I first met Eric Manu on our second day in Ghana in July 2001 when we attended the opening ceremony for the Panafest Pan-African Festival at Elmina Castle in Cape Coast. Eric befriended our family–Keila and me in particular–and accompanied us throughout our week in Ghana.

Eric and I have maintained close communication with each other ever since. I doubt that even two weeks has gone by without our e-mailing each other. Usually we write 2-3 times each week.

I’ve just added a new photo album dedicated to Eric to my Facebook page. If you don’t use Facebook you can view the album at this public link. Just click on each photo to see an enlarged version with caption that also identifies those in each photo.

Eric has grown from the 16-year old schoolboy I met 7 years ago into the 23-year old college graduate that he is today. Eric recently graduated from the Global School of Aviation & Management in Kumasi, Ghana (roughly 110 miles inland and north of Cape Coast), which is part of the Education House system of schools, affiliated with the London School of Marketing, UK. Eric’s educational focus was hospitality and tourism. Most recently he’s worked as an intern tour guide at Cape Coast Castle, where our family visited in 2001. It was there that Professor Kofi Anyidoho gave us a tour, where the lights suddenly went out when we were in one of the male dungeons, and where many of us were powerfully impacted by our experience. Eric hopes to get a full-time position at Cape Coast Castle soon.

As Eric’s career develops he has suggested to me that he would one day like to lead tours of Ghana for people who are moved by Inheriting the Trade and Traces of the Trade to learn more about what happened in West Africa as part of the Transatlantic slave trade. As Eric and I discuss his idea further over the next year I’ll definitely let you know what develops.

Eric, I know you’ll see this since you’re a subsriber to my blog. As always I send my very best wishes to you and your family, and to Beatrice and her family. Merry Christmas, my friend. Love, Tom