Pictured above is some of Ghana’s interesting wildlife. First is the fearsome Felis domesticus or domesticated house cat, a nocturnal hunter, yet social creature. It will greet you in the early morning and then will not been seen throughout the day as it will be napping. They usually will feed on mice or meow-mix. Sometimes they may get lucky and dine on an occasional bird of some sort. This particular one featured above enjoys the comfort of a lap, typing on keyboards and chasing bullfrogs during the evening hours. Next we have Penaeus or shrimp which derive from a family of aquatic crustaceans usually found in the ocean. These particular shrimp were found at the South-Campus market as a result of a hard days work on the boats. When boiled they become easy to peel before being added to what I call Scott’s famous “shrimp stir-fry.” Yumm! The Ocypode or ghost crab is typically found in tropical to sub-tropical regions along the coastlines. They are very small and almost translucent as they blend in with the sand for camouflage. One may not even know that they are sharing the beach with these fun loving critters. The speed of the ghost crab is amazing as they seem to float atop of the sand away from potential threats. This particular little guy above zigged when he should have zagged making the picture possible. The Octopus or octopus is a member of the cephalopod family whose home is usually in the depths of the great ocean. As you can see, the depths were not deep enough for this one. Lutjanus campechanus or red snapper is also commonly found in deeper levels within the ocean and again not the case for this guy who had swam a few feet higher. A common case of “wrong place at the wrong time.” Again, these are just a few of the many wonderful inhabitants found here in Ghana.
I had arrived about five days behind the group so I needed to make up for lost time. Waiting at the airport was professor Joe and my new found friend and brother Musah. Musah is a wonderful young man who is looking forward to joining the Grand Valley family in the fall this year to work on his graduate degree. I was informed that Musah will most likely be the future president of Ghana, which I would have to agree on. I just wish he could have joined our group as we headed off to the city of Winneba. We are all lucky to have Musah as a friend.
Emanuel’s Hostel is where the group is living while here in Winneba. It is a cozy family run joint close enough to the edge of the earth that you will be able to hear the roar of the mighty ocean. Emanuel is not only a hospitable host, but an outstanding cook. I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon with him in the market area the other day as he introduced me to an array of his friends as well as the best spots to shop for little things here and there. As much fun as the kids are around here, I feel that I have bonded the most with Emanuel.
Our group has taken multiple jaunts down to the beach where one may be introduced to a variety of characters. As for the ocean, I have seen many sides of its face around the world and each with a different quality. Here the waves are powerful as they push the surf further and further up the shore. These coastlines are rich in history, while the sunsets are peaceful alongside the whitecaps of the tide. Be sure to look down once and awhile as the sand is inhabited by tiny “ghost-like” crabs. They are fast little critters and are equipped with claws. Don’t let them fool you.