The group arrived safely and the program begins with a two day stay in Accra. On Monday they depart for Cape Coast. The picture from the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.
Our bags are packed, did last minute souvenir-shopping, started saying our goodbyes, and most of us are hanging out in the guesthouse while a couple folks are in Oasis one last time. In the morning we depart Cape Coast for Accra and then depart Accra Saturday night. This is the last blog post for the summer 2012 group.
One of my daughters asked me earlier to summarize the last six weeks in Ghana for a travel journal of hers. Somehow the activities such as the canopy walk, Busua Beach, Monkey Forest Reserve, and others seem like distant events already and pale in comparison to the significance of Ghanaians who have been part of our lives for the past several weeks. Each of us have bonded with individuals of all ages from different settings and situations: Natalia with Victoria and Richard, Liz with Abeva, James with Thomas, and so on. Ghanaians have been the most gracious hosts to our group and for that I am grateful. A special heartfelt thanks to the staff at Fairhill – Hannah, Francisca, Monica, Fosti, Thomas, Sammy, and Kojo – for taking care of us and for your kindness. Thank you Auntie Ann for your hospitality and a fantastic July 4th cookout yesterday!
Today our students sang, drummed, and danced in front of invited guests and friends at Fairhill Main, another guesthouse nearby that is also owned by Auntie Ann. They were fabulous and as far as I could tell, they had fun while performing. Natalia won the best dancer award, Nick the best drummer one, and Kaneisha the best lead singer. Mohammad, one of the SARD instructors, performed the warrior dance and he was phenomenal. Nick was the head drummer for a dance where several Cape Deaf students performed. Various guests commented on how wonderful the Davidson students were and Auntie Leti wept for she was so happy that our group successfully completed the five week SARD program despite her recent loss of vision.
The performance and SARD graduation sadly mark the end of this portion of our program. Students worked very hard and sweated copious amounts as they trained in Ghanaian music and dance for the last five weeks. I’m grateful towards the nine students who easily embraced Ghanaian music, food, and people.
Above is a group of folks ready for a night out in Cape Coast. A few unfamiliar faces in the photo to our readers are two School of African Rhythm and Dance instructors, our program assistant, and a guesthouse staff member who have become more than Facebook friends to the group. First stop, Tina’s Tavern in Abura/Pedu area and then Oasis where they are to dance the Bambaya and most likely the Azonto.
It’s the last weekend in Cape Coast as this time next week we will be in Accra. Some of us have become weepy already (Liz), some have been doing more walk abouts lately (James), some have continued to shop for souvenirs (Kaneisha), and some have plans on what they’ll eat once in the US (Ben).
I can state this with confidence that each of us will miss the friends we’ve made in Cape Coast during the last several weeks. Ghana gets under your skin because of its people who are warm, sincere, welcoming, kind, approachable, affectionate, beautiful, graceful, and more. Aside from newfound friends, what I will miss most are the sights and experiences that cameras and blogs simply cannot capture such as the delight in people’s faces and voices as I tell them that I’m Atta Mame (mother of twins) and introduce my daughters as Atta Payne (elder twin) and Atta Kakra (younger twin). When Kaneisha calls me Atta Mame back on Davidson campus, I shall respond positively to that.