Sunday, December 2, 2012

James Town, Ghana

By Greg:

This is a really cool old lighhouse

Yesterday we went back down to the ocean and the lighthouse with Elder and Sister Bybee who were here for a Temple Christmas devotional that Elder Bybee was going to be part of the musical program.  They are our friends from home.


Nice One gave me his number so I can bring all my friends
We met our new friend who goes by the name of “Nice One” and after giving a girl 5 Cedis each, Nice One took us back up the lighthouse.
He only wanted what we felt in our hearts to give him.  We gave him 10 Cedis.  This was a lot like traveling in the Carribean where you pay the guide separtely.

The view from there is very good and we really like the ocean breeze, but it is totally different than being near the ocean in California or Hawaii.

At about the same time as the English established Jamestown in Virginia they came here and called the area near the ocean and a nice bay, James Town, Gold Coast.  They built a fort and eventually the lighthouse (the original one was built in 1871 and the existing one was rebuilt on the same sight, still by the British, in 1930).  This light house still works.

 This is the fort that the built.  We will visit it another day.

What a contrast of the two James Towns.  When the British left Ghana they took everything with them, every piece of paper, every bit of knowledge of the country and its resources, every one who had any expertise in anything necessary.  There was originally a pier here where shipping was conducted.  We saw evidence of rail lines next to the pier.  But this is not a busy port now.  Everyone living on the English cement that was once the dock and storage area, are squatters.  They live there for free and fish.  These are the original Ga people of Ghana and they speak a different language (Ga) than the others who speak Twee.


Nice one not only took us up to the top of the lighthouse, but down into the Jamestown village (AKA slum).  It was amazing for four white missionaries to be walking through this urban village 100 yards from the Ocean.  They are sort of protected by the old sea wall/pier, but some times they get wet.

 We are in that "Central Park" area in the above photo.

Most people were nice and greeted us, especially those who knew Nice One.  Others ignored us, and a few were angry at us or Nice One for coming into their area.  Perhaps they thought we had ties to the government?

The men in this cab were yelling at us.  They were very made at Nice One for bringing us down there.

 This is the national canoe fisherman's house.

We had offers to receive babies if we would take them to the US.  One man asked me if I would marry his wife and take her to the US.  There were hundreds of children and lots and lots of nursing mothers.  It was actually cleaner than some areas.  They sweep the English cement, but in the dirt areas the sewer flowed down little ditches and it smelled really bad.


We saw a boat being built.  They take a huge tree and hollow out the hull then they build up the sides with big boards.  This is a very heavy boat and they are all alike and are used for fishing.  They all need a bucket to bail out the water, constantly.



We noticed a public toilet and shower building for all these people.  It was in constant use, but we did not use it.  The drain is open to the ocean.  They fish with nets and either sell the fish fresh or smoke it right on the beach.  There were several fires going.


We did not go to the James Town Castle with Nice One but maybe we will come back. The castle was later turned into a prison.  It was used clear up until 2005.  It is no longer in use and it is a vacant building.


These folks are optimistic however.  Note that they have planted palm trees along this old boat.

Debi is ahead with nice one.  Elder Bybee is protecting Sister Bybee as they walked along.

I was surprised to see a big huge building in the area that is the offices of the Ghana Lottery.  Imagine exploiting these people with a lottery?


We watched a little bit of the Jungle Gold show on Discovery Channel last night.  I think I may have a different perspective than everyone viewing this from the US.  These people ought to quit destroying operating farms in search of a small amount of gold.  It looks like rape to me—sorry.


We found this “scout house” named after Lord Baden Powel down by the ocean.  It is used for scout stuff, but it seems more like it is for weddings and funerals.  Oh the efforts they put in to have funerals.  Sister Shulz posted a good post on her blog a few weeks ago about the funerals.


We are still teaching our friend Paul and he is scheduled to be baptized on 15 December.  We have two great missionaries helping us, Elder Bills from Salt Lake and Elder John from Nigeria.


By Debi


We are trying to get into the Christmas spirit.  We went to the Temple Christmas Devotional and we were privileged to hear from the Temple Presidency and their wives and we heard from Elder Sitati of the Area Presidency and his wife.  Their messages were very nice and we heard some Christmas music.  Later Elder Bybee and President Mensah performed some Christmas music during the Christmas dinner. The music was fun and we really enjoyed hearing Elder Bybee’s music.


We went to a grocery store here in Accra.  They have really decorated for Christmas.  We have only seen a few places decorated,  nothing like back home.



When we visited the mausoleum last week we took a picture of a tree. The sign in front of the tree said “The tree of life”.  So if you have wanted to know what the tree of life looked like here it is.



Also, we have been collecting some fun pictures of things being sold on the street or very unusual sights.  So here they are:


This is a picture of a shoe store.  How would you like to find the style, the size, and two matching shoes?





All right girls.  You need a new bra.  Never fear, there will be a woman coming down the street with an arm full of bras.  The only problem that I can see is that you better need a very large one!





Thirsty?  Well, they have Coca Cola here.  It is sometimes stacked so high I don’t know how they get the top one down.




If you need someone to sew something for you, just look for the woman with a sewing machine on her head.  She will mend or sew you something new.




We were driving down the street and this Tro-Tro was driving in front of us.  These are petro-fuel tanks. Elder Bybee told us that one time he had a ladder sticking out of the back of their truck.  They were on their way to do some repairs on a missionary apartment.  A policeman stopped them and told them that they were breaking the law! Elder Bybee couldn’t believe it after seeing things like this everyday.  The policemen told Elder Bybee that he was “training” him about the law.




We saw this sign for pest control.  When I saw this sign I wanted to run straight to the airport and come home.  I hope we never see any of those bugs.  Maybe I am turning into a city girl.




We also saw a sign for a Cocktail Bar.  They had a sign with a Rooster and his tail.  I thought this was pretty clever.




Last but not least, while we were up in the lighthouse with the Bybee’s I looked down and saw a man taking a “bath”.  They are very open here and not worried about privacy.  These people are very poor but they work very hard to be clean.




Okay, enough of the fun pictures.  We have had a great week.  We have planned several trips to go and train some of the Assistant Area Auditors and we have met again with Paul.  We are excited to be doing missionary work. 


We took this picture for Kyle and Greg just to let them know we have connections with Spain.


By the end of the year we will have visited Nigeria,  Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.  We will tell all about our adventures soon.  Don’t forget to share the Christmas Spirit!

1 comment:

  1. ha ha... can't stop laughing about the bra saleslady. maybe she really is the victoria's secret!