Meet Rachel (audio interview & pictures)

So far I’ve interviewed a counselor, a teacher, and two medical students during my travels in West Africa. This past week I met Rachel Horlings, a maritime archaeologist working off the coast of Ghana, and I had to get her fascinating story recorded.

Rachel’s parents have been Presbyterian missionaries in Nigeria for over 31 years. Rachel was born in Nigeria and grew up there with her 4 siblings. She went to FSU for 6 years and has been working on her PhD at Syracuse University.

Rachel Horlings at her shipwreck site off the coast of Ghana

In the interview Rachel talks about the shipwreck she has been studying/excavating near the town of Elmina (yes, Herzog fans, that Elmina). Maritime archeology was something I knew nothing about and I found her to be full of interesting info. You can download the 18 minute audio interview below:

Here is an outline of the interview:

  • Rachel’s background and current project in Ghana
  • Process of archeology underwater (1:40)
  • God’s protection and grace (3:52)
  • The shipwreck Rachel is studying and its history (4:52)
  • Challenges of work on a research project in West Africa (9:07)
  • What Ghanaians in Elmina think about the project (12:14)
  • The future of the project and Rachel’s plans (15:16)
  • Underwater archeology: the red-headed step-child (15:55)
  • Closing (17:52)

All the photos I have included below were taken by Rachel and her family in Elmina, Ghana.

Rachel on her project boat that broke down Rachel and her team on the canoe they rented to replace the fancy boat that didn’t work A sonar map of the coast where Rachel is working
Fishermen at Elmina The town of Elmina, originally name El Mina (The Mine) by the Portugeuse who expected to find gold Fort St. George in Elmina established by the Portugeuse in the 1482.
Fishermen head out for the day from Elmina, Ghana Papa Kofi makes some parts for Rachel’s team to use Wreckage of a fishing boat on the beach that Rachel has been monitoring
Rachel and her family in Elmina after being out in the boat Rachel’s brother Brian comes down to meet her Sunset over the Atlantic


3 Archived Comments on “Meet Rachel (audio interview & pictures)

  1. Great pictures and very interesting interview! I grew up with Rachel and it’s amazing to see how much she has accomplished and to see she still has that unique adventurous spirit!

  2. I also grew up with Rach, and I’m beyond impressed with what she’s accomplished. She’s pretty much the same person as I remember and that’s awesome.

  3. Great photos. What an interesting life she led.