It has been a while since we were able to get on the internet and so much has happened it is difficult for me to know where to start. Kopeyia was so amazing, I will never forget the time that we had there and the connections we made. Emanuel the director of the cultural center we stayed at invited us to enter into the new year with him which was really amazing because of the enormous symbolism and importance of the holiday in Ghanaian culture. We started out celebrations around 11:30 where we poured libations and as we poured the libations we prayed to our ancestors and whatever higher being we believe in for good fortune in the coming year. The moment when the clock changes from 11:59 to 12:00 is a representation of us stepping from one year into the new year and letting go of anything bad that occurred in the previous year in hopes for a better more prosperous year to come. We learned the phrase Agbagegela (long life and prosperity) which is the way people announce the new year. It was such a amazing way to celebrate New Years and I felt very fortunate to enter into 2010 the way that I did.
The next day we had out performance where we were given the opportunity to demonstrate to our teachers and to the community what we had learned over the past two weeks. We danced Gahu and Tokwai (not sure the spelling). It was so much fun and we did a pretty good job, I was really happy to have been able to successfully learn two traditional Ewe dances and I think that our teachers were very proud as well. After that our teachers did two traditional dances, one typically performed before battle and the other used as a victory dance after battle. The dances were amazing and extremely complex but they danced them almost effortlessly, I was very impressed. I hope to come back to Ghana one day and master those dances but it will be no easy feat. After the performance it was unfortunately time for us to say good bye and although we had a new chapter of our trip to come it was not easy to say good bye. We had become part of the community in Kopeyia and I will never forget my time there.
After that we headed on a 7/8 hour ride to Kumasi. There we stayed with Ghanaian families which was also really neat. The mother of my family was named Auntie Joyce and she had two sons named Edward and Samson who were incredibly cute. They lived very modestly but went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and at home. I am so grateful that they welcomed me into their home the way that they did. I learned a lot from them and only wish I had had more time to spend with them. Kumasi was pretty cool except I missed a drumming lesson because I accidentally took a trotro to a far away village called Bekwai... which was about 30-40 minutes from where my intended destination was. Some people would have panicked but I knew it would be ok and the ride was breathtakingly beautiful. I was fortunate to find a nice Ghanaian man who helped me find a trotro back to Kumasi. Although I had missed the lesson, busy in transit, I was happy that I had successfully made it back. It was a nice little adventure for me.
Today we took another bus, about three hours this time to Cape Coast. Cape Coast is a beautiful place right on the ocean. It is rich in history and culture and we will be going to the Cape Coast castle tomorrow, which is the historical sight where slaves were processed through. It is going to be a very powerful experience and I am excited to explore a new part of Ghana.