Sunday, August 7, 2016
Power outage is a very common occurrence so far from the time we have spent in Ghana, and it was the reason behind my eyes opening at 5:30 am today. Although the bed we slept on was comfortable and protected from mosquito, making it a safer night for all of us, the heat wave after the power outage was too much to bear. On the other hand, one must admit that it is incredibly relaxing to drink your coffee in the morning by the beach, with the sounds of waves and the birds singing. Locals were climbing the coconut trees like it was an easy job, which was also something good to see while having breakfast.
Today will be a good day, I can already feel it. We plan to go to the Kakum rain-forest at 8:00am. After that, lunch is expected following the walk on the forest. Global mama's will be our only company visit today, which is a very exciting enterprise to visit because it aids women in the Ghanian society by providing them jobs, such as crafting, making of jewelry, bags and other beautiful handmade items. After another one hour bumpy ride we arrived at the Kakum national park. While waiting for the tour through the rain forest to start the group passed time in the souvenir shops. The tour started by walking up through the forest towards the canopy trail. Along the upward journey we got several breaks and a nice explanation about the attractions in the park and its wildlife. Kakum national park is home to a wide variety of animals ranging from hundreds of different insects to large deadly snakes and even elephants. The largest type of antelope, Bongo, can also be found here. Due to the nightly activities of most of these animals it is hard to spot them during the day. After the explanation of our guide named Steven, we could proceed towards the canopy walk. When we reached the start of the canopy walk several meters above the ground the excitement as well as the nervousness could be sensed in the group. Stepping on the canopy walk for the first time really requires getting used to, as it consists of just several ladders with planks over them hanging between the trees. Over this very unstable surface swinging literally to every side one had to cross towards the next platform. One could cross seven of these 'wobbly' bridges over and through the forest reaching a maximum height of 40m above the ground. For the less adventurous people there is also a shortcut which consists of just three hanging bridges but since we have a very daring group everybody just followed the seven bridges to reach the platforms. On top of each platform, mounted around very high and thick trees, one had the best view of the horizon over the rain forest. The different view from each platform was beautiful and very calming due to the sounds of nature solely.
After the canopy adventure it was time to go back to the bus following a nice path through the forest. Against all wishes of the members of the group we unfortunately did not get to see any wild animals such as snakes or apes. However, the group did enjoy a quick 10 minute shopping session at the gift stores. Lunch was organized by global mama's for the group and was served in one of the woman's homes. It was nice of them to welcome us in their very own home, and prepared a meal which seemed foreign to most of us: fish with bones, curry and white rice. I have to admit that the fish was a challenge to eat. After the spiced up lunch, we paid a visit to the work place of global mamas: a fair trade organization which currently helps 600 women by providing jobs for them in order to improve the quality of their life. 'If you invest in a woman, you invest in a nation' was a statement made by the woman who showed us around that we particularly found inspiring. We learnt that global mama's has a store in Accra from which you can purchase dresses and other goods from. The group had the chance to buy some of the global mama's products, which included a range of fabrics made by the women.
A 15 minute break was spent by the cape coast castle, in which the group purchased few more souvenirs. By now, bargaining has become a specialty to many of us! The rest of the day was spent freely as we had no further planned visits, therefore most of us took time to swim. Personally, I made an appointment earlier to do hair braiding which went rather well and I was satisfied with it. Dinner was served at 6:45 pm after everybody finished their personal activities. The main discussion during dinner was the issue of the rooms, as some of the females were not satisfied with the decision.
We will end the day by sleeping on the beach, something I wanted to do for a very long time!