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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Day 3: evening... to be continued

For those whose picture of the African continent is blurred at best, the coast of Ghana is one of the many places where for over two hundred years, humans were conquered and forced thru the “door of no return” to waiting ships and across oceans to be ‘purchased’ and enslaved by waiting whites.

One such horrific place is a ‘dungeon’ – referred to as a “castle” by the conquerors – that is over 350 years old and located 20 minutes from where we’re staying. The town that existed long before they were invaded by Europeans is now named “Cape Castle”.

Today we went on a ‘tour’ of this heinous place and (re)learned more specifically about the depth of the cruelty and evilness of white men – and the nameless courageous resistors who were murdered before they even got to the door of no return.

The gruesome building looms in the distance, towering tall, white and threatening over the city below, springing from solid rock – and certainly built by enslaved people, so skillfully, it still stands today three stories high and easily thirty times as wide.

The commander and his family were housed on the top floor, the kitchens, ballrooms and offices underneath, with the courtyard on the ground floor surrounded by rooms that housed soldiers and a large church which sits directly on top of the dungeon which held the men and boys.

Underneath the ground-level floor are several dungeon rooms where people were trapped until the boats came. There were no toilets and water flowed constantly during the rainy season but only on the floors thru a little ditch as the floors were slanted toward the ocean.

These rooms had a small window 20 or 30 feet above the floor where soldiers could spy on the people, who were fed just enough every couple days to maybe keep them alive. Hundreds of people were stuffed into these holding cells so tightly, they could neither sit nor lay down. 

For deterrents and punishment of anyone who still had the strength to rebel, there were chains bolted into the cement of the courtyard where women who tried to fight rape were stuck, starved and beaten until they died. 

There were also tiny rooms without windows but with very low ceilings and even lower doors where fighters and troublemakers were thrown and locked up until they starved to death as well.
I don’t know how the Ghanaian people can accept our u.sofa. presence in their country, let alone be as kind and warm and welcoming as we’ve experienced everywhere, every day.
Later when I was sharing our experience with another guest at the cabana, I called our outing “sad”. My 7 year old grandson jumped up and declared he wasn’t sad, he was MAD. He said it made him so angry to know what happened there.


Day 3

I am up before anyone else, as usual, although I can’t believe everyone can sleep through the cacophony of goats under the window sounding like a cross between many newborns demanding milk and excited children on a scary amusement park ride.

I walk down the deserted path to the ocean and wander along the beach as I keep one wary eye on the crashing waves, the other on the trash I’m picking up off the sand and out of the water.

It hurts my heart again, to be on such a beautiful ocean trashed with so much plastic and abandoned garbage. I find a large plastic woven sack and begin to fill it up.

Two beautiful young girls walking along the ocean with their mother on their way to school stop curious to find out what I am doing. I show them the garbage I am picking up and we exchange names and where we’re from before they smile broadly, wave goodbye, and continue along the path toward their school.

Kobi joins me and a few minutes later, Mujasi races down the slope onto the sand and chases the edge of waves back and forth, only as deep as his knees, like me. After filling the sack, we all start jogging along the edge of the tide. 

We are joined by another young man, who walks out and then dives into the ocean waves, and bobs just past the breakers. Kobi explains to me that he came down here to help us swim in the ocean if we want.

I am still in my pajamas, which is merely a sleeveless t-shirt and shorts, but there is no way I want to enter the ocean without my bathing suit. I ask Mujasi if he wants to go in, but he will wait until I put on my bathing suit.

We all head back down the beach until we come to the path leading up to the house. By this time, everyone is awake and ready to head out. We cut up mangoes for breakfast, say thank you and goodbye to the man who opened the house for us, and head back down the coast to find One Africa where our cabanas wait!