Techiman to Kumasi

Home / Globe Trotting / Techiman to Kumasi
Techiman to Kumasi

Day 19

I awoke in the morning to the sound of bells after a very deep and refreshing sleep. The bells were calling the monks to prayer … and soon you could hear the monks singing their chants. Amongst the songs this morning was ‘Amazing Grace’ . This beautiful, haunting song had been sung at my dad’s funeral that took place just before i came here. To hear it again, here, so far away brought my dad with me… He would have really loved this monastery .. (It would make a marvelous Zen Center 🙂 i kept thinking he would think!)

carryingwood2

Kristo Buase Monastary

Again very simple fare for breakfast with the monks … toast and coffee with these tiny sour/sweet green mangos for after to clear the palatte. Ambrose, one of the monks, sat with us. We found out he was from England and was just back from a holiday there… He told us all about the monastery’s endeavours running a farm. They have cashew trees out of which they usually get tons of cashews but the lack of rain this year was hindering the crop. They were also trying cocoa but this, too, was struggling in the drought. The cashews are sent to a processing plant. I was amazed to learn how difficult it was to process these nuts. Apparently there is something in the nuts that if it touches your skin you will be scarred for life … even breathing in the dust can lacerate your throat! Women dip their hands in oil before handling the nut.. I will definitely eat cashews with more reverence in the future!! He also told us of Basel’s endeavour of growing Moringa …. the latest craze! Apparently , the oil from the seeds of these long pods is a cure all … anti aging and fhelps heal everything from broken bones to cancer…

This time when i came to Ghana i was physically at one of my lowest. Everything hurt, then my knee and leg had really swollen … anyways a physical mess!! The heat immediately did wonders for my bones … those aches and pains slowly went. But my knee has persisted … So i had this wish that i would meet an African medicine man who would be able to cure me with forest products … And here he was ….in the form of a Benedictine Monk named Basel 🙂 He knew what all the different plants and nuts could do. It was fascinating listening to him. Since this was a mutually beneficial way to promote the monastery we were delighted to buy so we could try out some of the moringa products … and be cured of all ills!! I am applying the oil to my knee morning and night and it is a delightful skin moisturizer at the least!!

Morinaga Seeds, Kristo Buase Monastary

Morinaga Seeds, Kristo Buase Monastary

 

Moringa Plant

Moringa Plant

moringa

Basel kept us mesmerized … He even took us over to a Center where all this information is being taught. We met a couple of students from Senegal who were there to study. The other interesting thing we saw at here are mushrooms being grown… just like that new other craze at home where you buy a bag of sawdust and grow mushrooms.. They make little logs like this … And we saw some of the mushrooms being grown in a cool dark hut. They are misted morning and night … and these ‘logs’ were actually growing!! Took some pics for you, John and Charles 🙂

Mushrooms growing...

Mushrooms growing….

Finally we had to tear ourselves away as we had the journey to Kumasi ahead of us …

Kristo Buase Monastary

… saying bye to Brother Basil

And then we were back in the land of smog, traffic, people and internet! Coming back to the Sir Max Hotel was a bit like coming home as we had been to so many different new places and this was one we had been to before! They had our old rooms for us so we settle in quickly.

We went straight off to the market by tro tro as i had left beads with a Trader that i would pick up and pay for on our way back through …

And then Dela and i went back to the Lost Wax Brass Beads coop where such a wonderful sight greeted my eyes… I have been to this cooperative many times to get beads and each time the men had been sitting around, the oven cold … This time, the men were bustling around… There was the small but lethally hot little cauldron where they were melting the metal … they were keeping the big oven going with firewood with lots of the funny little shapes that i knew encased the beeswax molds being ‘cooked’ … And all around on the ground were these little gourd like shapes sitting waiting their turn to go in the oven. And of course, the very first step of the whole intricate process, the making of the beeswax molds was in going in full swing…

Kokofrom Cooperative, Kumasi

… making the beeswax mould…

 

Kokofrom Cooperative, Kumasi

… the beeswax moulds

 

Kokofrom Cooperative, Kumasi

…. making the beeswax mould and then encasing it in the mud crucibles

Kokofrom Cooperative, Kumasi

encasedbeeswax

beeswaxencased2

Kokofrom Cooperative, Kumasi

…. heating up the crucibles to melt the wax moulds so the metal can be poured in

meltingmetal4

meltingmetal2

Kokofrom Cooperative, Kumasi

…. heating and melting the metal to pour into the crucibles to replace the melted wax moulds

 

In all the other visits the place had looked almost abandoned … today it looked vital and alive. Seeing this makes my whole trip worthwhile. Bannor, the young man, who was overseeing this whole endeavour looked tired but pleased. He said, pointing across the street, they are working on the job as well. We have shared the work with everyone! This is why i love buying African Beads…. We left with handshakes and promises to get the job done before i left…

The rest of the evening was spent poolside madly catching up on the blogs!!!