I have returned to Denver and the trip could not have went any better. To say it was a success would be an understatement. Even to try to explain it in those terms would not give it justice because it is all about the journey rather than the destination and the end goal and success defines meeting that goal. This explanation really leaves out all the great people I met along the way, all the hospitality which they graciously shared, all the beautiful sites, and the great feelings of traveling and seeing new things.
I also learned so much about Ecotourism and the potential it has for working with communities to develop in a ground up sustainable way, that leaves them and the people who visit these places better off. I also saw first hand some of the failures or disadvantages of projects with excessive funding and a top down structure.
I took over 2000 photos and I am currently busy working through them and will be posting them and sharing them and some of the stories in the coming weeks. And remember to check out the rewards and tell your friends.
Here is one picture to get it started. This is Nii from Jay-Nii beach. He and his wife Jay (not in picture) have used, cultural dance and singing groups to raise money to support their Streetwise, street children foundation. They also have been given land which was previously a dumping ground on the beach of James Town in old Accra below the light house to support their program which they have cleaned up to a beautiful beach. They currently sponsor about 50 children to go to school, they then feed them when they come to the beach after classes for tutoring, reading, playing games, playing soccer, and just doing what kids should do. The beach is also a great asset for them to raise more money for Streetwise through money from guest admissions to the beach. There are plans for an Eco friendly beach resort using some of the falling apart colonial architecture on the property to further support their mission. I think that you can clearly see Nii’s passion for what he is doing on his face in this picture and how appreciative and happy the children are.