Ghana- Week 12: Castle on Strikes


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Africa » Ghana » Central » Elmina
April 12th 2013
Published: April 12th 2013
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forgot to tell you how I taught KG1 shapes and other items that I tried to draw!
On Tuesday, because I still didn’t have my internship since they had a week of Easter Holiday, I just went onto campus early to try to type up my last blog post…which I failed to do until a week after. But I got to campus to not only find out that I didn’t really have access to internet but that the University Professors just went on strike…meaning that I didn’t even have dance class that evening.

Instead I began typing up some documents for my Dance Professor because I can type a lot…faster than a lot faster than the professors and students in the dance department. So I was still put to work and my only thing that I could say once I finished was to have my work count towards my grade in anyway, like participation points, anything so that my good deed didn’t completely go to waste.

On Thursday I stayed at the University to have dinner with Sena and watch the University’s Drama students’ performance of “Rise and Shine”. Besides not going to Dance class my entire week was still the same, with other classes that were part of the program and going to my internship that very morning.

It was just a very slow week but interesting to see how each sector of all public workers is slowly going on strike. The week beforehand, it was the public primary and junior high school teachers who were on strike. And in the news, there is talk about how the doctors in public hospitals are planning on going on strike very soon. Casual, I know, tis’, as most friendly faces I’ve met on so far say, is Ghana.

But I did have the fieldtrip to Cape Coast to look forward to. This weekend trip included three different pretty big touristy attractions, which were the Elmina Castle, the Canopy Walk, and the Crocodile Pond.

The Elmina Castle is one of the castles in Ghana where slaves went through to be shipped to countries outside to be sold as slaves. At first, I thought that I would be crying, I was ready, to read stories of slaves and to really see and experience what they felt, compared to the limited emotions I received from written and verbal history lessons. Sadly, the emotional rollercoaster that I wanted to go through that afternoon was interrupted by a huge group of semester at sea students. We had just started our tour, a group of 10, when our tour guide decided to add another group, which consisted of over 40 people, who were just yapping away in side conversations as the tour guide tried to speak. It was a struggle to stay close to the guide and pay attention when so much unwanted sound traveled within the walls of the castle. Instead of being a place of lost memories, a sacred atmosphere, it became a fun adventure within a beautiful castle that had views that were breathtaking.

After we were done taking pictures, barely knowing anything about Elmina, we went off to go back to the hotel to get to the beach before it was dark. There, I somehow found it to be a smart choice to go into the ocean… and try to swim through and attack the insanely strong waves. (I haven’t even gone on a run nor done anything that can be considered exercise since last semester!) So as I made it, some yards away from the shore, I pretty much thought that I was going to die. I couldn’t touch the bottom of the ocean. But I knew that if I could make it a little bit further out I would make it to the sand bank because that’s where two of my classmates were…(if it matters…they were boys…) But even when I used all my strength I could barely make it through a wave to be pushed back and forth, further out into the ocean, closer to the bank, and then back towards shore; the ocean completely sucked me into a limbo and I had to force myself to push through to get myself home alive.

Now, this part, I know is going to sound sappy to some of you but I don’t really mind…at that moment when I began to make my way back to shore, still being sucked in by the sea, out of the corner of my eye (to the left) I saw the Elmina Castle in a foggy distance, sitting on its cliff. And that’s when I realized that even if I didn’t feel the pain and the suffering that so many innocent people went through during the tour of that building, I could feel it and realize it within the sea that finally completely separated those people from their motherland; a violent struggle to survive and to make it back to the true shore that one calls home.

As I was already discouraged from the previous day’s tourist trap, I wasn’t sure if I was excited or not for the famous Canopy Walk. But then things started to get really awesome, there was talk about the possibility of seeing elephants, monkeys!! Yeahhhh… I didn’t see any of that… I saw a couple of small garden-looking snakes…that’s about it. So I strolled my way down on about 7(?) I want to guess bridges that linked together in kind of a circle…it was…cool….I guess… OH, and before I forget, another group of Semester at Sea students showed up right after we did, so we had to go on this outing with them again…luckily we knew better this time and stayed back so that we could take our time going through the canopy walk… and then next stop was the….

Crocodile Pond!!

I saw three crocodiles…two didn’t move…one did… for a minute… Anyways, main event of this place was that it was where we were going to eat lunch before heading back to Accra!! So we ordered…but then who shows up and makes the staff ask us to move tables??! Semester at sea!! So…we sat in a more exclusive section of the restaurant…is how we like to think about it and waited and waited, and watched the other people receive their meals…2 hours passed…until finally food started to show up at our table...

Now, you see, I normally don’t have a problem with anyone, but when you’re hungry, and you see the people who have kind of made your experience more touristy than it should’ve been get their food before you, when you were there first…it makes one kind of grumpy…

So I’m sure, if I had met these lovely American students in a different environment, place and time, I might enjoy their company, but being with my small group, who were all displeased with their presence, I had to go with that train of thinking (fortunately or unfortunately, I haven’t quite decided yet).

But this experience did make me realize that I may just have some trouble readjusting back to the American society next month (so/too soon!)


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Door of No ReturnDoor of No Return
Door of No Return

the view from the hole that slaves were sent to go through to board boats...
See...See...
See...

it's pretty..
Just a Number!Just a Number!
Just a Number!

So if I did fall...that's how they ID me?


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