The church sat directly over the male slave dungeons, so the Dutch and the British could pray to God while causing unspeakable suffering to hundreds of men directly below them. I wonder if God was present!
View of the fishing village from the threshold of the Door of No Return, where slaves embarked onto waiting ships.
This castle actually had a moat and a drawbridge.
Bob and I joined a group taking the canopy walk, which is 0.7 miles long and is over 100 feet above the forest floor.
I am reminded of the infamous poem: How doth the little crocodile improve his shining tail. And pour the waters of the Nile on ever'y golden scale. How cheerfully he seems to grin. How neatly spreads his claws. And welcomes little fishes in … with gently smiling jaws.
In the late afternoon, we visited the new house that Alex is having made. It’s located near the Accra castle, which we visited but which I could not take a picture of. This is a view of the roof under construction. Alex is buying very fancy shingles from Switzerland and they are being fastened to this structure.
Sunday, September 14
Bob was to leave in the afternoon. We visited a few sights in downtown Accra in the morning. This is the Supreme Court.
We set out for Cape Coast, arriving around 2 PM. We had purchased doughnuts and chocolate from street venders, but shooting your blood sugar up and done does little to allay basic hunger. We stopped in Abura, which is at the junction of the Kumasi road with N-1 (road from Accra) and purchased sugar and milk powder. Since we had already parked, Alex bought Kenke and Grilled Fish and we then sauntered over to a grill and ordered chicken gizzards and grilled guinea hen.
We drove to the hotel and enjoyed our booty in the empty restaurant. It was all quite delicious, especially when washed down with my last bottle of Blue Sky, the best fruit juice in the world.
The homemade power strip consisted of a wooden board which the electrician was busy wiring. One of the plugs matches the machine’s 16A plug. The electrician’s assistant held a cellphone whose flashlight had been turned on to add enough light to work by.
While I was standing around, I took a picture of our neighbor cooking in the rain. We will be sharing her two stoves, which consist of mounded mud fired into crockery to hold large pots.
Wednesday, September 17
While the cocoa butter and sugar were being ground, we roasted 5 Kg of cocoa beans and poured them out onto sheetpans to cool (right).
About 25 people stood around, pinching the beans and removing the hulls.
We then pounded the decorticated beans into nibs and re-roasted them to make them easy to grind in the machine.
They ran the generator for half an hour before it literally blew up because the gasoline they bought was full of water.
Another couple of hours went by before a better generator was located. This time, they let the gasoline settle and poured off the top, leaving the water in the jug.
Because we were with the chief, we were able to draw water without unlocking the pump and without incurring a fine.
This is our washing station. As the business makes money, it will spend its profits on tiling, running hot and cold water. But for now, this will have to do.
While we filled and unmolded molds, our crew outside was busy roasting and hulling 5.5 Kg of beans, which yield 4 Kg of roasted nibs (pieces of beans).
By 5:30 PM, we had started up still another batch of chocolate. We paid our child labor (which de-hulled 5,500 beans) with pieces of chocolate.
During the afternoon, I did a financial analysis of the operation…
Disks weighing 7 g each
Bars weighing 35 g each
The disks will be sold for
50 pesetas was and the
sales person keeps 20
pesewas per disk.
The bars (35 g) will be sold for 350 pesetas and
the sales person keeps 150 pesewas per bar.
Today was a repeat of Thursday.
Saturday, September 20
We started at 11 AM today. The crew began a half batch all by themselves while I sat on a bunch under a micro grove of plantains, writing. While sitting there, munching on cocoa bread, chocolate, and water, I took this picture of Alex (right) and Frami's Chief of the Young people, Nana (chief) Otafregja, which means “He who can quench fire with his tongue.”
During the afternoon, I took this picture of the sales staff that will be taking the products to market.
We had a two hour meeting with the chiefs during which I gave a presentation about the phenomenal profit-making potential of this business, assuming that everyone works together and that the sales staff do a good job. I explained that a single woman (men don't do sales) selling 30 disks (20 pesetas profit each) can make the Ghanaian minimum income of 6 cedes per day. So that should be a pretty good incentive!
To end the day, I took this picture of the production staff, which include from the left: Reverend Sampson (whom I've known for 10 years), Nana Otafregia, Na (in red), and Ramsford (second from right--main production person).
Well, that ends the trip. I have accomplished all that I set out to do. All that remains is the voyage home, which begins tomorrow, Sunday.