Hello again. Can you believe these pictures took less than 5 mins to load? ohhh yeah. we are in Kumasi, the second-largest city in Ghana. it is huge, less sprawled than Accra but definitely feels just as Western. at night, when all the vendors have left it looks exactly like a medium-sized American city. crazy. without further ado, here are a few highlight pictures from Ghana so far...
the crayfish coffin. probably my favorite one.
a pineapple and an ice cream coffin. these compliment each other nicely on so many levels.
this is the view of the swinging bridge we walked on for our canopy rainforest tour, in Kakum national park. it was about 30 m from the ground, which didn't seem like much until we got up there. it was pretty cool though. we saw some gorgeous trees, a lot of butterflies, and not much else. my theory is it creaks to much for the monkeys and birds to come any closer. though our guide DID have a bird call as his cellphone ringtone. how appropriate.
a lagoon on the outskirts of Cape Coast. we went on an excellent tour of 2 castles, but we used S St J's camera there so i don't have those pics yet. there were cannonballs, dungeons, a dedication from Barack and Michelle Obama, a "door of no return" leading to the sea, and a bat colony. just so you can visualize.
this panel was in the walls of a building at the national cultural center here in Kumasi, where you're not supposed to take any pictures but i snapped this one anyways. i think it's 1) awesome looking and 2) a good example of the Ashanti style. we also toured a museum about the Ashanti today which was pretty fascinating (even though it was very small). i learned a lot of fun little tidbits like the Ashanti king's bare feet are never allowed to touch the ground (or he wouldn't be king anymore) so he rests them on elephant tusks while he bathes. also, kingship is inherited through the mother's side, so the king is not succeeded by his son, but his nephew. there is no queen, rather a queen mother, and she is almost as highly regarded as the king. probably the coolest thing we saw there was the Ashanti war drum, which is made out of leopard skin. when they heard their enemies approaching, they would hide in the bushes and play the drum, and it sounds like a leopard. hearing the leopard, the enemy would flee and then the Ashanti would attack amidst the confusion. the drum is played by scraping a stick across the face, and it really does sound like a leopard. pretty cool.
tomorrow we head to the north and Mole national park. we are hoping to see a lot of big game, and are going to try and stay until we see an elephant. think positive thoughts for us and i'll let you know what happens!