Gone to Ghana: My African Adventures

January 14th 2015
Published: January 14th 2015
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January 12, 2015

I finally went to Cape Coast this weekend. We stayed at a place called Oasis, which was right on the beach in the shadow of Cape Coast Castle. It was a beautiful beach with big waves crashing on the sand. The best part of the weekend was the going to sleep to the lullaby of the waves. While I was looking for shells on the beach some local children came up and helped me find some more. I have a decent sized African shell collection now.

On Saturday we went both castles: Elmina and Cape Coast. Elmina was built by the Portuguese in 1452, but was taken over and used by the Dutch during the slave trade. After slave trading became abolished the British took it and had it until Ghana gained independence in 1957. Cape Coast was the castle that the British used for their part in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Both castles were amazing and the tours were very informative. It was quite a humbling experience because I’ve only read about the slave trade. However, to actually visit one of the sites, which happened to be the last spot where the Africans were in their home land, really opened my eyes. I’m really glad that I read “Roots” by Alex Haley. As I was walking through the castles I kept wondering if Haley’s ancestor Kunta Kinte was imprisoned in one of those cells.

We also walked through a fish market, but I didn’t take any pictures because my friends were getting hassled to pay money for taking pictures. One of the things I noticed this weekend is how the fishermen are always fixing their nets. I’ve seen them do that plenty of times before, but I never thought about how integral of a part of their daily lives is fixing those nets. It’s their livelihood, so they are always working on them.

Before leaving on Sunday we went to Kakum National Park. We took a nature hike where we learned a lot about the different trees. Our tour guide Isaac met Bill Clinton back when he was president to talk about the environment and nature of Kakum Nationak Park. I had to ask, but yes he also met hopeful future president Hillary Clinton. Then we attempted the famous canopy walk; the only one in Western Africa. All I can say is that I’m not a fan of heights, but I’m glad I tried the whole thing. Basically it was a net with planks covering a metal ladder. It was constantly swinging from side to side. Most people were scared or trying to cover up fear. The important thing is that I survived.

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


The door of no returnThe door of no return
The door of no return

This was the door the slaves left the prison to go onto the slave ships.
Looking down on the women's cells from the governor's balconyLooking down on the women's cells from the governor's balcony
Looking down on the women's cells from the governor's balcony

The governor could look down into the women's prison and pick out which women he wanted to have private access to his chambers.

14th January 2015

Prison tour
What an informative observation and tour. Hard to believe that the KluKlux Kan in America still active here. . I am so proud of your work with the people of Ghana. Hugs in the rain, Elaine
15th January 2015

Canopy bridge
Hi Laurel, I think that the important thing is that you didn't let fear from keeping you from attempting it and you did it! I enjoy your writings so much. Your writing is informative, yet personal. Julie

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