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African Rainforest Hikes + No Trails


By this point, I think it's safe to say that there is never a normal day on a trip to Africa.

We started out at usual: breakfast at 7:15, at the field by 8. Today wasn't part of the softball camp, but was just a coaches clinic for the Ghanaian coaches to learn more about the rules of the game.

A few kids showed up still, so while we worked out they joined in on the push-ups, core, sprints, stretches, and pull-ups on the soccer goal poll. I ran a mile with Robin after as well in the grass/dirt/full-of-rocks track surrounding the field.

After some demos of plays we performed for the coaches, they taught us a wonderful song that goes like this:

"God, you're so good.

God, you are kind.

God, you are wonderful.

My god, you are excellent.

Excellent is thy name.

Excellent is thy power.

God, you are wonderful.

My god, you are excellent."

We sang it multiple times until we got it, and broke out in song on the way back which our coach got on video.

After lunch, we planned to go see the property Nana gave to Vincent. Being Americans and all, we figure it's probably a plot of land, either some grassy/dirt field ready to be developed.


We get to Nana's palace and greet him in his robes before he changes into normal clothes (throwing everyone off by how normal he looked) and got back into the van and drove for a bit.

With nothing but trees and jungles on the side of the road, we suddenly pull off to the side and everyone starts getting out.

Confusion. American confusion.

There was a small trail off into the jungle on the side of the road.. And that's where we were directed to. That morning, the chief's workers had gone into the woods and cut out a rough path around the property's 7 acre perimeter so we could walk around it and see the land. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Walking through and African rainforest jungle on no trail, with a guy with a machete in front cutting away branches and bushes that we walked over, avoiding massive fire ants and strange looking red bugs, having to place every step just so, so that you wouldn't step into who knows what.

It was absolutely beautiful. We saw wild cassava which they pulled out so we could see the root used for food; we got to see wild cocoa trees and got to eat the fruit around the seeds used to make chocolate; we got to try a fruit that looked like papaya but was called by another name; we saw wild bananas growing up in the trees; groves of palm trees filled the forest and trees hundreds of feet tall towered over us with birds flying up high among them.

I was up by Nana for most of the hike and at one point her turned and said "what do you call this? Adventure?" And I was like "absolutely, I've never done anything quite like this." But I was in my element hiking out in that jungle forest.

We prayed over the land when we got back to where we had began and then piled back into the bus to make our way back to the lodge for the last time. I sat in the back of the bus with the open window, and Lindsey and I hung out, waving to everyone we saw. It was so special to see so many smiles and waves. Just the simple art of smiling is such a lost practice in American society and it was nice to be reminded of the importance and significance a simple smile can potentially have in someone's life. I think the great part of all of that is when we passed by a group of young boys when we were driving slowly and we both stuck our arms out and gave the boys high fives as we drove by, then yelling with joy and our faces beaming ear to ear and laughing.

We had one last dinner that night at the lodge, and spent the evening packing up for the bus ride back tomorrow morning. Obuasi is such an incredible place; Ghana is such an incredible place and I will miss it deeply, however, I know without a doubt this is just one of many weeks I will be with these people and in this country.



Profile photo of Caitlin Charlton

My name is Caitlin Charlton. I was born and raised in wonderful Miami, Florida, and currently I am a student athlete on the softball team at Baylor Univeristy. I am an Biology-Ecology major, with minors in Creative Writing and Photojournalism, and I wish I could take more. I am a quite complicated individual. You see, I play sports, I love learning, I love travel, I love art, I love film, I love photography, I love writing, I love adventure, I love helping people, I love nature... you're beginning to see my predicament. So many passions, yet so little time and money to sustain it. So I have this dream to inspire others in such a way as to change the way they see the world around them. Where I can travel the world, make films, write novels, take photographs, create art, and become one with the world. Blogging is an avenue that I channel my passion through, and hopefully inspire others to go against the grain, to be original, and to live freely. I want to be in a different place in every aspect possible day to day, which is what I hope to inspire others to do as well. I will never give up on my dream to see the world and share it with as many people as I can. "We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still." - Carl Sagan

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