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They Cannot Forget

In the Sacred Forest, King Kpass’ reincarnates himself into an ikro tree.

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Making a Wish

 Before visiting this tree, which I touch, make a “good” wish, and then drop a few coins, we visit various fetishes. They are statues of Voodoo Gods representing beliefs from fertility, to farming, to forging iron, and curing small pox. A huge tree in the center of this forest is said to be 200 years old. The guide also tells us that in Africa, they say “When an old man dies, it’s like a library burning down.” The strong oral tradition of passing on information through music and storytelling results in little being written. Not much reading going on. I guess I won’t try to market my novel in these parts!

            Our final tourist trek takes us along the slave route, full of several monuments. First, we see the slave trading square, where Chi-Chi makes their deals. After the sales, the people are forced to walk around The Tree of Forgetfulness, to make them forget where they come from. Then they lead them to a large cage and staging area. The slaves are housed in a bunker type of building, to prepare them for coming conditions and get them accustomed to the way they will be chained in the ships.

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Slave trade is graphically depicted on this display

A memorial represents the huge hole in the ground, where the weak, the sick, the unsold, are discarded. Often, they are still alive when thrown into the pit. If a captured person fights back, he will be chained in a squatting position. A stick in his mouth, he will be exposed the entire day to the brutal African sun, in full view of fellow slaves, to set an example.  

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Public Punishment

 An archway towards the sea memorializes “The Point of No Return,” decorated in symbols representing slaves in chains going into the water, and then down into the black hole of a ship, never to come home again. The African leaders may have been the ones who trade their own people, but much of the World is responsible for providing such a horrific market. Despite our beautiful hotel, pool and beach setting, we do not sleep well this night.

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Point of No Return

18 Comments Post a comment
  1. Matt W. #

    Looks like you guys are having fun! I finally got some time to sit down and read everything on here. Stay safe. Have a beer for me!

    November 15, 2009
    • Hi Matt,

      I will surely have a beer for you.

      Ron

      November 16, 2009
      • Matt W. #

        We know where you are…

        Thought some might find this interesting

        November 19, 2009
      • Matt,

        That blows our mind. Makes us want to create more pin points.

        Ron

        November 21, 2009
  2. Carole #

    Mare

    Great photos, thanks for sharing. Look forward to next segment.

    Mike

    November 16, 2009
  3. david servilican #

    Voodoo man,
    Interesting stuff…travel safe and I’ll check with you soon.
    Red man

    November 16, 2009
    • Hello Cat Head,

      Many folks call me “big” around here…if only they saw you!

      Mitch

      November 16, 2009
  4. Brent #

    great stuff, love reading the posts (facebook on steriods!:)

    November 16, 2009
  5. Marilynn #

    Thanks for the kudos on the photos Mike. I think a month in this part of West Africa may be more than enough. I am reminded of our conversations on the coast in OR this past summer.

    November 16, 2009
  6. Mary Anne Legarski #

    Ron and Marilynn,
    I am enjoying tales of your travels and pictures. I look forward to hearing more when you return.

    Continue to explore, have fun and be safe. Happy belated birthday, Marilynn.

    love,
    mary anne

    November 16, 2009
    • Hi Mary Anne,

      We look forward to swapping travel stories with you! having internet connect problems right now.

      Love,

      Mitch and Mare

      ,

      November 21, 2009
  7. Bridget #

    Thanks for sharing your trip…this is just great being able to see and hear about your adventures in real time. Stay safe, love you both

    November 19, 2009
    • Marilynn #

      Finally back in internet access, but having problems w/email. We are alive and well and so happy to hear from friends…….. love ya, Marilynn

      November 21, 2009
  8. I hide in the shadows…awaiting more stories…
    What’s this…nothing since the 15th??

    You guys are having too much fun??

    November 20, 2009
    • Hey Mr. Redpath,

      Stay tuned…just got to a spot that has internes access, kind of…

      Ron

      November 21, 2009
  9. Ann #

    Wow. This one was hard to read. I can only imagine how distressing it was for you to witness the places in person and to hear the stories from the people there.

    November 22, 2009
  10. This one was a tough read. I watched a movie on this and it was very sad. What an adventure you two are on. The food does not sound so great!

    November 25, 2009

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