Emma writes this blog having had a long spell without internet access. Unfortunately she was unable to attach or send any photos, but I’ve added some appropriate myself, none of the girls though, sorry! Hopefully there’ll be a deluge of photos and stories on their return.
They fly back and arrive at Heathrow on Monday – can’t wait to see tham all!
We’re coming to the end of the most amazing trip of a life time. It’s been packed with wonderful experiences that we will never forget and can’t wait to share with everyone! : D
We arrived at the candidate’s house after our stay in Takoradi. We had a wonderful welcome from the girls and the Sisters there. It was interesting to see potential nuns together and find out what motivated them to want to become a nun.
We had a great time taking part in their everyday activities, which includes a missionary day in a Leprosy and Learning centre for children and young adults. The centre was set up by Sr Pat and Sr Monica from the Sisters of Mary and Joseph in the 1970s, and it is now an education centre for children and young adults recovering from leprosy or have learning difficulties – people who would normally be ignored in Ghanaian society. On the same site is St. Clare’s, the only old people’s home in Ghana.
There we also met an extraordinary man called Fr. Phil who is wheelchair bound. He was in a tragic accident which left him paralysed, but after intense surgery and physiotherapy, now has the movement of his arms back. His smile is huge, and he is apparently never in a bad mood. A truly inspirational man!!
We are currently staying in the SHCJ boarding school for girls. There are about 1,000 girls here from the age of 16-20. The school here is completely different from any of the other schools we have visited, the girls here have a packed day starting at 4.00am and finishing at 10.00pm. They are all intelligent lovely girls and we loved getting stuck into their lessons and daily routine : )
It was great as well to experience watching the football with them. Ghanaians love their football, and we have never heard so many screams at a 20 inch telly before! And at how many girls here fully understand the offside rule! Shame they have just been knocked out of the competition though.
We were treated to a sightseeing day by the Sisters who wanted to show us the culture of Cape Coast. We joined the candidates and went to Kakum National Park, home to 300 different types of bird, many of which are on the endangered species list. The candidates are all from Nigeria so they were just as excited as we were to be going there. We went on the famous walk bridge that stands 40ms above the forest floor…it was a bit scary but very exciting. The views were amazing!! To anyone who is yet to visit…just don’t look down!
Today, we just got back from Elmina Castle, which one of the teachers at the school took us to. It was an eye – opener that’s for sure. We were placed in the cells and actually locked in, to get the full experience of what it would have been like for the slaves during the trading era.
We were shown the “door of no return” which for us Gappers was the most hard hitting to see. It was the place where men and women were taken to and placed on boats that were underneath so that they could be shipped anywhere in the world. So many lives were lost, and it is a tragic loss. But at the same time, we got the feeling that Ghana are very proud to show off their history. They are not ashamed of what happened, but honoured to tell their country’s story to the rest of the world. Their main aim of doing this is to make sure that what happened in Elmina never ever gets repeated again.
So, we are going to now finish our last couple of days here at Cape Coast. We have a few more lessons to teach and we are enjoying spending time with the girls, the Seminarians and the Sisters. We have had the most amazing time and don’t want it to end!
Can’t wait to tell you all our amazing stories though.
Until we get home,
Amma, A-men, Christian and Monique
(Emma, Amy, Christine and Monica)
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