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Friday, 30 March 2012

Elmina, Ghana

Five of us, me and two profs (from UofG) and their wives stayed at the Elmina Resort. We broke the group and headed in opposite directions down the beach. Not far from the resort are people who live very close to the land and sea. It's a dramatic contrast of lifestyles. 

In Elmina, people sell their wares and services roadside. On the beach in front of the infamous Elmina Castle, fishermen carve out the logs of giant kapok or boa boa trees - or wawawa - trees as the locals call them. Slats are added to the base with nails and tar. Then the fishermen carve and paint their insignia, add religious slogans, and paint them. They often have flags of different nations - for fun I presume - and many fishermen wear soccer outfits.

Here people are waiting for a bus ride. The fishermen pack the small inlet of Elmina tightly. Usually each bigger boat waits at the mouth of the inlet and has a smaller boat carry the fish to market, and then return with supplies. Big boats will stay out to sea for a week. Giant blocks of ice are stowed on board to cool the fish. Their lights can be seen at night. No one fishes on Tuesday, and for three months in the summer they completely stop fishing to allow the sea to replenish itself.

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