March 14 - Cape Coast
After a quick bus ride (in air Conditioned luxury!) we arrived at Cape Coast which is 2-3 hours along the coast from Accra. We met our trusty taxi drivers for the next few days and one of them promptly fell in love with Muriel. We went to our hotel and settled into our big dorm room, yay for giant sleepovers! Just steps from our room is a lake full of crocodiles (dont worry parents, there's a fence) and there is a pool right outside of our door. Perfection with the exception of some precarious rickety fans spinning over our heads. Did we mention yet the heat wave that hit us the minute we stepped off the bus, goodbye air conditioning...
After settling in we headed back into town to visit the beach and the Cape Coast slave castle. We were all so excited to see the ocean and play around in the waves, but it was weird to be in the shadow of the castle.
After lunch we headed into the castle.
There are no words to describe the emotions and sights we saw and the terrible things that happened there. You can read about it, but standing on the same ground is totally different. Even though the slave trade ended in the 1800s, there was still a presence in the castle. It's impossible to imagine yourself in the situation, even when standing in the same room. We were dripping with sweat while in the "condemned room" where up to 50 strong willed slaves would be locked behind 3 doors without windows and left to die of suffocation or starvation. To try to make sense of the system and atrocities that happened there is not possible. The closing message was on a plaque outside of the entrance into the male dungeon - "... May humanity never again perpetrate such injustice against humanity. We the living, vow to uphold this."