This is my fourth trip to Africa, third to Ghana, and fourth to Kakum Forest and Elmina Slave Fort. Africa, Ghana included, is the most beautiful place I have ever been. God’s creative imagination is so evident here; everywhere you look, the fingerprints of our Creator can be seen.
I am terrified of heights and yet when I am walking on a catwalk walkway above the rainforest, suspended by ropes no thicker than my pinky, all I can think about is how stunning my surroundings are. Set below me the rainforest sprawls as far as the eye can see, disappearing over the mountains, which are shrouded in mist. The sounds of the animals sing a wild praise song. My fear is lost and my heart gives thanks to our God for such beauty.
The slave fort is hard for me. The idea that humans can be so cruel and intentionally inflict so much pain and suffering on one another is difficult to grasp. The fort still reeks of human waste, sweat, death, and suffering. And yet in the midst of all the reminders of the evil that we can do to each other, the tour ends with a reminder that the fort now stands not to open new wounds and ignite new hatred but to show us where we have been and tell each one of us the power of forgiveness. Even in the midst and memory of unspeakable injustice and evil, God is still good.
And nowhere can I see God’s hand better than in the smiles of children as they reach out their hands to take ours as we walk to the school to be with them. Each time I am in the village, I am overwhelmed by the love the flows from us to the children and from the children to us. Jesus said to let the little children come to Him….. and I am glad he shares them with me.
Today was so much fun. After waking up at 5 in the morning, we traveled to Cape Coast. We went on the canopy walkway at the National Park. We saw army ants (which can de-flesh a human in 3 minutes) and climbed a mountain. We ate cocoa pods and coconuts.
Afterwards, we went to the Monkey Sanctuary with the amazing Dutch couple. They are the sweetest people ever and it’s so amazing that they built this area for so many animals. They keep all animals safe no matter how creepy or crawly. It was so fun.
Then we traveled to Elmina to see the slave castle. I saw the slave castle last year, so instead Bruce, Scott, Ian, Jackie, and I all went to a different Ft. St. Jago across the town. It was fun and we got to explore on our own and climb onto the roof. It was really neat to see all of the history.
Then finally, we went out to lunch at a lovely hotel. The food was good… until the pepper exploded. But it was still fun because lunch is fun with good company.
PS More bathroom drama today stopping at a gas station……… very interesting. YAY GHANA!
Becki+ and Stephanie stayed at the hotel with illness, Tana stayed to work and poor Sarah R came along but suffered from the bumpy ride. Michelle+ was such a dear and stayed with her as we did the canopy walk. Humm, could she have planned that?
Hopefully a few more photos will make it before our long plane ride home tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who has made this trip possible. It has been awesome!!!
For more about Elmina, Slave castles and Forts go to http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/tourism/castles.php