|tree where slaves were sold|
|sign that's by the tree|
|the path the slaves had to walk down, all chained up, towards the ocean|
Eden: Just imagining and seeing and hearing the name of the place was so sad. It was called the "port of no return." If you have a really good imagination, you shouldn’t go to that place because you would just cry and cry. Just listening to that name: the port of no return. Like you’re not going to go back to your home. It’s like me going to another country without my family. All by myself. Just imagine how you would feel in that position. And the name of that port. It’s like you’re never going to return to your family. Never going to return to your actual country. If you have a really good imagination, I don’t think you should go there.
|memorial for the port of no return|
|close-up of pictures on the memorial|
|can you see the ocean?|
|the port of no return|
Eden: If you were in that position, you would never come back to your family. Even kids would go there without any mom or dad, not knowing anybody there.
Zoe: The ship would have been very uncomfortable and disgusting with all of those people piled in.
Eden: People there, I just feel really bad for them. Even if it was a really, really long time ago. I still feel like I’m in that position, even though I’m not. If I was, I’d be crying almost every night. I’d miss my family.
Derek: Bonaventure, our friend who took us to Ouidah, said, “Without God, it’s amazing what people can do.” People can be so mean to others. He also said, "I'm so glad I wasn't alive during that age."
Zoe: When you read these books about all of this stuff about slavery, you think that all of the people were born in America and they were treated badly. But now we actually got to see one of the places that they came from. So American wasn’t their birthplace. Most of them weren’t born in America, they have a different home and they were taken away. So that gave me a new understanding about slaves in America.
Eden: It’s actually the ocean where a long time ago people were in a big ship. It’s the same water that I touched today with a boat going to North America.
|Bonaventure and Rebecca|
Zoe: Right where I stepped might have been where a slave would have stepped, or a trader. Or both.
|whose feet walked here before?|
Eden: If I would touch that road, it could still have a tiny bit of a footprint of the slaves from a long, long time ago. I could be touching what was stepped on so long ago. Nobody that I know in Canada was there at at that time.
Zoe: There was a tree that women had to walk around 7 times and men had to walk around 9 times. It was called "the tree of forgetting." They wanted the slaves to forget everything about where they came from - their families, their villages, their homes.
|tree of forgetting with a monument in front|
Eden: Walking around a tree 7 times wouldn’t make me forget my whole family. It’s just making them weaker. And dizzy.
Eden: Just imagine you behind them walking up to the boat. Then you look back and people are walking towards you into the boat. Probably at least 90 people were crying when they went into the boat.
Eden: Just walking around in Benin, carrying something to your house, and then you look to the side, and then you see people in chains walking into a boat, to the port of no return. Just imagine that. Then you'll know why I wanted to cry.