Warmest greetings from Accra,
I'm on the eve of my parents' departure from Ghana and am reflecting on all of the amazing experiences we have had together as a family. My mother and father have done well given the circumstances; I even coaxed them into delving into a couple traditional feasts of fufu and grasscutter. I was a little bit dissapointed in their lukewarm reaction to bush meat but then again it took me a few months to get accustomed to the savory flavor of rodents. All in all, the trip has been a solid success.
After a brief walkthrough of the more placid parts of Accra we took a bus to Cape Coast and did some fundamental touristy things. The two main attractions in Cape Coast (for tourists) are the castles and Kakum National Park. The latter is an aesthetic experience and the former is a social and historical experience. Kakum National Park consists of a 20 meter high canopy walk through some of the only remaining evergreen rainforests in West Africa. It is one of the few places where you can still find bush elephants and wild antelopes outside of the comfortable cages of zoos. The two castles we visited were Cape Coast Castle and El Mina Castle, both of which figured crucially in the slave trade beginning in the fourteenth century. This was the more sobering and awakening aspect of the trip. The stark and dismal reality of slavery plays a vital role in the narratives of African, American, and European history. It is also of fundamental importance to understanding the modern distribution of wealth among the world's economies - no matter how much we try to deny it. Visiting these castles and seeing the capabilities of us humans to inflict suffering on each other - for economic reasons - reminds us of the immense challenges we continue to face in our various modern societies and our larger global society.
Our trip to Guaman (my post) was perhaps the most interesting part of the trip. Upon our arrival, the chiefs and elders gave us a warm welcome with traditional drumming and dancing as well as the pouring of libations. The following day, on Monday, we had a large ceremony in the town square to celebrate two things: the first was the commissioning of Wofabeng's milling complex and the second was my installation as a chief. I wore traditional garb and swore my allegiance to the chief and elders. I am now called Nana Obunintsi VI which can be translated as "the Chief of Knowledge Hunting." This was apparently chosen because of my involvement with education and youth empowerment. It can also be loosely translated as "the Chief of development." I only pray that I can live up to the community's expectations. The honor of being enstooled as a chief was truly one of the most important moments in my life.
Anyhow, I am just hours from being the only La Rose in Ghana again so I reckon it would be a wise decision to enjoy these remaining hours living it up with the Fam.