Amazingly I am writing from the Heathrow airport in London! I cannot believe my time in Ghana is over. As I reflect back on these past two months I marvel at the fact that during my first week I couldn’t wait to go home and as I said goodbye to my coordinators and fellow participants last night I felt so, so sad. Looking back to when I decided to go on this trip, I can’t even remember why I chose Ghana as my location. I never had a specific reason other than I had read that the locals are welcoming and the programs sounded very interesting. Now that I have been through both the Cape Coast and the Accra program I can’t imagine my summer any other way. Additionally, what I read was so true! The locals are so nice and made me feel safe no matter what. I could travel alone and I could depend on taxi and trotro drivers to point me in the right direction. Granted, they did raise the price for me because I am white, which bothered me a lot at first, but the more I reflect on my experience I couldn’t be happier. Everyone wants to be your friend (and to marry you, which is something I didn’t enjoy as much, haha) and show you the culture and learn about you and where you are from. It is drastically different than the US! The things that initially troubled me about the culture I grew to love and the friends I made I know I will keep in contact with! I have never come out of a summer feeling quite as satisfied as I do right now, but it is a great feeling.
I thought it would be hard to be without wifi or service since I had never really gone long periods of time without it, but it is not difficult at all! It was a nice break and it helped me focus on what was happening in front of me. I wish that I could have captured every breath-taking moment on camera (and I did get a lot of them!), but it just wasn’t possible. I saw things that broke my heart, things that made me question everything I had known, things that blew my mind, and things that made me smile so wide it hurt my face. There is no way I could fully explain my two months to anyone and have them understand quite how amazing it was for me and that is okay. It is nice to know that I have some experiences just to myself, or just shared with the people I was with. I look forward to keeping those memories deep inside my heart, along with my love for Ghana as a whole. There are so many things I wish that I could have done on the trip, such as Mole National Park and traveling to different regions all around the country, but I know that I will be back at soon because those Ghanaians stole my heart!
I also learned that I am totally capable of adapting to strange or different situations. It is comforting to know that I really did complete this whole program in Africa, as my first time going overseas and my first time outside of North America. Nothing will ever be as astonishing to me that I actually did this and I also loved it! I know that I can travel (almost) anywhere and I can’t wait to see what other environments I will be able to see in my life time! I look forward to another month of summer before I head back to school even though I will spend most of my time working. It will be nice to recover from this long travel day and I can’t wait to catch up with my friends and family!
Here’s to two amazing months in Ghana and to coming back as soon as I can!!