April 5, 2013
It’s several days into spring term and I’m steadily adjusting to life back at Westtown. Everything feels so surreal – graduation is just around the corner and then my classmates and I are off to college. But in this whirlwind of activity, there remain things I have taken from my experience in Ghana that will never go away.
- The amenities we take for granted are luxuries and we should always be thankful. Air conditioning, hot showers, flushing toilets, reliable electricity – these seem like miracles.
- Middle schoolers in any culture are extremely difficult to control. But even if you feel like giving up, remember that they are good kids at heart and really do want to learn.
- Get anti-malaria pills from a trustworthy source.
- Stick ten teenagers in a guest house during a power outage and a hacky sack becomes a godsend.
- Nothing goes according to plan – but it’ll turn out alright in the end.
- It’s never too late in the year to meet people and really appreciate them. (And share lame jokes and tell embarrassing stories.)
- Teacher Kwesi was right, I’m not Bill Gates. And while I certainly don’t think I changed the world, maybe a lesson stuck with one student or a comment I made helped another student connect the dots. Our group was thrust onto a new continent and into a new way of life. I didn’t just leave my comfort zone on this trip; I was catapulted into my “oh-my-god-new-experiences-but-let’s-try-not-to-panic” zone. That’s more than enough for me to feel like my time in Ghana was worth it.