“Akwaaba” AFRICA – Accra, Ghana!

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Akwaaba! (Welcome) – one of the words I immediately remembered while speaking with the Ghanians lol. Ten days away and it was plenty for relaxation, shopping 😍, a birthday celebration and culture!
Celebrating Charisma’s Big 30 and we took it to the motherland. The most anticipated trip of the year was here! We were vaccinated; passports and VISAs were in hand – ready for our 15-hour travel to Ghana (gotta love a 4-hour layover). We arrive and first on the agenda was room service and a nap! I’ll preface my experience with saying the food was not my favorite part. I stuck with what was familiar – mainly omelettes for breakfast and chicken/fish with rice (of course) for lunch/dinner. Don’t let the small size fool you, I love food. Overall the vacation was truly enjoyable. Honestly because I got to relax, but also for the beautiful scenery of Accra, and witnessing the depth of their history and culture during the day tours:

Day 2: Marketplace and a Walking Tour of Jamestown (one of the oldest districts in the city of Accra). Sadly also one of the poorer, but it still holds beauty. Images of the harbor, lighthouse and colonial buildings. Interesting fact: Jamestown is home to several boxing champions – one notably the lightweight champion Richard Commey.

Day 3: Aqua “Safari” and Crocodile Island.  My camera was ready to see some wildlife! Not quite the safari I had hoped for, but I saw a white peacock and black swans before taking a soothing boat ride to crocodile island.

Day 5: Yes, Africa has beaches! Probably the only two people getting laughed at for tanning on the beach; particularly from our personal driver, Ansa. What can I say, we love the sun.

Lodging @ African Regent Hotel: A museum more like it! Wall to wall sculptures.

And the view from the pool side couldn’t be missed with the art deco condominiums, which just so happened to be the backdrop for my photos.

Her day, Birthday SLAY. And the best food ever!: I told her “don’t get too wild. You might fall in the pool and I can’t save you!” The rules were no eating and drinking by the pool. Clearly we didn’t follow them. Sergeant (as she will be named) was eyeing us like a hawk making sure we didn’t break anything.

After sun bathing at the pool all day, we went to an Italian restaurant for dinner. Now I don’t know if we were super hungry or the food was really good, but it was SO AMAZING! I had pizza (of course) and she had lobster tails.

Day 8: Kakum Canopy Walk 
100+ feet above the ground, 1000+ feet long and held together with rope – we crossed all seven bridges! Sounds scary but the view was amazing, and pretty good cardio I might say.

We made it to the end and it was time to explore the Castles.

Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle

An experience hard to put into words. Two of three castles in Ghana that held thousands of slaves before they were sold to the Americas, Europe and the Caribbean.

We went down into the dungeons, walked through the “door of no return” and looked out to sea where many of our ancestors were thrown overboard after succumbing to disease. Tortured, beaten and starved for months to then be told they were going to be “free”. For many these images were their last. A somber but powerful experience knowing we are free today; however still questioning that reality.
My heart was heavy, mind racing with questions and soul filled with purpose. How do you stand in your power if you don’t realize you have it? How can you be asked to fight back, if you don’t realize a fight is coming? What is your identity – American, African, other? What is our role as Blacks in America? Why weren’t we taught more of our history in school?” On and on went my mind. It ended with … Education is key! What isn’t taught must be sought out and learned. And those who are more informed have a duty to educate others. Spread the word about our history. You are part of the solution. 💋💚📸

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