Beyin and Nzulezu – my first perfect weekend in Ghana :)

14 07 2009

Part 1

As I was saying before, Ghana is growing on me 🙂 and I have to thank to the people that I am surrounded by for this.

The weekend trip was really great 🙂 We left for Beyin on Saturday morning, at 1 am. Of course the tro tro left around 3 am, but it was ok. After e pretty bumpy trip, changing the tro tro, and then changing again the tro tro and taking a shared taxi, at 9 am we arrived in Beyin.  Steve, the hotel guy, took it to the “guest house” which was located on the beach and looked pretty bad…  Because of one small storm or something, one of the rooms couldn’t be used… but they fixed it pretty fast. Outside it was kind of cold, the beach pretty dirty, only one place where we could eat, only traditional food which I can’t eat because it is too spicy…  I decided to enjoy the day and not think about the details 🙂 and it was a pretty good decision 😛

First item on the list… visiting the Fort… I don’t remember when it was build but according to Klepo the story goes like this… When the white people arrived in Africa and decided to enslave the inhabitants, they told them that they need strong men and women to work in the new world. They were going to parents and ask permission for their children to go to the new world. They were giving them all kind of detail about the way their children will work, gain money, and send the money to their families. They promoted happy experiences and so on….  After the parents agreed, they were taking them and locking them in small rooms in the forts, very crowded. They didn’t let them outside for three months, and they were feeding them through some holes in the ceiling. After 3 months they were opening the doors, burn the dead ones and take the survivors to the new world as slaves.

The first time they did it, they returned with some of them who weren’t made slaves in the new world, in order to make the villagers think that everything is ok, and that they will come back, and everybody is very happy.  Everybody was remembering “They came back!” From time to time they were giving money to the families, telling them that it’s from their sons and daughters, they were reading them fake letters and pretending to bring news…

I found a poem about this, which was published on a website when Obama visited Cape Coast last week ( ) :

At Cape Coast,we bowed our heads in sorrow and shame,
recalling the agonies of our forebears…
the wicked complicity of kinsmen
and sometimes even parents…

At Cape Coast,
the ghoulish stench of slavery
stared us stiffly and morbidly
in the face,
flaring up our nostrils
to the wrenching
point of hyperventilation…

At Cape Coast,
we were weighted down
with the bloody crimes of yesteryear;
almost senselessly
and capriciously,
we either flatly failed
or rawly refused
to grasp this bleak season
of misery and abject penury
was wrought by ourselves
our own kind…

At Cape Coast,
we could only half-fathom
what was and what might have been
had there not been…and then
staggered by the stygian depths
of such epic savagery,
we could not hold back
our tears, those tears
which were not really our own,
but those of our forebears
in eons past, callously wrenched
from their moorings and rendered
beasts-of-burden by those pale-skinned
blue-eyed men with frozen veins…

At Cape Coast,
we were shackled and packed supine
as sardines in urine and human waste,
bound for chain-gang labor
in the Carolinas

Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi,
shorn of our clothes and tongues and
names and dignity…

At Cape Coast,
a disoriented mulatto class
was spawned mimicking
every misdeed of those blue-eyed
creatures of yonderland,
while retaining
almost none
of whatever virtues
with which they trod
our shores…

At Cape Coast,
time and tide came full circle
even as seller and sold
stood face-to-face
like total strangers
staring at the horizon
with a young orange-sun
beginningto rise up
once more –

Credit: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr.

I will soon come back with part two of my weekend, about Nzulezu, being stopped by the border police and not having a passport, and so on 🙂

Me happy 😀

PS: Here you can find Obamas speech in Accra (thank you Klepo) which is worth reading 🙂




One response

29 06 2010
Dear Ghana II « AlexandraBirladianu's Blog

[…] remember the way back, the first heavy rain, meeting KLepo, Sabine and Emma, Aqua and Lucia… The first trip to Nzulezu… Beautiful […]

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