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Behind the Scenes in Ghana: Personal Travelog

Steffen Bethmann and I travelled by road to various parts of Ghana in order to visit universities as part of the Melton Foundation’s search for a new partner university. This photo journal shows the unofficial “behind-the-scenes” part of our trip. Hopefully these images convey some of the warmth, beauty, and youthful energy we experienced in this wonderful West African country.

Most photos were taken by Steffen; I wrote the captions.

The countryside between city stops was varied and often very beautiful with lots of subsistence farming, forests and hills, and towns with bustling markets.

People of all ages and social strata were friendly and unassuming. We enjoyed many conversations like this one with two girls who worked in the market in Elmina.

The “Slave Castle” at Cape Coast, where so many Africans either died or were kidnapped into slavery:

The “Door of No Return” through which chained captives were forced onto slave ships. The outside now says “Door of Return” for visiting descendants who can “return” and thus help honor their ancestors.

We met various Ghanaian school groups at the Slave Castles who were coming to learn about this aspect of their history:

This is the fishing village at Elmina, near Cape Coast. Fisherman set out in these boats for up to 3 weeks at a time!

The Makola Market in Accra is an incredible sensory experience. A virtual torrent of people buying and selling and moving from one place to another. Entrepreneurship on steroids. We loved it.

Sunset at the beach in Accra. “Medaase” (thank you) to the many people who welcomed us, both officially at universities and unofficially on Ghana’s streets, markets, and villages.