getting to know Ghana
Well, as uneventful as our fifth week in Ghana was, our sixth week held more than enough excitement to make up for it!
Matt and Jeff have encouraged us from the beginning to use this “down time” to better acquaint ourselves with Ghana as a country. Last Monday we set out on a little “mini tour” for the purpose of visiting some similar nonprofits and seeing a few national landmarks along the way.
Our friend Atsu very graciously offered to accompany us on this journey. Everyone needs an Atsu in their life. He speaks multiple languages and knows everything about Ghana: he is the type of person who has friends EVERYWHERE and whose presence instantly puts you at ease. Someday I’m going to write a poem titled “What Would We Do Without Atsu?”.
We went from Accra to Cape Coast—which is honestly one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. In case you didn’t gather from the name, it’s situated right on the coast, and overflowing with history. The colorful buildings, the wooden fishing boats, the exquisite beaches...the pictures certainly don’t do it justice. We stayed at the Baobab House—a nonprofit organization that was started in 2001 by a German teacher from Freiburg named Edith de Vos. If you are ever in the Cape Coast area and need a place to sleep, STAY HERE! We were so excited about and impressed with this organization. To quote their brochure, “Baobab works for the children’s rights in Ghana’s Central Region. It promotes and supports orphans, physically challenged and children from deprived areas with large families which are not able to finance their children’s education.” Aside from providing medical care, uniforms, and three meals a day, Baobab teaches practical skills that these kids will be able to use as means of supporting themselves someday. They learn how to make Cane, Batik, and Bamboo furniture, sew and tailor clothing, and grow food organically and efficiently. The guest house only has five rooms, but the restaurant is incredibly affordable, delicious, and open to the public. And be sure to browse the adjacent shop, which sells beaded jewelry, black soap, shea butter, Moringa seeds, tea leaves, and hand-painted postcards. The students are involved in everything from making the soap to growing the tea leaves in their garden, and 100% of the profit supports the school. I really can’t recommend this place enough. HERE is their website if you would like to learn more.
We stopped by Kakum National Park, a rainforest that has been preserved and made famous by its “canopy walk,” which is basically a series of rope bridges suspended between trees. As we were leaving Atsu suggested we stop by a place where we could see some “dwarf alligators”. I figured we would see some in the distance, take a few photos, get back in the car. That was NOT what happened. Let it be known that I’m okay with large reptiles behind glass, behind fences, behind TV screens. And that’s about where my comfort zone ends. You can imagine my…delight when we crossed a bridge and saw a woman dangling a hunk of raw chicken from a pole less than ten feet from where we were standing buy levitra. A gigantic beast was slinking through the water and making its way towards the bait. I pretended to join everyone in saying, “Wow, this is so cool, how amazing!” but secretly I was scanning the trees, wondering how fast I could climb to safety if things got out of control. I can see no difference between a “dwarf alligator” and a “regular alligator.”
After Cape Coast we went to Kumasi, the “Garden City of Ghana.” Landon, Kate, and Atsu left for Akatsi on Saturday and arrived safe and sound on Sunday. Ted and I remained in Kumasi until Monday and were able to meet with a well-established non-profit organization and tour their phenomenal campus. They have, to date, rescued over 90 kids from Lake Volta and we are so fortunate to be partnering with them and gleaning some much-needed advice as we prepare for the girls. We are currently in Accra registering as an NGO (the Ghanaian equivalent of a nonprofit) and scheduling meetings with social workers.
We are anxious to return to Akatsi and see the Yellow House. Bernard tells us that renovations are speeding along and it should be completed as scheduled!
Also, we have received some emails from friends and family wanting to make sure we are being safe after the mall siege in Kenya. Rest assured that we have registered with the Embassy here and are taking all necessary precautions. We continue to pray for a peaceful resolution in Kenya.
Thank you, as always, for your support. We’ll be in touch--
Ted + Ellie
|I wouldn't recommend this if you have a fear of heights:)|
|Baobab had AMAZING smoothies! (Banana+Coconut+Lime was my favorite)|
|Ted and Atsu. Quite the backdrop, eh?|
|Cape Coast 2.|
|Most of the places we stayed had community bathrooms. Not so bad when the shower is under a coconut tree:)|