Reflection – I am home!

The weather is cold here and the showers are hot!

It has been harder than I thought re-adjusting to home and remembering to do things like throw my toilet paper in the toilet and drink tap water. Reflecting on Ghana I realize what an amazing experience it was and how much I have grown from those twenty days. I realized that public speaking is only as scary as you make it and that I can teach and lead a class. I learned about a new culture and made friends that seemed so different at first. I learned how to dance Azonto, eat fish with bones in the dark, play drums, break up middle school disputes, navigate markets, laugh with strangers, sweep with palm fronds, make cinder blocks, pound fufu, enjoy cold showers, wear Ghanaian fabrics,  express local customs, think on my feet in class, and barter with market woman who don’t speak my language. The culture of Ghana is so different yet I found so many parallels with home. What I loved about Ghana was the sense of community and joy the villages held. They had chiefs and elders and everyone was responsible for their friends and neighbors. I felt safe and accepted walking through the towns to shop, hangout at the local dance spot, watch soccer, and visit where my kids lived. I have gained new found respect for the amount of effort it takes to live in third world countries and a slight disgust for how unfairly we live with our fancy electronics, kitchens, washing machines, cars, excess food, and clean water. Teaching the kids and seeing how driven they are while experiencing how they live has made me want to help give them the opportunities I have been given. I wish I could sponsor them all, but, I have chosen to sponsor Bernard, one of the many students I fell in love with. I grew closer to my Westtown friends who accompanied me to Ghana and became close with teachers I had never talked to before. In Ghana I learned what it was like and how to handle standing out in the crowd, I experienced the power of religion and a different code of ethics, and I became confident in my ability to handle myself in a new place. I have got the travel bug and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.

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