Posts Tagged ‘Accra’

The end of my 3 month trip took part in Germany with a visit to my family. Wrapping it all up there was fitting because Germany was the first foreign country I traveled to; first at age one and then in July 2009 for a month with my Omi.

Had I not gone on that trip two years ago, I can say for certain that I would not have been able to go to Ghana. In applying for the scholarship to report abroad, the committee sought out students who had experience abroad. I am so thankful for my family for many reasons, this being one of them.

Now that I’m back home I find it hard to believe that the three-month trip even happened. Was I really in Ghana last month? I keep seeing pictures of the Eiffel Tower in picture frames for sale and try to determine where the photographer stood to capture it.

Thankfully I will be continuing to travel this spring when I venture to Finland with one of my best friends. So excited for the opportunity!

But, back to Germany, here’s a glimpse into my week of rushing from one city to the next:

Cologne Cathedral: construction began in 1248 and lasted until 1880.

It is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe.

The Cathedral's two largest spires help you to orient yourself while in Cologne.

Fall in process.

The Seilbahn Burg (cable car) connects Schloss Burg in Solingen, Germany to the town below and offers great views.

The cable car.

Germany's largest bench--made from one tree and measuring almost 73 feet--is at Schloss Burg. I sat on it!

I love the flower boxes.

Steinhuder Meer, the largest lake in Northwestern Germany.

Sunrise at the Minden train station, on my way to see more family.


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Memorial to Ghana's first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

Wednesday was a holiday here in Ghana. It would have been the 102nd birthday of Ghana’s first prime minister and president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He helped to bring about the country’s independence from Britain in 1957; the first country in Africa to gain independence.

Before gaining independence, the country was known as the ‘Gold Coast’ because of the large amounts of gold found there, if you didn’t already guess that.

About two weeks ago I visited the memorial park that was built to honor him and holds his remains. Along with this newer statue symbolizing his quote, ‘forward ever, backward never’, there is another older, bronze that was vandalized when his government was overthrown by a military and police coup de’tat in 1966.

Personally I find it symbolic that, even though they removed his head, his arm is still lifted as if indicating his vision of Ghana as a republic will not falter.

A defiant stance.

The plaque explains that 'a patriotic citizen' returned this portion of the statue.

In the background is the mausoleum built for Dr. Nkrumah. In the foreground is one of the peacocks that were given as a gift to former President Rawlings.

And it hasn’t.

While the country has had some trying years, Economy Watch named its economy the fastest growing for 2011. There is some debate as to how true their assessment is, given that a large source of income is the newly discovered oil off the coast that foreign countries are vying for, but the point is that they’re moving forward.

Yes, I’ve complained a bit about the roads and infrastructure, but I know that when (not if) I come back in a few years, I’m going to be amazed by the differences. I do worry about the errors the country will make along the way, but I know it’s necessary in order for them to learn and continue to grow.

From what I have seen in the six week I’ve been here, Ghanaians are proud of their country and their history. That pride will, hopefully carry them forward and encourage

From back to front: a display of flags, a monument for the unknown soldiers and the bowl that holds an eternal flame. Directly behind this is a large open-air space with seating where national celebrations are held.

The Independence archway is also called Black Star archway. It reads, 'AD 1957 Freedom and Justice.'

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