I know that you have all been waiting to hear from our youngest team members. Adrianna, Cierra, Deryn, Josh, Mark and Matt have each written a few words about their experiences at Cape Coast. They are all 9th graders from Virginia Beach and I certainly have enjoyed their willing spirits.
Kakum Park and the Canopy Walk
My experience at Kakum National Park was a very different experience in my lifetime, although the entire time I have spent in Africa is an all new experience in its self. When climbing the up the hills of bedrock I saw new sights and heard new sounds. I really enjoyed it. When I walked the Canopy Walk I was amazed at the sights of nature. It was astounding to see nature like this, untouched and left in peace. It is something I will always remember and I will cherish this experience.
We walked on trees today. I saw a butterfly. Deryn was walking on the bridge like a pro. Adrianna, not so much. It was pretty shaky (thanks to Mark and me)! I bought a cocoa pod for 1 cedis (50 cents); it doesn’t taste like chocolate. On the way up the trail to the bridge, I got spooked when I accidently stepped on a dead scorpion. There weren’t many animals but Mr. Neumann said that if you go in the early morning, you could see elephants and monkeys. We had to wake up at 4:30 to leave so I’m not sure if we could have made it much sooner, being that it was a 3 hour drive with about 6 people per row on the bus with only 4 seats.
The Monkey Forest – a place for animals that have been rescued
My experience at the Monkey Forest was very interesting. When we arrived there, we had a Dutch tour guide who moved to Ghana to take care of mis-treated animals. The first animal that we saw was a monkey who was running all over the cage like a cave man. When we left the third cage or so, Matt tried to run down a hill and fell. He claims that he has battle scars from surviving a monkey bite. Ha, Ha.
We also saw baby alligators who just laid there, I thought they were going to attack us. At the end of the walk we saw a monkey that was chained on a leash. The keeper told us that we are not suppose to challenge the monkeys, but Matt challenged him anyway and almost got beat up.
I had a really great experience at the Monkey Forest.
When we first got off the bus a man greeted us and he had an awesome accent. I think he was from Holland. The man had a lot of monkeys and a variety of other animals such as crocodiles, turtles,civet cats and snakes. While we were at the hyrax cage, Matt fell from a three-foot cliff and lived to tell the story with only some scratches. Matt also was taunting the monkey on a leash and the monkey flipped. Right when we were getting on the bus, Mercia surprised all of the kids with bracelets that had there names on them in Ghanaian colors. Adrianna’s name was spelled wrong. Mercia said she would get a new one for her with the right spelling.
Elmina Castle – A Historic Slave Castle
Today I woke up at an exhausting 4 am, we had a
long 3 hour drive down to Cape Coast and we visited 3 different places. The Slave Castle was very interesting; it was kind of frightening being put in the dungeon to see what it felt like. If it wasn’t such a sad place it would have been very beautiful being by the sea and all. You could always hear the waves crashing down and you had a magnificent view almost everywhere. It was different learning the stories from the slaves point of view and seeing what they experienced. I liked learning it a lot though, it was something I’ll always remember.
It was messed up, the things that happened there. The mental and physical abuse, the monstrosities committed against fellow men and women, it’s simply disgusting. The smell of death and dismay are stained into the walls of the holding cells, and act as scars, reminders. A sort of weight, is added on to you as you walk in, and is carried with you even as you leave, the knowledge that you shared the same space with those poor souls is… heavy. Yet it is reassuring that the dead are respected, instead of ridiculed as they previously have been, after all, what they’ve been through, they deserve it.