Tuesday, December 22, 2015


On a Wednesday in May 2014, after completion of the East Africa portion of our trip, we flew from Nairobi, Kenya at 9:30 a.m. to Accra, Ghana where we arrived at 12:10 p.m. (it was a 5 hour, 40 minute flight). We were met by my cousin, Russ, who was an LDS missionary in Accra. Russ and his wife, Shelley, lived in LDS Church owned housing in Accra right next to the LDS Temple. We slept in an empty apartment in the same complex and were able to wash our clothes and then go to a session of the Ghana Temple that evening.
     Africa: Ghana Overview  (Judy)

Thursday morning we set out in Russ and Shelley's car for the Gold Coast. Our first destination was an unplanned stop at the old slave trading Fort Amsterdam, previously owned by both the Dutch and the English. It is currently abandoned and open without restriction. We looked for Anomabu Fort and were unable to find it, so we continued on to Cape Coast Castle, a slave trading fort previously owned by the English, where we took a tour. We ended the day with a swim (in a pool and in the ocean), a meal and a good night's rest at Coconut Grove Beach Resort in Elmina.
     Africa: Ghana, Fort Amsterdam  (Judy) 
     Africa: Coconut Grove Beach Resort in Elmina, Ghana  (Judy)

Friday we had a 180 mile round-trip drive from Elmina to Axim, partially along a dirt road in a downpour that produced copious amounts of mud on our car. Winding roads, carts pulled by animals, woman walking with packages on their heads, local produce for sale along the side of the road, all were fun images as we spent quite a bit of time driving. In Axim, we visited the Portuguese and then Dutch owned Fort St. Anthony, in one of the most beautiful beach-front settings I've ever seen. We had a very nice breakfast and dinner at Coconut Grove Beach Resort and also enjoyed the resident wildlife: vultures in the trees above the pool, caged monkeys, a walled enclosure with crocodiles and agama lizards basking on the walls.
     Africa: Ghana Driving, Elmina to Axim  (Judy)
     Africa: Ghana, Fort St. Anthony  (Judy)
     Fort St. Anthony - Axim, Ghana  (Bob)
     Hooded Vulture  (Bob)
     Red-Headed Rock Agama  (Bob)

Saturday we drove to nearby Elmina and visited Elmina Castle and Fort St. Jago (built to defend Elmina Castle), Portuguese and then Dutch forts. We had a leisurely lunch at the Coconut Grove Bridge House, situated between the two forts, then walked through the local market which was both a little scary and fascinating. Another night at Coconut Grove Beach Resort.
     Africa: Elmina Castle (aka St. George of the Mines)  (Judy)
     Elmina Castle - Ghana  (Bob)
     Bats at Elmina Castle in Ghana  (Bob)
     Africa: Elmina, Ghana  (Judy)
     Food in Ghana  (Bob)
     Northern Red Bishop  (Bob)

Sunday we had a remarkable visit to Cape Coast. Russ's parents were the first LDS missionaries to West Africa. So the day was steeped in significance as we went to Sacrament Meeting at the LDS Green Hills Branch, then visited the shed where the Reverend Billy Johnson held LDS meetings before there were any LDS members. We visited the home were Russ's parents lived during their stay in Cape Coast and we visited the beach where the first LDS baptisms took place in Ghana. This was a wonderful convergence of our slave trading great great great grandfather who visited the Gold Coast to obtain slaves and Russ's parents who visited the same place on decidedly more friendly and constructive terms. Afterwards we visited Anomabu Fort where our ancestor slave trader had visited and soaked in the sights and sounds and beauty and horror of our family's divergent experience in this land. We drove back to Accra and had a flight out at 10:10 p.m.
     Africa: LDS Church in Ghana, Part I  (Judy)
     Africa: LDS Church in Ghana, Part II  (Judy)
     Pied Crow  (Bob)
     Africa: Ghana, Fort William (aka Anomabu)  (Judy)
     Redemption of a Slave Trader: Captain George Cannon and Edwin Q. Cannon, Jr.  (Bob)
     Africa: Driving Back to Accra, Flying Home, and a Few Final Thoughts  (Judy)

Monday morning we landed at LAX at 10:10 a.m. after a three hour layover at JFK in New York and 17 hours of total flight time.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much! I never stop missing Ghana. It tugs at my heart everyday and I feel that writing about it has been the best emotional outlet. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed your experience as well. Ghana is indeed magical!