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A whole community that lives on the beach near our hostel works together to pull up a giant fishing net.

A whole community that lives on the beach near our hostel works together to pull up a giant fishing net.

This morning we walked down to the beach. It’s only a one minute walk essentially, which is so nice. The beach is so beautiful and for the first little while walking along, it seemed super quiet and peaceful. While the atmosphere on the beach stayed much more peaceful than any beach I’ve been to near a city, it definitely didn’t stay quiet or isolated.

Within about twenty minutes of us walking along the beach, a large group of people from a few shacks sitting on the coast came to pull up their fishing net. For those of you thinking that this was a small crab trap or fishing net, think again. The net was huge – very close to the size of a commercial fishing net, and they were pulling it up by hand. The process was very methodical. The men (and women) worked their way down the beach as they pulled the net up, tying the rope to trees as they went.

When we first saw them, they gestured to us to come help. Chris jumped in basically right away, but I felt a bit shier. I held back, but I felt bad for just standing there and really didn’t want to be perceived as the privileged white tourist anymore than I had to be, so I jumped in to. Granted, the fishing I have done has been limited to pulling up crab traps by hand, fishing with a rod, and skinning halibut. While I play a mean game of tug and war, this was something else entirely. The amount of time and effort it took to pull up this net was incredible, and I was definitely on the weaker/not as helpful side of everyone pulling up the net.

By the end, I was sweating quite a lot, and the net was one the beach. I know enough about subsistence fishing to know that not a lot gets caught, and yet I was still surprised to see the small amount in the net. The large group that pulled it up would barely be fed for two days – if that. There was about a barrel full of small fish and clams.

I can’t believe that already on my first morning in Ghana, I have been so blessed to experience something so spectacular.