Today we set out on the next leg of our journey. I think I can say for everyone that we were sad to leave Kumasi because it was almost unanimously our favorite city so far. We had a lot of wonderful experiences in Kumasi, from witnessing a ceremony for the Ashanti King to venturing through the bustling Kumasi market, the second largest in the Africa. But now we must wrap up the Kumasi segment of our trip and move on to Cape Coast, which I'm sure will have great things in store for us.
We departed from Kumasi this morning and had the chance to rest and relax as we drove past leafy greenery and small villages, abundant with goats and chickens scurrying around the edge of the road. When we drove through one of the larger towns, we saw a man with a python around his neck performing some sort of black magic. A crowd of people were gathered around to watch his attempts to drive away evil spirits. After a few hours on the road we arrived at the University of Cape Coast, where we attended a lecture by Dr. Kwarteng on "Cape Coast as a Center for Elite Educational Opportunities." We learned that Cape Coast is the educational center of Ghana because in the 19th century the colonial missionaries established the first formal schools here. For a long time, if any Ghanaian wanted to attend formal secondary school, they would have to travel to Cape Coast. Secondary schools have now opened up throughout the country, but Cape Coast remains the educational hub.
After learning about the educational opportunities in Cape Coast, we checked into our hotel and then headed for the beach. We strolled along the rocks as the waves crashed against them and then ran out along the sand to feel the warm Atlantic water. We talked to many Ghanaian children on the beach, and they showed off their amazing acrobatic skills by performing handstands and flips into the waves.
Then for dinner we ate in a restaurant overlooking the water and literally right next to the Cape Coast slave castle. It was difficult to know how to feel as we gazed out at the beautiful sunset over the ocean, while sitting in the shadows of a structure that preserves the memories of thousands of enslaved Africans.
Tomorrow we will be taking a tour of Cape Coast Castle, as well one in Elmina, so I'm sure you will hear much more about the castles and our adventures in Cape Coast!