“Watch out!” screams someone behind me, while I still adore the scenery of palm trees and bamboo huts along the road. “Mummy I am scared!” cries one of my daughters who sits next to me. I turn my head and try to pull her closer to me. “Hold on J”, I shout towards my son.
The Tro-Tro we are in spines in circles on the sandy road. Red dust covers the windows. The chicken on the roof make a strange noise. Our driver tries to avoid the collision. But we hit something – big time! The vehicle stops and we all fly forward. Blood splutters all over the windscreen.
“Everyone all right?” asks the driver. A baby is cries. I check my children to see if anything is broken. The lady who sits next to my son starts to pray.
My head spins. “What did we hit, Mummy?” J wants to know. I don’t know. All the passengers seem to be ok. The driver gets out and shouts “Only a goat!” He starts an argument with a man. I only understand a few words Twi (local language) but Kofi, my friend, explains the anger our driver expresses towards the owner of the herd. “They are fighting about the costs this accident has caused; he threatens to call the police. “
People start getting out of the vehicle, which the driver dislikes. He walks a couple of meters away, picks something up, takes his shirt of and wipes the number plate with it. He then puts it on the dashboard, starts the engine and the window wipers. I can neither believe my eyes nor my ears as he gets back on his seat. “Cape Coast Castle is our next stop. Please return to your seats.”….
Still shaken from the accident we discover the remains of Ghana’s slave trade. We follow our guide into the dungeon, where slaves were kept before they were transferred via boats, now used as fishing boats. Despite the heat our group experiences Goosebumps and shivers as we learn about the way slaves were treated. We walk in a room which is funnel shaped with just one window high above us. Slave traders used to throw food down the window. On the floor we notice a gutter leading to the sea. “The gutter was used to get rid of any faeces and blood of the slaves” Kofi explains. “Is this old blood on the walls?” My son wants to know. “Yes indeed. Slaves were in chains all the time. The metal rubbed their skin sore and as a result of that many slaves died of infection.”
I am glad that we go outside to hear about the first school in West Africa next….