Thursday, September 20, 2012

One Year InCountry R & R

 We drove along the Cape Coast Highway and not too long after our first sighting of ocean we came across this quaint fishing village, Saltpond.  We loved the rustic nature of the boats carved from the Odum trees which are huge and very heavy.

 This is typical Elder Baker, wanting to get the details of what the men are doing.

 Many old slave castles dot the coastline of West Africa and were built between 1383 and 1870.  The Cape Coast Castle is one of the very few that has been well preserved and maintained as a museum and historical site.  After negotiating a much lower "Abruni" price we took a very dramatic, sobering tour of the castle. Side note: All Ghanaian points of interest charge a Ghanaian price (very low) and a Non-Ghanaian price (at least double).  We were able to get the price down by letting them know we were missionaries and had been in Ghana for a year paying taxes on all the items we purchase.

 Elder Lyon going down the long, dark tunnel into the male slave dungeon.

 Sister Lyon taking in the ocean view of the well fortified castle.

 Sister Lyon does not want to go into the female slave dungeon.

 View of the Cape Coast Castle from inside the fort.  This was a very sobering and enlightening tour. A plaque on the wall of the castle stated, "In everlasting memory of the anguish of our ancestors . . . . May humanity never again perpetrate such injustice against humanity . . . We, the living vow to uphold this."

 Sister Baker and Sister Lyon are glad to be safely out of the slave castle and find good accommodations.

 Ghana does have a few beautiful beaches, this beach lover enjoys discovering them.

 This beach lover really enjoys walking in the sand!

 What a beautiful sight to find the next morning as we were taking a stroll on the beach.  Possibly  this guitarist will end up in a painting.

 The small village of Elmina close to the hotel property boasts a very large fleet of fishing boats . . . they stretched as far as our eyes could see.

 About a 45 minute drive from Cape Coast is Kakum National Park which has the famous Canopy Walkway. The canopy walk is 333 meters long and suspends 27 meters above the ground. Trees support the walkway, the ropes are changed every six months, nothing is nailed or bolted to the trees to protect them from damage.  The canopy walk is supported by 300-400 year old trees.  We are walking about 12 stories above this beautiful rain forest.

 We really feel like monkeys in the trees.  We were told there are many wildlife species including elephants, monkeys, bushbuck, and of course birds, but the trees hide them from our view in this thick rain forest.

In the leafy treetops.  What a beautiful world Heavenly Father created for us!  What a treat it was to celebrate our 1 year mark in Ghana this way.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What Do You Do In The Summertime?

If your summers are like the summer vacations in our home, you always had to do chores before you could play ... The top photo Sherpherd and her young brothers and sisters breaking rocks, their summer job.  The rocks are used for construction ... they put them in concrete to make cement go farther.  The next photo is Seraphim pounding pineapple peelings and leaves to make a medicine for fever.  In the photo below young boys are taking the cart to get ready to haul whatever their father asks them to haul.

 Of course, after working hard you need to take a break and enjoy some cold refreshment. This is the Fan Milk man.  He rides a bicycle with a "cooler" on the front. They are all around town, all year actually.  They ring a bell as they go so people will know the "ice-cream" man is around.  The frozen treats are only three ... Fan Ice (vanilla ice-cream), Fan Choco (frozen chocolate milk), and Fan Yogo (frozen strawberry yogurt).  Each is sold for .50 pesewas (about 25 cents).  The frozen treat is always put in a black plastic bag.  The frozen treat itself is in a plastic "sachet" which you bite off a small corner of and enjoy by eating it right out of the package.

 After work and treats games are then played.  The above game is called Ampe.  The game involves clapping, jumping and using strategy to outwit your opponent.  The game is played in pairs, the follower has to match the leaders foot work or they are out.  When asked what their favorite activity is most young people will answer either Ampe or Soccer.

 Boys love their wheels.  Any old abandoned wheel is attached to a stick and rolled down the road.  Sometimes you see them just rolling an old tire, or rolling a tire with two sticks.  They usually are going real fast so it is hard to snap a photo.  These boys stopped to pose, so we were lucky.

 These boys were very creative.  They have sardine cans attached to pieces of tied together cloth.  "Walking" the dog?

 Summer time fun ... off to Youth Camp!

Meet little girl Francesca Jr., she is in the hospital because of asthma attacks.  She was delighted to get some plastic crayons and a Friend magazine to color!  Not all summer vacations go as planned.

Summer officially ends here on Monday, September 3rd.  Back to School! In this land where the sun rises and sets at the same time each day and the weather only changes from wet to dry, we have a difficult time noticing the changing seasons.  We could definitely tell it was summer vacation time because we did not see children in school uniforms in the mornings and afternoons walking to and from school. We hope you have all had  a great summer and are all ready to learn well again!