Our Amazing African Adventure By, Sabrina Wasden and Ashley VonHorn A tale of two time traveling adventuresses
How it all started An excerpt from Sabrina Wasden’s journal. December 1st, 2009 Today me and Ashley finished inventing our time traveling machine- it works! I am so excited! We will do our first test tomorrow on a few Guinea pigs. It is programmed so that it will automatically follow us from destination to destination so even if the guinea pigs die then it will still come back, wish us luck! An excerpt from Ashley VonHorn’s journal. December 25, 2009 This is great! The guinea pigs have come back alive! We also tested hamsters, dogs, cats, horses, and even monkeys, boy was the machine a mess! You know what’s next? Us! Sadly no one else wanted to join us on our amazing journey to Ghana, the rainforest kingdoms, Swahili, and were hoping to go back to 1441 when the first slave ships launched, Of course we don’t want to be on it! This is going to be so much fun! Wow, the people who decided to not come are going to miss out!
3, 2, 1, Lift off (and landing)! By Sabrina Wasden It was January 1st, the new year! We had just finished celebrating with our families and friends at the research department located in Africa. Although our time traveling machine could take us anywhere as well as at any time, we wanted to see the before and after of all the places that we would visit. I turned over to Ashley, “Are you ready?” She looked back at me, “Um, I guess!” We were both exceptionally nervous because anything could go wrong! I mean, what if we end up in the middle of a building? We might not ever have come back. I looked over at my family. “Let’s go say good bye.” After our goodbyes, we climbed into our machine and checked it over. Because it doesn’t run on gas, but runs on carbon dioxide instead we didn’t need to make sure that we had enough energy stored. For what may have been the last time, we said good bye to our families and closed the door. Sitting down, we began to pull and set dials. Ashley- “Ghana first?” Me- “yup, don’t forget to set it for the Sahara desert- Death road. I have the time set.” Ashley- “So this is it?” Me- “Yeah, can you believe it?” Ashley- “No, let’s go.” I pull the lever and we were gone, pulled through to another time and place for the first time.
Ghana By Ashley VonHorn wow, This place is big! When we first arrived in Ghana, two men asked us if we wanted to trade in Ghana, when we said no and asked why they said,” because to trade in Ghana you pay a special tax.”. As we walked in we saw all sorts of people such as Muslims, traders, and artists. In Ghana artisans made really nice tools and weapons while working with iron. “Do you think we can get one?” I asked Sabrina. “Why not!” She replied. After we got our souvenirs, we decided to explore more of Ghana. Ghana similar to modern day America is actually divided into provinces, because it made it easier to rule. Although the kings had all the power, they did have advisors who gave them advice. Sabrina asked “could we could visit a gold mine?” “Sure!”
A Sprinkle of gold dust From Sabrina Wasden’s point of view It turns out that although Ghana mines a lot of gold, the public is only allowed to get gold dust. The King is the only one that is allowed to own gold. This is so that gold will keep its value. Isn’t that fascinating? When we finally reached the gold mines, the first thing that we did was get a souvenir- gold dust; I couldn’t believe that something this pretty could be found in North West Africa and what would later become, thanks to Sundiata Keita, Mali (in 1200). Turning over to me, Ashley asked, “ Are you ready to go?” “Yup,” was my response. With that we left Ghana for our next destination- the rainforest kingdoms. http://www.ecplaza.net/search/1s1nf5sell/gold_dust_seller_ghana_gold_gold.htmlCopy and paste this link and it will take you to where we got the picture of gold dust from.
The Rainforest kingdoms An excerpt from Sabrina Wasden’s journal. day 3 of our time traveling adventure It is really amazing here in the rainforest; the humidity is high although the place teams with life. When were first arrived, our time machine stopped on top of one of the many machines and so we used jet packs to fly down. Once we got down, we deposited our jet packs into a tree stump that was just to the left of a bowl shaped rock. We hurried through the forest until we reached what we knew to be the Congo. Everyone there was really friendly and one of the families even offered us a place to stay! Of course we couldn’t turn down this chance so before we knew it we found ourselves with a full belly and the opportunity to listen to a story told by a real griot! Griots are storytellers. A reason for why griots are so important is because that is how they kept their history- stories passed down from generation to generation. This is called oral history. This griot told us a story about a Oba (foreign king) and about why the leopard and serpent are so important. It was an amazing experience. A little bit about families in rainforest kingdoms The people of the rainforest kingdoms lived in extended families. Today this would be like having your aunts and uncles, your grandparents and cousins, and your own family all in one house! Unlike modern day Americans they did genealogy through their mothers side which is what we call matrilineal. The last thing is is that the children didn’t have schools to go to so instead education came through family and villagers.
Art in the forest?and other facts about life in the rainforest Yeah, they actually had art in the rain forest. In the Congo, they weave beautiful fabric with plant fibers and bark.The fabric so so well made that it looked like velvet! In Benin, they made carvings and sculptings using metal, wood, and ivory. Now for their food. Farmers would usually have extra food (surplus). This extra supply generally consisted of bananas, rice, and yams. What did they do with this surplus? They traded it for leather goods, salt, and copper and from the savannas. Our souvenirs (and what happened when we left) By, Ashley VonHorn Because we would of course need to get some souvenirs from the rainforest kingdoms, I got a small carving from the Benin made out of ivory and some bananas while Sabrina got some fabric from the Congo. How we wish we could have stayed her for longer but of course we needed to got to our next (and riskiest) destination- 1441, the first slave ship.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=first+slave+ship&form=QBIR&qs=n#focal=ed13f36e85c06e4c58f7a72e4df7033d&furl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.msp.umb.edu%2Fprimarymaterials%2Fafam%2Fship.jpg The link will take you to where we got the picture from. 1441 A recorded conversation between Ashley VonHorn and Sabrina Wasden when they had just arrived in 1441. “Wow we got so tan from being in the sun these past days!” I said “Yah, we did!” said Sabrina “Where and when are we now?” Ashley asked “We are in 1441 on the west coast of Africa.” Sabrina said “Wow look at all the native people! We are almost as tan as them!” Ashley said “Okay, now let’s get back to work. We get to go and see the first slave ship! We just have to be careful not to get seen.” Sabrina replied. “Yeah, I feel really bad for the soon to be slaves; could you imagine weeks on the ocean with little food and water,” Ashley questioned. Sabrina responded “Yeah, they were also kept in horrible conditions which increased or lessened depending upon the captain’s beliefs. Loose packers believed that if you brought less slaves and treated them slightly better then more would live while less would die- thus more profit. Tight packers believed the opposite- cram packing meant more.”
Our biggest mistake A summary of the events that followed our previous conversation. As we watched the soon to be slaves being captured, something horrible happened- a crew member from the ship was coming towards us! When we started to run away, we tripped over a thick root from the tree we were hiding behind and fell sprawling on the ground. The next thing we knew, we were two of the twelve slaves aboard the ship. The other slaves consisted of men, woman, and boys. The trip was horrible and consisted of being ill fed and the loss of muscle. At first it felt like a dream, like we had never left but then- well the truth hit home; we were on the first slave ship and if we didn’t escape then we were likely to spend the rest of our lives (if we survived the trip) working on a farm as a source of cheap labor. When we landed many people cried or pleaded for help. Because of the loss of muscles and the lack of food, I knew that we would not have that big of a chance to escape. As luck would have it, the Portuguese captain had soon sold us to a family of farmers where we were able to escape even while being guarded- it was like capture the flag! All we had to do was reach our time traveling machine and we were safe and ready for the Swahili coast.
The Swahili Coast The picture to the left is from ABC-CLIO: World History. It is a coral archway from the island of Kilwa. An excerpt from Sabrina Wasden’s journal. Day 4 in the Swahili Coast. Besides the lack of muscle and malnutrition, were doing great! The Swahili Coast is amazing and has a lot of interesting culture. To tell you the truth, their culture is a mix of African and Arab culture.Can you guess what religion they have? That’s right- Islam. Okay, now for the more interesting stuff. When we first got here people said stuff like “Jambo” and “Kwa heri” which means “Hello” and “Good bye”. This was strange because we have both been wearing language translators that make what we say sound like the other persons language and vise versa. It probably did this because they are such simple words that we should be able to figure them out, however this malfunction still doesn’t make sense. One our favorite things to do is to walk along the beach and watch the dhows sail by. A dhow is a boat that the Swahili people use for trade. Speaking of trade, the Swahili trade gold and ivory with the Arabs for silk, porcelain, and woven rugs. Okay, now what do you think that we picked up as a souvenirs? I got Some beads. Here beads can tell you stuff about the wearer such as age, religion, politics, wealth, and their job! What did Ashley get? She got a block of coral that they use to make buildings with! We are so excited because we will go home tomorrow, kwa heri!
Going home A summary of the day we left and what happened there after. The last thing that we did in the Swahili Coast was to play mankala with the coast dwellers (that’s what Swahili means). It was fun and quick, however the time spent here was too short. Tired and exhausted, we traveled away from the village until we reached the time traveling machine. As we stepped into our machine we each took one last glance over our shoulders at the world behind us. Suddenly, Sabrina blurted out, “We forgot our jetpacks!” Ashley stared at her, “ Oh no!” And so that is why we ended up going back to the Rainforest kingdoms, failing to find our jetpacks, and then finally giving up and going home. This trip was a fun one, though a vacation was much needed. Turning over to Ashley, Sabrina asked, “So… What do you think about a visit to Hawaii?”