Monday, January 2, 2012

Meeting the Atlantic Ocean

The long awaited day knocked at our doors and we welcomed it with great joy. On the 21st of November, 2011, we travelled to Cape Coast, on the coast of Ghana, for a short holiday. Cape Coast is a town in Ghana which boarders Atlantic Ocean. It was the first time for some of us to see the ocean, and our eagerness made our journey seem longer. Our accommodation at Moree Beach Resort was just 30 meters from the beach and the Atlantic waves.
The next morning some of us were already in the ocean at 6 am having a taste of salt water. The weather was cooler than Tamale and the thick green vegetation and coconut trees made a welcome change from the hot, dry conditions in Tamale. We enjoyed a good swimming area, and the clean ocean water, though salty, was refreshing. The many types of beautiful shells on the shore made the sandy beaches more attractive for a walk. We were close to the fishing village of Moree and each evening could watch when the fishermen brought out their catch to the shore, including eels that for many of us resembled snakes.
One day we visited Elmina Castle, which was built about 500 year ago. It was mainly used for the slave trade by the Portuguese and Dutch. It was moving for us to see a room 20’ by 8’ which was used to keep 100 women waiting to be sold as slaves. They could stay there for up to three months waiting for the ships to come. They were underfed, had to use a bucket for a toilet and were used for sex by the officials and soldiers. The male slaves were held in similar conditions. It was hard to imagine how people could go through such things, and this experience made an impact on us all.On our tour at the Castle, the guide showed us two punishment cells, one for soldiers, the other for slaves. The soldiers’ cell had good ventilation and the soldiers were only kept there for a short time, but the one for the slaves had no ventilation and they were provided with no food or water until they died.
We saw the Door of No Return, the gate that was used by the slaves to board the ships. After passing through this, there was no return to their native land in Africa. It was painful to hear all this.
Another day we had a chance to visit Kakum National Park, in tropical rain forest. We enjoyed the Canopy Walk, where we walked on a suspension walkway in the treetops about 40 metres above the ground. It was quite an adventure.
Travelling down and back, we saw thick bamboo groves, cocoa plantations, tall coconut trees and many other beauties of God’s Creation. It was a great experience and we look forward to a similar opportunity for adventure and discovery.