Friday, June 26, 2009

Video produced by IU Communications To Tell Of Our Adventures

So most everyone has probably stopped reading this blog but I thought it might be appropriate to post a link to this news release. University Communications has produced a video of our adventures in Ghana 2009. I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

On the way to the airport in Accra

It's been very hectic since our return to Indiana. I apologize that it has taken so long to get this post up and running. Since I knew parents would be most interested on the status of the flights, I decided to post that information in a timely manner and then revisit our adventures on Saturday at a later time. The time has come.

We had a full day on the way to the airport in Accra on Saturday, March 21. One of our stops took us to a school which was built through the efforts of Kelley's tour guide from last year, Charles.

Here is some footage taken inside the classroom.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Back Home Again in Indiana

I am happy to announce that we made it home safe and sound and without a hitch. It was flawless. The flights were all on time. No problems with Customs or security. It was almost enjoyable - if you take out the fact that we had been going since 8 am Saturday morning. I would imagine that everyone is taking showers, eating something much less African and getting to bed soon. Some students have class tomorrow and will need all the rest they can get.

Thank you all for following along on our African adventure. The students were very well behaved, polite, and fun to hang out with. A special thank you to our bus driver, Charles, and our tour guide, Jorge. Without you both, this trip wouldn't have been half as informative, educational, or fun. We all really miss you guys!

Since internet service was sketchy at times, I wasn't able to load all the videos or photos I had taken each day. I will be working feverishly tomorrow to get the blog updated as much as possible. Any posting that I add pictures or video to will be updated with the word "Updated" at the beginning. Please keep following along as we debrief about the trip later this week and then see something on the presentations each of the groups present. They are sure to be wonderful.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Detroit Here We Come

We have arrived safely in Amsterdam. Everyone is killing time right now until the plane starts boarding in about an hour and a half. The first flight was smooth sailing. Most of us slept. Hopefully the next flight will be just as nice.

Friday, March 20, 2009

More Photos

I just wanted you all to know that I've loaded more photos. I have everything up through Tuesday. I hope to load more photos and some video before we leave in the morning. Check back. You never know what you may find.

UPDATED - Crocodiles and Canopies

Wow. Today was jam packed...again. We headed out early in hopes of having a half day (spend a little quality time relaxing around the pool or on the beach). It didn't happen but I think it was worth it. After breakfast we headed to the batik workshop. Since we had picked out our patterns yesterday, all we had to do was pick fabric, decide on layout and then get working. Easier said than done. These students are incredibly creative. I saw several great designs. They were so great that I decided to ditch my original pattern and choose a completely new one. And I wasn't the only one to do a swap - but they all turned out wonderfully. Blues, purples, reds, and green were hung everywhere to dry.

Our next stop was for lunch. Pulling out good designs like that uses up lots of energy. We went to Hans Cottage Botel. That's not a typo. It's really botel (a hotel on the water). But this was no ordinary hotel. They had crocs and I don't mean the sandals! Some of the students even paid 1GH to touch one (I'll post photos soon).

After lunch, we headed towards Kakum National Park, also known as the Canopy Walk. Though I participated in this activity, I was too terrified to let go of the ropes long enough to take pictures. The students took quite a few so I'm hopeful they will share. And you are welcome to ask them just how pale I was during the trip.

Thinking this was the highlight of the day, we headed for the hotel for some late dinner and rest. Tomorrow is an early day. But we were treated with authentic tribal music and dance. The group even got some of the students up to perform with them (I'll also post these photos soon). It was quite amazing. Lots of us shot video and I am hopeful that I can lighten it up so you can see what is going on. Stay tuned.

Tomorrow is going to be another early jam-packed day. We will be stopping to see as much as possible before returning to Accra and the airport. I can almost guarantee that everyone (students and chaperones) will be asleep on the plane rides home. We are so tired. Please do not worry if you do not hear from us until we return home on Sunday. Internet access or time may be limited in Amsterdam though I will do my best to keep you informed.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Castles and Sandy Beach

We made it. We have safely made it to Cape Coast. The beach and resort are phenominal. None of us can describe how great this place is - and we've tried! Once we got here, some of the students changed clothes and hit the beach. We have lots of pictures of them playing in the water but the internet isn't strong enough to load them right now. Have no fear, there will be massive uploading and updating being done once we get home (if I can't get it done sooner).

Today was an action packed day. We got an early start (8:00) because we had to pack the bus (all the bags on TOP of the bus) and get on the road to Cape Coast. First stop was Cape Coast Castle. The tour was quite upsetting. The castle was the British hub for most of the slave trade here in the Gold Coast. We were put into the dungeons and they turned off the lights and closed doors to give us an idea of what the slaves went through. It was quite the once in a lifetime experience. And we got to do it againat the Portugese slave castle, St. George/Elmina Castle. This place was twice the size of Cape Coast. Again the tour was upsetting but a necessary stop on the tourist agenda.

Well, it's late and we've had dinner. Those African carbs are putting most of us to sleep and the rest of us are ready to chill on the beach. Tomorrow holds some special treats. We'll be making our own fabric (well, batiking) and then heading to Kakum National Park. Some may have heard about the bridge in the tops of the trees. That's where we'll be headed. And we have some other special treats tomorrow night but we have to leave you in a little suspense. I promise to capture as much video as possible.