Today was filled with another day of tourism. We only were able to go to one place. The sun sets very early here in Ghana and many places close early. However, we have three more weeks to cover other places! Today, we called a new taxi driver that was recommended by Geegy. His name was Jacob and he took us to Elmina Castle in the city of Elmina. It is about 20 kilometers from Cape Coast so it wasn’t a long drive. When we got there, we were instantly greeted by Seth and we ended up having a small conversation with them. He offered us a small bracelet with our name engraved and the Ghana flag would be on it. I accepted the offer and he said it would be ready by the time I finished the tour of the castle. Elmina Castle was built in 1482 by the Portuguese. That’s 537 years ago! The castle unfortunately has a dark and horrifying history behind it even though it looks beautiful from the outside. Our tour guide Nicholas elaborated on the history. To give a quick summary, the castle was a part of the Atlantic slave trade between Africa, Europe, and the Americas. For many enslaved Africans, it was the last time many of them would see their homeland and loved ones for the rest of their lives. Many of the slaves who resided in the castle primarily lived in dungeons on the lower level in extremely harsh conditions. “May humanity never again perpetrate such injustice against humanity.” These were some lines engraved in the mission statement of the castle and it definitely serves a very powerful message. I highly recommend reading more about the history of the castle and the slave trade to have a better understanding of everything as there is so much history! After the tour, I was able to get the bracelet with my name engraved along with a shell from Seth that stated, “to my friend Shashank, have a great trip at Elmina Castle!” I found this to be a very nice gesture. We then drove back home and hung out as a cohort during the evening by playing some board games and watching a movie. Now it’s time to sign off in preparation for my new rotation tomorrow at the hospital!
A picture outside of the castle.
The inside of the castle. Slaves resided at the bottom and the governor would stay at the top floor.
A very nice view of the beach from the castle. It was a bit hard to enjoy this view given the horrifying events that once occurred a few centuries ago.
A selfie of me and Jacob, our taxi driver. We had a great conversation and he was a very nice person!
A nice view from the road on the way back to Cape Coast!