Author: Ernest Blair, Esq.
I recently took a 10-day trip with my wife to Ghana, a country in the western part of Africa. The atmosphere and environment felt easy, comfortable, and warm.
Ghana, especially its capital, Accra, is more metropolitan than I had envisioned. There were so many people milling about selling their wares on the streets–from shoes, to clothes, to breads, to peanuts, and all varieties of trinkets–you name it, it was there for the buying.
Ghana has 42 languages in total. Interestingly, most speak English. In fact, most speak a minimum of two languages, English and Ga.
There were numerous sites to visit. Our first stop was the Cape Coast Castle. Ghanaian men and women were captured and imprisoned at the castle. The slaves were taken through the “Door of No Return” and transported to the Americas and the Caribbean, where they were enslaved. Walking through the castle, the holding cells, and the closed doors was a sobering and impactful experience. It was only much later that the castle added a “Door of Return”, allowing the descendants of those enslaved to return home.
My wife and I also had the great opportunity to celebrate with true royalty: our traveling group and I had lunch with the King of the eastern region of Ghana, the Queen Mother, and numerous Chiefs of the region. This festive occasion honored my former pastor, Rev. Dr. DeForest Soaries, Jr., for his five years of service as Chief of Development in Ghana’s eastern region.
Because this visit was also a mission’s trip, sponsored by the dfree Global Foundation, Inc., headed by Dr. Soaries, our group brought loads of donations for children and young adults. There were books, clothes, toys, candy, and more donated. We worshiped at a church and left donations with the congregation. We also visited a residential school for the deaf, leaving several bags of the donated items and the children loved interacting with us. Additionally, we visited and donated items, including handheld computers, to a local library for grades K-12.
We also went on a Safari. The Safari was full of loads of fun and excitement! It was in northern Ghana, in the Mole National Park. To get from the Accra region of Ghana to its northern part, we took a one-hour flight on a small private airplane. The area was more rural, with people and land more spread out. Along the road we saw clay huts where people lived.
For the Safari we stayed at the Zaina Lodge, in luxury tented chalets, which were individual hand-crafted tents. During the day, we toured the area in a jeep and saw elephants, baboons, and various birds and wildlife. Elephants and monkeys also walked along the same paths that led to our rooms.
Visiting the Motherland was well worth the 10-hour airplane ride. Ghana provided a golden opportunity for a rich cultural education, much like its nickname, the “Gold Coast,” due to its abundance of gold.