Castles and Cape Coast


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Africa » Ghana » Central » Elmina
July 10th 2009
Published: July 10th 2009
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Wren writing:
Rachel had a nice surprise this morning when she found a large bite out of one of her sneakers. Ralph comforted her by saying, “Oh yeah, that’s rats. For sure.” She was not so happy. And then, as I was walking to breakfast, I stepped over a short wall and because of rain, my foot slipped which caused my other foot to smash into the rock wall (ouch!). “A scar to remember Africa by,” said Ralph. Good thing he’s always here to cheer us up!
After breakfast we went to see Elmina Castle, where the Dutch held slaves that were to be sold to the Americas. The rain and the cold of that morning made the huge, white castle, which has seen so much cruelty and suffering, even gloomier. On the tour, they told us about the women constantly being raped, slaves were packed into tiny rooms by the hundreds, and terrible forms of punishment and injustice. The realization that really made us angry was that they did this for over 400 years and no one ever tried to stop them. Sickening.
We then drove to a restaurant in Cape Coast. The streets in Cape Coast are covered with posters and billboards that say “Akwaaba Obama!” and “Yes, Together We Can” with pictures of Obama and the Ghanaian President, Mills. We walked around Cape Coast for a while and took pictures and bought some food for our bus ride home tomorrow. We saw a great store called Oh Jesus Phones. On the way home Rachel, Ralph and I had a fun time singing along with some of the crazy songs they play on Ghanaian radio. Our favorite is a rap song that goes “Stop being a girl, stop being a girl (pronounced like “Stopbeeeen a gehl”). We will be together like ants on a hill (pronounced “hehl”).” We also heard a Spanish version of “If I were a girl” (if that’s what it’s called) and have been singing it ever since.

Rachel and I would also like to share with you some of the funny things Ralph does/says that we like:
- He says “Tink you” (thank you) all the time even if it doesn’t really fit. Ex. “I’m going to make you this bracelet so that you can have it in the US. Tink you.”
- Before everything that involves his opinion he says “I, myself” - “I, myself, I don’t eat snakes.”


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11th July 2009

great to hear from you
hello all! thanks for the great stories and descriptions..we didn't have your blog entries from the 7th until today so its comforting to hear from you...ask Anna to write too!! would be nice to get her perspectives..your dad/grandfather turned 85 yesterday! all is well here..the ceiling in the treatment room is almost finished..its beautiful! off to a wedding and visit with Leslie and John in Berkley springs in a little while....
12th July 2009

Ralph
Girls - you make me miss Ralph all the more!!! I am laughing and that feels good! Thank you so much for brightening his lonely days as he studies in Kumasi. One day when I called him from Liberia he said, "I am more lonely than Tom Hanks in Castaway." Of course, being an actor, he used that reference, but I knew what he meant. I have never lived alone in Africa and I imagine it is horrible for him, but what to do? I need more people to go to the house! I am happy he is giving so many good stories....I hope to make a drama from them one day but he is not so interested!
12th July 2009

speakingof postcards
wren, what is the address for the spanish teacher Stuart is supposed to send postcards to? I had a fun day yesterday going to Berkely Springs for Jim and Cathy's wedding, then to stay over at Leslie's...nice to be back in our honeymoon place....love to all, k

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