Friday, October 26, 2007

Northern region

This morning I skipped drumming class to go on the internet. I've been pretty happy with that decision so far.

I had a really great time in the North. My camera is messed up (it won't take pictures), so I've stolen all of these from Emily via Facebook. I'm sure she'll understand.

In Yendi, we visited a witchcraft village, where accused witches are sent. It's a really cruel system- there are over 700 men and women who are exiled from their homes after people accuse them of killing people with magic, making women infertile, or for causing weather problems. These are not usually diviners or shamans, who have traditional powers, but rather people who are wrongfully accused of social disasters. It's society's way of placing blame and shunning undesireables. These are some of the women:

We were flooded by children at that particular village. At one point, I was carrying one on my back and one on my front, while another was carrying my purse. The little girl on my right (left?) knee was really funny.

On Saturday, we went to Mole National Park. It’s a beautiful drive visually, but physically, it was one of the worst roads I’ve ever been on. It’s pot-holed dirt road for 3 hours. Anyway, we went on a walking safari in the morning, complete with gum boots. Here’s Erica, Kristen, and me in our “great white explorer” pose:

Since it has been raining lately, most of the animals are deeper in the forest. They come out around January, when it gets hot and the water dries up. We trudged around for about an hour and a half, seeing gazelles, baboons, and the occasional pack of warthogs, but these things are not as exotic as *elephants*, *zebras (which don’t even live in the park)* and *lions*. We were despairing of seeing any big animals, until we started hiking back to the lodge. Suddenly, our guide stopped and told us to be quiet. An elephant! It was in a clump of trees and we couldn’t really see it, but then the guide started throwing things at it. This probably is not the wisest move, or the most friendly to the animal, but it worked. He moved around for a while, trumpeted, and then started moving towards us. All of a sudden, our guide (pictured here):

said “Go! Go! Move that way! Run faster!” And the elephant started running (or maybe loping would be a better word) towards our general direction. We moved out of its way, and then it trampled a tree and charged a pack of warthogs.

All in all, it was an exciting trip.

Today we are going to Cape Coast. That was where many of Ghana's slaves were shipped from, so I suspect that it will be an emotional trip. I'll keep you updated.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep the stories coming! What great adventures you are having. We love reading about elephants, children, and your thoughts about it all! Yea Audrey! See you soon! M&D