Friday, April 10, 2009

Day 2: Accra (Saturday, April 4th)

Following a wonderful breakfast at the Crystal Palm Hotel, we headed out to Kakum National Park on the Cape Coast, where we hiked up into the tropical forest, to the canopy level. From there, we walked across seven bridges suspended over three hundred feet in the air. Overall, we weathered the storm all right, so to speak, but we got through it all right.

We ate lunch at a beautiful hotel before continuing on to the slave castle Elmina, which is well over 400 years old, and passed from the hands of the Portugese to the Dutch, and then the British, before becoming a museum under the new government. It was moving to say the least, and inspired a poem that can be read at the bottom of this blog post.

Later that night, we met up with Omanhene (Paramount Chief) Nana Akuoko Sarpong of Agogo at the dinner hall in our hotel, and the students sat with him and asked a few questions about his work as chief.

It was a great meal and an interesting discussion.

Day 3, up next. Stay with us.

But before that, I present to you the poem written after the visit to Elmina Castle.

Castle of Sorrow (かなしいのしろ)
Written by Sean Heron on March 6th, 2009.

Numberless tears
Shed throughout the ages

Families cleaved and sundered
Prideful lions and prideful hearts cast into hell

A scream from a lofty room
and a thousand more below "God's home"

Pitch-black, furnace-hot maws
full of the stench of death

A million tense moments, waiting
Two million tense moments, praying
Three million tense moments, accepting

Four million tense moments,
gazing at the sea in abject, wordless fear

Five million tense moments, spent in hell yet again -
a heated, crowded, foul-scented hell, a hell of weeping
and sorrow amongst a black wind.

So many lives, so many people...
changed, perverted, damned, and ended in one place

エルミナ (Elmina)

Sean Heron
Secretary, Honey Project, and xChange Agent

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