October 10, 2010


Last weekend our program traveled to Kumasi, in the Asanti Region. 
The Asanti Region at times was roughly the size of Ghana, and encompassed as widely as parts of Cote D'Ivoire and Togo.  The feel of the city was much different from that of Accra.  Kumasi seemed as though it was much more lively and I found it to be more aesthetically beautiful.
Kumasi is the second largest city in Ghana and it is home to the largest market in West Africa (see image above).  Going through the market was pretty fun!  We wandered through the maze and looked through fabrics, spices, various knick knacks and finished with the tour of the meat market. 
Thinking back to our walk through the meat market, I can't help but giggle to myself a little... Many of us, particularly those who try to avoid eating meat, struggled with the sights and smells... However, everyone was so smiley and chatty; they all wanted to touch us and have us come over to their particular stand.  I did my best to smile, give the appropriate greeting and move forward.  It certainly was an odd adventure, such emotionally charged images juxtaposed with such welcoming people; that's Ghana for ya. 

[Kumasi Market]
Many regard Kumasi as a royal city.
It is home to the Golden Stool.  The story behind the Golden Stool is rather mystical.  It is believed that Okomfo Anokye received it from the heavens and it was the embodiment of the Asanti Region.  There are a great array of captivating stories that illustrate the connection between the Asantis and the Golden Stool - they would travel hundreds of miles to protect it and the King who reigned over the region at the time, wage wars and scheme dubious plots to trick those who were colonizing Ghana and attempted to possess the Golden Stool. 
Today, the King of the Asanti Region is Okomfo Anokye II and his role in the governement is more symbolic than political, from the western perspective.   It has been hundreds of years since the first ruled the land, I am curious to see what greatness the second will yield over his kingdom.

We were sad to go home.  And yes, Accra is home.  : )

This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About


GlobalGiving helped raise The Ark $1,649 from 29 individuals!
A special shout out goes to two individuals, who I know personally, that contributed-

Grandma Joan - Thank you so much, I know you have a lot on your plate.  Your donation is going to help so many individuals. 
Denise Cully - Thank you so much for your donation!  You were the individual who made the single, largest donation to The Ark Foundation through the GlobalGiving challenge!  

“World leaders will not make poverty history until they make gender discrimination history,” ... “Many leaders call for free trade to spur economic growth. It is time to call for action to free women of the discrimination, violence, and poor health they face in their daily lives. This will unleash the power of half of humanity to contribute to economic growth.”
Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, executive director of the UN Population Fund

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