Yesterday morning the rain started around 7 in the morning and when I went to sleep around 9:30 it was still raining. We had come into town for market day, but the rain pretty much washed that away. I sat under an awning, a tin awning, at a local spot and had coffee and an egg sandwich. The coffee is still Nescafe instant and the milk evaporated, but I have built up an acceptance of my lot and don’t mind it.

The rains were so heavy yesterday that the roads to the villages washed away in places. The river overflowed its banks and inundated houses and millet fields. Even Bea and Grace, my students, were amazed by how much water was in the fields.

The main street where I was sitting was almost empty of people. The few walking had umbrellas or just got soaked. This morning was still cloudy though a bit later in the morning blue appeared only to disappear when the rain came, only small-small rain as the Ghanaians would say. It is now after 1 in the afternoon, and the sun is beginning to make an appearance.

This morning we went to Paga, to Pikworo Slave Camp. It was active in the later 16th century up to about 1840 or so. It held 200 slaves and according to our guide, they were tied to the trees much of the day. We walked up into the hills and saw the grinding rock where food was ground and bowls carved in the rock. The water trough was filled with water and we were told the water never left, even in the dry season. There was a rock, called the entertainment center, which made different sounds when hit with rocks so it was used as a drum with the slaves hitting them with rocks to produce the rhythm. There were drummers there who played and sang for us just as the slaves would have played the rock. If a slave tried to escape, he was placed tied up and naked on the punishment rock in the sun. If he survived the heat of the day despite no water he would be allowed to remain alive. Many, though, died from the intense heat of the sun. I couldn’t imagine how horrible it must have been for the slaves waiting to be taken away from their homes. Once they left Paga, they would be brought to the coast where many were shipped to America.

I will be leaving here on Monday to make my way down coast with a stop to see the monkeys then overnight in Koforidua, where I had a part of my training. I’ll be back in town on Saturday for market day and will post then.

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16 Comments on “Greetings!”

  1. Birgit Says:

    Thanks for your regular greetings from a truly foreign world.
    (Who would have imagined such communication in the 70s?)
    Have a good trip, hopefully your back problems doesn’t bother you too much.
    If anyone is interested, the unavoidable YouTube link:
    “Pikworo Slave Camp – Paga (Upper East Region), Ghana ”
    Btw “Ghanaian Rain Showers” are also on YouTube…

    • Kat Says:

      I am having fun telling you about my experiences, all I see and hear. This is still an amazing place despite everything. Thanks for looking up all of my places so people can see them. My sister loved seeing the Bolga market.

  2. splendid Says:

    So glad to read you Kat! Thanks very much for the links Birgit. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

  3. olof1 Says:

    I’m glad they saved that place so that no one ever can forget what once happened!

    No rain here today but we had our first frost in the morning so I had to scrape the car windows before I drove to work.

    Have a nice trip south!


    • Kat Says:

      My Ghanaian former students had never been there so they were happy to see some of Ghana’s history, though they thought it awful that Africans kept slaves.

      Last night I changed around the mattress and my back is better today!

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    It all sounds fascinating and adventurous.
    Except for the Nescafe instant and evaporated milk. I think I would eschew coffee for the duration. You’re a braver woman than I. 😀

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      That’s what I drank my 2+ years here and you do get used to it after a fashion. I figure I really need the coffee. Ghanaians don’t drink milk which is why there is no fresh.

      • RickOzTown Says:

        Kat, I’m curious about the Nescafe. Is it the glass jars with Brit phone numbers/addresses on them? We both think those are the very best instant coffee ever!! We go to Indian food stores in the states, specifically to find these jars of coffee. We carefully write on the label where a store is that we got it and try again when that jar runs out. We only drink instant when traveling to friends’ houses that do not drink coffee. 😉 The U.S. Nescafe is not in the same league as the Brit labeled coffee of the (seemingly) same brand/style.

      • katry Says:

        The coffee comes in small, long packets, one cup per packet. Each morning, I open my packet, add water and there it is. I, who love coffee, decided that instant is better than none even with evaporated milk. There are also small tins of coffee which is what i bought for my time in Bolga. I will try and purchase a small one and bring it home for you. I don’t know where it is made-never looked.

  5. Hedley Says:

    Hopefully you will be Gibbon us the details of the monkey visit without us needing to Gorillaing you for information. You know the Drill we are all Marmoset to hear about the adventure as you Roloway the years in Ghana.
    Tell us all and dont worry about Howlers. Chimp in as soon as you can. Tamarin friendship and travel.

  6. Bob Says:

    Thanks for your posts on your adventures. The world must never forget places where injustice and murder was perpetrated. Those sites must be kept as living memorials to the people who where enslaved, tortured or perished. Unfortunately, there are people who are always trying to revise history to exonerate the murderers, and taskmasters in the name of academic freedom. Many of these people hold professorships at prestigious colleges and universities.

    Too bad you had to put up with the rain. Here we could use some to cool down another day of 103 degrees. Who said there’s no global warming 🙂 Must be a big oil company.

    • Kat Says:

      A few years ago some archeologist disputed that the graves were from the time of the slave camp. He was allowed a dig and opened a couple of the graves. They were filled with bones from multiple bodies which proved their history.

      When the rainy season ends, there will not be rain from late September until April, and the days will reach over 100 degrees many times. This is their weather cycle.

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