Posts Tagged With: crocodile

Dream Journal

I have always had a vivid imagination. Though most people outgrow nightmares, I still have them as an adult. However, I also have some pretty incredible dreams. A few months ago, I decided to start writing down my dreams in a “Dream Journal,” which is actually just an online document so that I can add to it whenever I remember my dream from the night before.

As I’m reading through my journal, there are a few entries I’d like to share, but we’ll start with just two.

Here is the first one, from 6/10/13 – the night before starting my new job:

My extended family (on my mother’s side) was lined up across a cement platform, about 2 1/2 feet wide, that extended from the shore of a lake into the middle of the lake. We were using tennis shoes tied onto the ends of strings to catch small crocodiles. The crocodiles bit the end of the tennis shoes, and then we’d pull them out of the water and set them in the water on the other side of the platform. I had the feeling that there wasn’t any specific purpose for doing this–we were just entertaining ourselves. Then a large crocodile swam up just as my niece Tessa (16 months old) fell into the water. Tessa landed on the crocodile’s head, and he started to swim away with her. My sister Shanna (Tessa’s mother) and I looked at each other. She said, “He’s got Tessa!” I said, “So go get her!” and Shanna replied, “You go get her!” So I handed Shanna my cell phone (strange that I was even holding it in my dream) and jumped into the crocodile-infested lake. I rescued Tessa and then experienced that moment of indecision where I didn’t know which was closer to me: the cement platform or the edge of the lake.

That’s where my dream journal entry ends for that day. How would you finish the story?

Here is the second one, from 10/10/13:

I haven’t been sleeping very well the past few nights, and it seems that my dreams are getting stranger and stranger to coincide with that. Last night, I was in a place that felt sort of like Epcot Center in Disneyworld, only without the rides. It had little areas of foreign-looking buildings. My brain decided that it must have been Ghana (even though it was nothing like Ghana). Then I returned home (again, nothing like my actual home). I ran my tongue behind my teeth, and about half of my teeth popped out! It was so traumatic! I was catching them as they were falling out and breaking off. I tried to figure out why they would be falling out and decided that it must have something to do with the foreign food I’d been eating. I called my dentist (I distinctly remember that I felt guilty because it was early afternoon on a Sunday, and I was asking him to work), then went to his office with my hands full of teeth that had fallen out. My dentist and his assistant put white crowns on my teeth, and the crowns felt really strange. I was hoping that they didn’t put the crowns on too quickly (instead of doing it right) so that they could get back to church. Also, at one point, my dentist said, “Katie, I told you we would end up doing this one day.”

I have so many others I could share! Maybe I will share a few more before the month is through.

Categories: NaBloPoMo | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Canopies, Castles, and Crocodiles

This post is quite late in coming, but the adventures were grand, so I’d like to share anyway. Two weeks ago, 8 of us (volunteers from two orphanage program placements in Ghana) met in Cape Coast, roughly 4-5 hours from Dodowa via trotro and then a heavenly air-conditioned van.

Cape Coast is a coastal, resort type of city, and it’s quite big. The area in which we stayed was different from most of Ghana because they are used to seeing obrunis (foreigners) around. The hotels, restaurants, shops, and entertainment cater to tourists. This has its benefits (e.g., an ocean-view hotel room that was about 70 yards from the water, shops with lots of Ghanaian made handicrafts that are great souvenirs, food that feels just a bit safer to eat, and nightly shows featuring tribal dances, drumming, and acrobats). However, it also has two major disadvantages: (1) the prices are higher than anywhere I’ve seen in Ghana except perhaps Accra Mall, which also caters to tourists, and (2) the local salespeople are very, very, very pushy. I heard sob stories about being hungry, about needing to make a living, and many times, they flat out told me to give them money or my watch. Clearly the locals need a lesson on how to keep tourists coming back.

So there I was on the beach our first night, having just finished telling a bunch of locals no to the various goods I didn’t want and food I wouldn’t eat. I was trying to catch a perfectly timed photo of a wave crashing on a rock, and suddenly these 3 girls were right in front of my camera. They had followed us from the road down to the beach (and then followed us down the beach for a long time, too). I was irritated, but the photo they forced me to take before they would move out of my way ended up being pretty cool. See?

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They also had me try balancing a bowl on my head. Check me out! Next time I might even try walking ๐Ÿ˜‰

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And no worries, I DID get my perfectly timed wave picture.

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Here are a few more great shots from that beautiful night. I’m used to the sun setting over the ocean (west coast), but it set off to our right because it’s a southern coast.

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The next day was very adventurous! After breakfast, we piled 5 of us into a cab (I’ve yet to see anyone wear a seatbelt in Ghana anyway, though I’m about 99% sure our driver bribed the police officers at the barrier to get us through) and headed to Kakum National Forest for a canopy walk!

The walk is one of only four of its kind worldwide. It consists of a series of seven rope suspension bridges through the treetops. 350 meters of bridges altogether, 40 meters off the ground, and the bridges sway as you walk across them. And I LOVED it. I was also slightly terrified ๐Ÿ™‚

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On our way back, our taxi stopped at a hotel that is surrounded by a…smallish lake full of crocodiles. And for a small fee, I got to touch one ๐Ÿ˜€ Its skin was warmer than I expected. I was also the brave (or foolish) one who went first.

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Oh, and did I mention the creepy huge ones hanging out in the water around us?

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Ok, adventure #3 that day was Cape Coast Castle! This was a castle used by the British during the slave trade. It was beautiful, sad, and veryย  humbling. They showed us the dungeons where slaves were kept, the tunnel the male slaves were led down to get to the beach to be loaded on ships (the British blocked the tunnel off at the end of the slave trade), and some of the upper rooms, including the general’s quarters. I was shocked and, honestly, disgusted to learn that the chapel for the soldiers to worship God was built precisely over the dungeons where people were chained and dying.

Above the door that led to the beach, the wordsย  “Door of no return” were inscribed. I felt literal pain in my heart when I saw it. And then we walked out the door, and on the other side (leading back into the castle), a newer sign above the door reads, “Door of return.” At the abolishment of slavery, the British placed this sign (and blocked both ends of the tunnel) as a symbolic gesture that such a terrible thing would never happen again.

Here are some photos of Cape Coast Castle. I didn’t take any in the dungeons because you had to pay extra to take photos on the tour…and it would’ve been too dark anyway.

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And one more photo to finish off my Cape Coast adventures on a lighter note:

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Thanks for sharing in my Ghana adventures! More to come soon! I need to post some stories about my 80+ new children ๐Ÿ™‚

Categories: Ghana Volunteer | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment