|Our berth awaits us in the Tema Harbor|
Blog Entry #14: Arriving in Tema, Ghana
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
|Fishing boat outside Tema Harbor, Ghana|
Soon we were greeted by the sounds of African drumming, as a Ghanaian drumming group gathered on the dock below to welcome us. We also had an excellent briefing from Ryan Bowles, the Chief of the Economic Section in the US Embassy here, and a SAS alum from 2002. I was struck by his attitude of humility and honesty in answering our questions – too often in short supply in the embassy briefings I have attended in Central America over the years.
|Prof. J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, Trinity Theological Seminary|
The big change in religious terms in recent years has been the rapid growth of Pentecostal groups in Ghana, who have mastered the TV and Radio media to spread their message and have developed a lively worship style incorporating upbeat music and dance. Indeed, everywhere we drove we encountered billboard after billboard of different Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, campaigns and events. Dr. Asamoah-Gyadu explained that religiosity is deeply infused throughout Ghanaian culture, so that there is no real secular-religious split.
|Pres. J.O.Y. Mante, Trinity Seminary|
A highlight of this meeting for me was meeting the Seminary President, J.O.Y. Mante. Dr. Mante did his doctoral work at Claremont Graduate School with my old friend and mentor, John Cobb, and we share a passion for environmental theology and ethics. Another small world connection half way around the world!
Following our meetings at the seminary, we had a chance to experience Ghanaian banks and ATMs to change money, and then we drove by the lovely University of Ghana on our way back to Tema and the ship. Evidence of Ghana’s high unemployment is its large informal economy, and at each traffic light or toll booth our bus was engulfed with vendors trying to eke out meager earnings from selling food items or washing windshields.
|New friend at Trinity Theological Seminary|
Tomorrow we are up early to head 2 hours west to the slave castles. Sure to be a sobering day. We will get back late, so it will be a few days before I can return to the blog. Be well in the mean time! (And Happy Birthday Jennifer McCrickerd!)
|Semester at Sea group visiting Trinity Theological Seminary, Accra, Ghana|