Best of Ghana

These are a few of my favorite shots so far in Ghana and their stories.

Bakatue Boats – In the town of Elmina, there’s an annual festival during the first week of July to celebrate the opening of the harbor for fishing. I snapped this photo during the festival when a local acted as a tour guide to me and a few compatriots in the hope of receiving a tip (He got one). Religion permeates the culture here and it’s not uncommon to see a religious quote or affirmation on the rear window of a van, or in this case, the cabin of a ship.
Bakatue Puppies – On the same docks, we came upon a few stray puppies. The docks were populated by fishermen, ship builders and old women. None of them paid any mind to these two.
Gifts – On the hill above Elmina town is Elmina Castle. The old slave trading fort’s history is as awful as anything I’ve ever heard. The last room a captive African would enter in the castle is referred to as the Room of No Return. Outside of this room awaited the ships to carry human cargo across the Atlantic. Since the castle has become a museum, people have been leaving gifts for the former residents, ranging from flowers to alcoholic spirits. Just before the exit of the Room of No Return, where slaves would leave Africa forever, someone left this simple clay bowl. I imagine it was once filled with drinking water, but it no longer had any trace.
The Prayer – The Ghana v. Tunisia match of Afcon 2019 ended in a shootout between the two teams. With both tied 1-1 at the end of overtime, the game was decided by five players from each team taking turns facing down the other team’s goalkeeper solo. In the suspenseful few minutes the shootout took, fans at the outdoor showing we attended alternated between elation when a Ghanaian player made a goal and frustration when a Tunisian did. Emotions took hold of this Ghanaian fan and he offered a prayer to his team. Ultimately, the shootout ended in a Tunisian victory and advancement to the quarterfinals.
Taxi Driver – On Sunday morning, I cut through a taxi stop to shorten my walk to attend church with a coworker. As I passed through, drivers shouted out that they would give me a ride for little money and asked where I was going. I politely declined and most walked back to their cabs to wait for the next passerby. One, though, asked that I use my digital camera to take a picture of him with his cab.

For more photos of this trip and beyond, you can follow me on Instagram at @CFrancisOLearyPhoto.

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