Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hello again from Ghana

We are officially done with our 2 weeks of traveling around Ghana. We stayed 5 days in Accra, 3 days in Cape Coast, and 5 days in Kumasi. Tomorrow we will travel north to our town of Wiamoase. We are so glad we will finally be in a permanent place for the next 2 ½ months. Just for a short travel log of what we got to see and do these past days. In Accra we explored the city visiting the University of Ghana and the LDS temple and then later the beach. Living with a family for those 5 days was great because we got to eat food that was very authentic that we knew was safe. We eat a lot of eggs, bread, rice, yams, bananas, pineapple, mangoes, fish, etc. In general all their food is much spicier than I am used to but John loves it. They also have these wonderful fried dough balls which they just call doughnuts. We have learned to cook a little bit and hopefully will learn more. We have successfully learned to do our laundry by hand. I thought I knew how to adequately do this but the Ghanaians showed us how to do it right. I think my clothes are cleaner than they have ever been which is great because they get very dirty every day.
Ghana really is a beautiful country when you get away from the cities. Our drive along the coastline to Cape Coast was so green and beautiful. Anytime we drive around on the tro-tros (vans converted into tiny buses that hold about 20-25 people) the little kids all smile and wave “Abruni” which means white person. When we walk around the streets the kids run out to us and say “Obruni, how are you” then when we ask them how they are they sometimes just say yes. They are so cute.
At Cape Coast we went to the Kakum National Park which is an amazing rainforest. They have this awesome canopy bridge you walk on that spans above the trees. Talk about an amazing view. We also went to the Cape Coast slave castle. We actually walked in the dungeons where they kept the slaves before they went around the world. It was a moving experience I will never forget. You just cannot get that kind of feeling from reading a textbook.
The next day we enjoyed the beautiful beach. The waves were huge and the undertow even greater. The only disturbing thing about the whole beach experience was seeing some crazy Germans strip down to their underwear and have a little too much fun.

Our journey to Kumasi started very eventfully because we had to cram into a tro-tro for about 4 hours on a very bumpy road. Kumasi has been such a welcomed delight. It is very busy like Accra but things seems more orderly and clean. This region of Ghana is home of the powerful and wealthy Ashanti king. We went to the kings palace as well as the National Cultural Center which had some amazing crafts including fabric weavings, basket/furniture wood weaving, pottery, brass work, wood carvings, drum making, etc. Yesterday we explored a cool zoo and even got to touch some chimps. Then we headed out to this huge lake where all the Ghanaians stared at us when we swam out deep. Kumasi is also the home of the Kejetia market which is the largest open air market in the Africa which we will explore a little tomorrow before we leave.
We are so grateful to be here experiencing this amazing culture. We feel very blessed.

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