tree walk, slave holds, dirty beaches

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May 15th 2006
Published: May 15th 2006
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so, had the highlight of the ghana section of the trip today. we're stationed in Cape Coast and payed too much to take a taxi 30 minutes inland to kakum national park and their rainforest canopy walk set up by mountain climbers from vancouver. we payed five bucks each for the canopy walk and then did the extra hike with all the medicinal properties of the plants talked about and then had to pay another 4 bucks, but it was so cool. very rainforesty, the whole drive there and actually most of the time i've been in ghana i've been shocked at how much it reminds me of the caribbean; the architecture, the climate, the birds, the plants so crazy.
so we walked up one valley wall to get to the top point where the canopy bridges were, there were five i think, saftey netted and securely attatched the close the the middle parts of these tall trees. so although we were above a good chunk of the forest there were plenty of trees that reached far above us.
i think there were only two other americans on the tour, the rest were an old german guy, a brother and sister from holland and some girls from norway with their hair braided.
the bridges had such a cool swinging rhythm that some people were terrified of, i thought they made it easier to walk.
i saw ebony trees which are called elephant combs in twi cause the elephants scratch against them after washing and they're strong enough to hold up the weight. i saw mahogony trees too
it is such a relief for my eyes to see green.
and the ocean. . . although it's key to just look at the ocean and not the littered/poop covered beaches. no matter how many "don't deficate on the beach signs" they go pretty unnoticed.
we did a 15 minute jaunt to the neighboring town elmina the other day and i had a guided tour of the elmina "castle"/slave fort. it's 525 years old. it made me want to read an african history book. the portuguese started it and then the dutch took it over. an estimated 2 million slaves passed through just that fort alone.
as we were wandering cape coast one evening, yussef turned to look up the street before we crossed to the other side and spotted a guy behind us. "he's nigerien" he said to me and then turned back to greet the guy in zarma who responded. it turned out they even lived in the same neighborhood in niamey. small world. . .
we're heading to kumasi tomorrow, inch'allah, where supposedly we'll find lots of Zarmas and the biggest market in west africa.
oh, have i mentioned how annoying the money is? 1 dollar=8,000 cedis and then i have to translate it into french and CFAs(the money of french speaking african countries) to yus, whoo, tough work
but i just got an email from someone in niamey bemoaning the heat and i'm doin just fine here thank you!


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