Are We There Yet?

Helen and Kim at Monkey Forest

By Helen Lang and Kim Tompkins

Remember that question? Today there were times where it felt like that. Our adventure-filled day began at 6am when we were whisked away in a tro-tro (local transportation like a van with hard seats and no shock absorbers). During our three and a half hour drive, we saw many small towns teeming with people selling everything you can imagine. There were wide open spaces with beautiful vistas of tropical vegetation including lots of pineapple plants. 

Left to right, Becki, Zach, Deborah, Helen, Bruce, Kim, Debi, Malcolm

After traveling down a long and bumpy dirt road we arrived in the misty rain forest at Kakum National Park, for a fantastic, fun time crossing seven suspended rope bridges, 1100 feet high up in the tree canopy. Imagine stepping out in faith onto a single plank suspended by ropes. There were lots of ohs & ahs and more than a little trepidation.


Next we visited The Monkey Forest. Dennis, a Dutch National who has devoted the last 10 years to rescuing animals that have been found wounded or stranded shortly after birth, is such a good caretaker. It was a great opportunity to see native wild life. The monkeys were adorable (and mischievous!). Malcolm, a teen on our trip, became fast friends with a 2 week old Genet cat as it snuggled in his arms.


We ended the afternoon on a more solemn note. St. George’s Castle, Elmina, is a former slave trading site. In the dungeons where male and female slaves were held you could feel the heartaches and atrocities soaked into the five hundred year old stones. We were so disheartened to learn that the Dutch had built their chapel right above one of the dungeons where unimaginable suffering was taking place. Our guide said “I don’t tell you all that happened here to open old wounds but to encourage you to treat one another with respect and human dignity.”

Fort St. George, Elmina
The Door of No Return

The castle is built on the edge of the ocean. As we were leaving we saw all of the colorful fishing boats leaving the seaport to head out to sea for the night!


Today was an exciting and informative introduction to Ghana.  We just arrived back at the hotel, 9:30 pm, and now for a few hours sleep because tomorrow we’re off to the market!

Helen at Elmina

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