broad Street in Windsor for a taste of a New England town.

Happy travels,

vc

For more about Windsor, CT try these books.






Thursday, July 12, 2012

Green Leaves

Sometimes the flora was overwhelming. This plant was on the back path from my house to the administration building at the school in Sandema.One day the sun lit it up and I just had to snap it. 

Gigantic!


These plants were used as ornamental plants in Sandema. They greeted me at the door of my house in Sandema. They lined the foundation of the administration building. These plants were one of the few decorative touches in the harsh Upper East. 


These berries grew on a bush that my landlord used to mark the boundary of his yard. 


I was walking out in "the bush" one afternoon and found an almost dried up pond. This plant was growing all over the dried up area.


Okro (Okra) flower. 
Before I went to Ghana I hated okra-the only time I would eat it is in Gumbo. Well there are very few green veggies in Ghana so I learned to eat okro, their name for okra.  I learned to love Tee Zed and okro stew. 

The first time I saw an okra flower I was enchanted. It was so delicate and rose like. Something so beautiful on something that for so long I disliked!


Click here to visit Craft And Vision.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hill-Stead Museum - Farmington, CT

I took a photography class at the Farmington Valley Arts Center, the teacher was Eric Dreeke, alas they no longer offer photography classes but Eric does! Eric took the class on a field trip to the Hill-Stead Museum.


Typical New England stone wall, covered in ivy on a foggy day.


A fellow photographer left his bag here. I loved the bright red and then the echo of red in the reflector on the bridge.


The Hill-Stead is also used for functions and parties. Many wedding photographs have been posed in front of this gazebo.

The Hill-Stead was finished in 1901. Alfred Pope purchased the land and Theodate, his wife, was an architect and she designed the Hill-Stead. The Hill-Stead was a working farm that was recognized as a model of agricultural practices. In 1946 Theodate Pope Riddle dies and creates the Hill-Stead Museum in her will.

Hill-Stead Museum website.

-vc

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fall

The last time I was in New England for the fall colors was 2007. In Ghana, during the dry season,  the grasses on the savanna turned golden but no yellows, oranges, maroons, reds, pinks and purples! Here in Texas you may find a color change to dull yellow.  I am in exile from Autumn,  therefore in honor of Autumn here are two photographs and a poem from Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 

Next Door

The Autumn 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1833)

Go, sit upon the lofty hill,

And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.

How there you sat in summer-time,
May yet be in your mind;
And how you heard the green woods sing
Beneath the freshening wind.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall.

Oh! like that wind, is all the mirth
That flesh and dust impart:
We cannot bear its visitings,
When change is on the heart.
Gay words and jests may make us smile,
When Sorrow is asleep;
But other things must make us smile,
When Sorrow bids us weep!

The dearest hands that clasp our hands, —
Their presence may be o’er;
The dearest voice that meets our ear,
That tone may come no more!
Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth,
Which once refresh’d our mind,
Shall come — as, on those sighing woods,
The chilling autumn wind.

Hear not the wind — view not the woods;
Look out o’er vale and hill —
In spring, the sky encircled them —
The sky is round them still.
Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold —
Come change — and human fate!
Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound,
Can ne’er be desolate.


Autumn Leaf








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Friday, July 6, 2012

Wyoming Public Art



There are 4 arches made out of antlers at each corner of a public park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.


Statues in Pinedale Public Library.


Statue in a public park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming honoring the Cowboy!


Another statue in Pinedale Public Library.


They LOVE cowboys in Wyoming!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Student Portraits - SSHTS



Sandema Senior High Technical School (SSHTS) students marching on 6th March.


Student athletics takes place during the hottest time of the year. This girl ran the 200 yard dash. She ran all out and just fell to the ground after she finished. She was fine after she lay there for a few minutes and had some water.


Sandema's uniform is a white top and a yellow pleated skirt. Luckily for the girls at SSHTS the uniform rules were not so strict as to tell how many pleats. In some schools this amount of pleats would be considered immodest.  Holding hands is very common between people of the same sex, as a sign of friendship,  in fact much more common than between the opposite sex. Public displays of affection between a man and a woman are frowned upon in Ghana.


The results of a Home Economics practical - Creme Brulee. Made on a coal pot in carnation condensed milk tins.

Three Form 3 (Senior) boys. Whenever I had my camera everyone would say "Madam Vicky take my picture."


These student's think that they might like to join the army. This group is like our ROTC. The student cadets patrol the school grounds during special events like athletics meets.


Students would come to visit me and cook supper for us. Like any institution the school food was marginal at best. Here Portia is stirring Tee Zed on a coal pot. Rofina was making ground nut (peanut) soup with chicken to serve with the Tee Zed. We at it out of a common bowl and dipped the forefinger and ring finger of our right hand in to scoop some Tee Zed and soup, then into our mouths. I do miss Tee Zed.


Masters and a Madam counting votes for the election of school prefects. Like Harry Potter Ghana schools are based on the English system. Student leaders are elected from the Junior (Form 2) class for the next year. At SSHTS there were about 32 prefect positions. Sixteen boys and 16 girls are elected to position like - agricultural prefect, house prefect, sports prefect, health prefect and the most coveted position, Boys Prefect and Girls Prefect. They are the leaders of the other prefects and the school.



The computer lab at SSHTS where I taught Form 3 and Form 2 ICT (Information and Communications Technology). I would say at least 70 percent of the students had not used a computer before but High School students take to computers like fish take to water!  Some of them keep in touch with my on Facebook!

-vc