The drive to Elmina was quite stress-free and smooth! The roads are better, the car was better with good working a/c, and our driver wasn’t uncertain or in a hurry. We had a nice drive, and arrived at the hotel around 2 pm. I arranged for him to return for us about 3 pm on Tuesday to begin our trip back to Accra to catch our flights back to the US.
The hotel was having a large convention, and while we had reservations, neither of our rooms was available yet. So they stored our bags behind the counter, and since I’d intended to get Mr. Carter to tour the Elmina Castle, we walked the 2.5 miles or so down the coast to the castle.
I’ve been on many of these tours (and have even helped give one myself). Some of the guides are a bit less forthcoming about the actual events of the slave trade. This one was very honest. He did not and would not defend the practice of slavery (neither would I), but he was honest that most of the slaves were brought down to the castle and sold to the Europeans by their own people, or at least Ghanaians of a competing tribe.
Parts of the castle I’ve toured before are no longer open to the public, because the flooring has deteriorated and is no longer deemed safe to go up on. That’s sad, because the view from even higher up is fantastic! I hope the floors will be repaired, and in the future, I can take others on up to the top.
We were to meet Reuel and Esther Dima, the local pastor and wife, that evening, and since it was already 4:30 and we were hot and sweaty, we walked out from the castle a little ways and I flagged down a taxi. Quick ride back to the hotel and I called Reuel.
He came to pick us up and take us to his new home. He was able to sell his house in Kumasi, and used the money to build a new house in Elmina. When the second floor is completed, he and his wife will move up there, and they’ll rent the downstairs portion out. That will give them both income and a place to live. Smart!
It was getting dark, and started to rain lightly again, so Reuel brought us back to our hotel for the night.
Tomorrow all three pastors will meet at the hotel with us, and we’ll have full day of meetings with them.