Lauren Hess, Lydia VanWormer & Adam Smith
A Fun Day of Tourism! After the fan belt in our bus was repaired, we made our way to the Kakum National Forest in Ghana’s Central Region. This tropical rainforest is home to elephants, honey badgers, squirrels, monkeys, lizards, and a variety of snakes, birds, and insects. We faced our fears and walked along the seven rope bridges suspended high above the rainforest canopy. Although the tour guide said the bridges could support the weight of two rainforest elephants, we were advised to only crossed one at a time ;) When we came out of the rainforest, the entrance was filled with first-year Cape Coast University students who came to enjoy themselves at the park before starting their studies.
Next stop was Hans Cottage, home to over 40 crocodiles. We had a great African lunch amidst the scenic habitat and all of us were even brave enough to pet a croc! Our hosts served grilled chicken, fried fish, plantains, cabbage, rice, and lo mein and kept the environment light and friendly. Her smile was as big as Africa, and her hospitality made us feel so welcome. It is common in Ghanaian culture to be named after the day of the week on which you were born, so while we ate, we learned our Ghanaian “day of the week” names.
Our final stop was the Cape Coast Slave Castle built by the British in the 17th century as a commercial trading port for gold, mirrors, tobacco, and spices. When the slave trade began, thousands of African men and women were held captive and passed through the Door of No Return. Our knowledgeable tour guide led us through the dungeons and retold history, making for a very impactful experience. We ended the evening with a lighthearted stop at the market and a traditional Ghanaian meal of fufu and groundnut soup.
While we were driving today, we passed by a little village where children were playing with an old, beat up soccer ball. We decided to stop and give them a brand new Adidas ball, their own sackpacks, and sweatbands. The excitement they showed was unexplainable. They were so incredibly thankful for such small gifts. It really is about the little things in life. A special thank you to TopCat sales who made the soccer donations for our trip. You were a hero to these kids today!
As we turn in for the night, we are excited to arrive at the University for Development Studies in Tamale tomorrow!