This is our last full day in Ghana- our plan leaves tomorrow afternoon. It's so surreal! I can't imagine going home to snow and Christmas.
Today, however, was a perfect ending activity. We checked out of the Anomabo (sniff sniff) very early and drove to Kakum National Park. This is a tropical rainforest that has been protected and restored by the local people and Ghanaian government. The rainforest was thick and muggy and very dark- the canopy blocked out a lot of sunlight. We were taken on a lovely walk through part of the forest by our guide, who showed us the medicinal properties of every plant we passed. His wealth of information was astounding. He could survive out here, no question about it. He basically showed us how the indigenous people (his ancestors) survived in the rainforest. There was a tree, sap, or leaf for every ailment you might have.
|This tree was used for shelter- you could weave a covering of|
leaves and curl up in the crevice of the trunk.
The walk was beautiful. I kept hoping to see an animal of some kind, but our guide told us that they are really only out and about early in the morning. Once visitors show up they hide away. That was a real shame, because all sorts of animals live in this rainforest. Different kinds of monkeys, antelope, snakes, scorpions, birds of all imagining, and elephants, just to name a few. Even if we couldn't see them, we could hear birds and monkeys chattering away above our heads somewhere.
The best part of the visit by far, however, was the canopy walk. The canopy is this elevated walkway through the tops of the trees, 130 feet in the air.
Yes, it is as rickety as it looks. The board is just wide enough for your feet to fit and the rope sides come up to about your shoulders. The whole thing is only attached from the ends so it swings side to side as you walk on it. If the view wasn't so stunning it would be terrifying, but luckily you are so distracted by the beauty of the rainforest that you forget to be scared.
I am sad to be leaving this beautiful country. We all certainly miss some comforts and specific foods of home (mmm chips and salsa), but the rich culture and warm people make this a truly special place. The struggle is clear in all aspects of their life, but the optimism and wisdom through which they overcome the struggles is inspiring. I hope to make it back here someday, or at least get to explore other parts of Africa.
Until then, goodbye Ghana! Thanks for everything you have taught me!