Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Oh WOW . . .

Liz Hopkins and Davey West

(June 20th Post due to internet delays)

Today was a pretty exhausting day for the group. We woke up early and had breakfast at Sunlodge for the last time this trip. We packed up all of our luggage, and headed out for the day. Our first stop was the W.E.B. Dubois home, which has been made into a museum. Dubois lived in Ghana for the final three years of his life. He had a strong relationship with the first president of independent Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah. His prolific writing often portrayed the struggles of African people, and it was clear to us that he made a significant impact on African society. From there we went to the U.S. Embassy. So technically we were on American soil for about three hours today. We listened to several speakers who helped us understand what the U.S. government is doing to improve Ghanaian education. After spending some time in the air conditioning, we all had our last chance to use automatic flushing toilets.

Then we were back in Africa, and headed to the destination we have been longing for. For those returning, our arrival in Cape Coast was familiar and homey. The new kids were anxious to experience what they had heard so much about. We were greeted by many old friends that made the three hour bus ride worth while. We began to settle in to our temporary home, and then went on the thirty minute trek to the ocean. For those unfamiliar to Cape Coast and Africa as a whole this meticulous stroll up and down hills and around usurping puddles, which threatened to take over the width of the road, was what seemed to be the first taste of natural Africa. I came to the realization that I was now in the African equivalent of the mill hill I grew up. Children played in the streets and rode their bikes on hills that sent a chill through my healing collar bone. They ran from their houses giggling and bantering in fante at the top of their lungs. O'brunyi's were lighting up their streets with pale skin and bringing the excitement of something new. For those that were returning, we easily tread the path that brought back peaceful memories.

Right after returning from the beach, we ate a dinner of noodles, chicken kabobs, pineapple, and fresh bread. Mr. Baidoo, the headmaster and founder of Tuwohofo-Holly International School, joined us. The transition from the scattered meals of various restaurants with Americanized Ghanaian menus to our personal dining room was a welcome one. We ate from a Ghanaian crock pot and thoroughly enjoyed what felt like a home cooked meal. I have never had a taste for pineapple, but the fresh pineapple of Ghana was sweeter than pure sugar. (Thank you Lindsey, Peco, and Liz for convincing me to taste.) For the first time I ate my fill without fear of unknown items and inextinguishable heat. Tomorrow is a monumental day for everyone, so early to bed is likely on the agenda.

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