17 July 2006

Cape Coast, insanity and a dash of madness

Things got dramatic on camp last week. The international volunteers were frustrated. The local volunteers were expressing doubts, and I mostly tried to stay out of it. Only I can't. Life at the house is basically like MTV's Real World, just not nearly as posh and with no sex. The drama remains the same. But it's manageable. A few volunteers left last week, and a new one has arrived. My new task for this week is to serve as the Guest Administrator for PCO, which is a brand new post, and is supposed to help them streamline operations, coordinate activities, and do a little better with financial reporting. This will go on top of my work with peace cells and the Mothers Center, and thus make for a full day.

But briefly about Cape Coast. The castle there, which was home to British rule in Ghana as well as a major point on the slave trade, basically made me want to vomit. The English even had the audacity to build a church on top of a dungeon. Yet the castle, in a weird way, is why I'm here. Without the slave trade, there would have been no slaves sent back from the United States to Liberia, and those "repatriated" slaves would not have come to dominate that part of the world, and civil war would have never broken out. I've always been fascinated with figuring out the deepest possible roots of a civil conflict, and this is just one of them.

The city of Cape Coast was small but nice enough. Our hotel on Friday was scary and buckets of water were not forthcoming. In a place with no running water, that's a bad thing. We promptly went to another hotel Saturday morning, which surprised us with hot water showers. That night, after touring around town and avoiding uncouth cab drivers demanding fares and children begging for money for a soccer league, we were invited to join the hotel owner's wife's 60th birthday party, which was a hoot. The free food and champagne didn't hurt either. We even got cake and ice cream. I was so happy, it was unbelievable. Turns out the couple that owns the place lived in the States for about 30 years, before coming back to Ghana to take over the hotel. The trip back was bumpy (the road is out in many places) but having gotten an actual omelette and toast for breakfast, I was still a pretty happy man.

Anyway, time to go do office work (snooze). More info soon and sorry for the long delay between posts. :)

Peace. L2E.

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