Published: May 13th 2009May 13th 2009
Good friends and good food; a great end to a great semester!
Wow…this is it…it’s all over…four and half months… or eighteen weeks…or one hundred and twenty-seven days… Man…Time flies. Though I am left with a few questions… How have I changed? What have I learned? Well, let me share with you a few of my reflections. A little warning, this last entry is pretty sappy… kinda preachy… really wordy…and openly honest…If you’re not in the mood, just skip to the paragraph at the end that starts with “So, in review…” its okay, I won’t tell anyone!
I can not help but believe that this semester has truly acted as a reinforcement of my most basic ideals and obvious, yet often forgotten, truths about the nature of God, the lessons of home, and the basic common sense given to humanity. Life lessons that I have learned, and that I hope I never forget…
My travels have been incredibly emboldening; I am filled with a renewed sense of confidence and attitude of independence. I feel accomplished…invigorated. I climbed mountains, walked deserts, swam in the ocean, dived into caves, rode camels and visited five amazing countries…four months ago, I could never say that. I’ve never felt so self-assured. Yet my
Huh...I look so happy...
journey has also left be broken… humbled to the point of exhausted frustration, sorrow and anger. With each passing adventure, or dare I say, with each passing day, my pious attitude and arrogant ethnocentric nature was slowly chipped away. Any amount of prideful feelings I may have had, I learned to shove to the wayside. Humility is a tough mistress… but also an irreplaceable and invaluable ally. These are life lessons that I have learned, may I never forget them…
My travels have rekindled my curiosity about the world, its past, and all it has to offer. They have renewed my love for life and new places, and have urged me to eagerly seek more…. I want to see more, I want to meet more people, have more experiences. It has reminded me that I love stories, stories about people, places and things. I love hearing people’s stories, because they are the essence of who that person is. I know now that I will continue to seek out those stories, not just about people, but about the entire world around me. I now know however, that in making such a grandiose statement, I cannot live my life in complacency.
Just a few of the awesome people I spent my semester with
The lessons I learned at the Cape Coast slave castle constantly come back to my mind…too many people have lived their life for me, have invested the very being of who they are, that I cannot sit back and waste away my life. A life lived for others is a life well lived…much has been given, much is expected…we are not blessed to be blessed, but blessed to be a blessing… This semester, these words gained new meaning and new importance. These are life lessons that I have learned, may I never forget them…
My travels have reminded me of the old saying… Any great philosopher knows that he knows nothing! Oh yeah, that’s me! I have so much to learn. I feel that instead of covering huge amounts of territory, instead of making vast gains, instead of feeling a huge sense of accomplishment, instead of reaching the end of the tunnel… I’ve only reached a point that I can see that I’m no where near the finish…funny. I’m just warming-up. That is both incredibly inspiring and horribly depressing all at the same time! But hey, life is a journey, not a destination, right? I’ve touched the base of
Once Again...Eager to Depart
But I'm sure gonna miss everyone!
the mountain, and now I’m beginning the ascent. So many opportunities, avenues, doors, pains, pleasures, adventures, troubles, loves, and losses lie ahead of me. I knew all of this prior to coming… But it was this trip that made it really obvious to me. It is a life lesson that I have learned, may I never forget it…
Other random lessons? Education…that is to say, true education, takes place not within the confines of the classroom, but in both the exciting and mundane experiences of everyday life. Flexibility, patience, kindness and sincerity…all have much higher stock in my life. And should any situation get hotter, I should do my best to get cooler. Rage is a double edged sword, that, turned inward, can ravage the mind, break the spirit, and sour the soul…Ummmm…okay I didn’t really learn that last one here, I paraphrased a monologue I heard in the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie…but it just sounded so darn cool that I had to write it! Yeah…I should probably wrap this up… sorry about that…
So in review… Ghana is awesome! I’ve learned lots, not just in the classroom sense, but also about myself and what I want out of life. Plus I saw the ocean, picked up a sweet new straw hat and lost twenty pounds! Awesome. But what I really need to say is thank you. Thank you for taking the time to check up on me. Thank you for the comments, thank you for sharing your thoughts, for saying hi, for sending a package or a letter or a prayer. Thank you for making me feel like I was back at home. There’s no greater feeling, because there’s no place like it. Thank you.
The next time most of you will hear from me, hopefully it will be in person, and you can expect a huge hug! Don’t try and run…I will chase you down… and tackle you…I’m not big, but I’m scrappy! Kidding…kinda. Any who, there were life lessons here that I learned, and that I pray I’ll never forsake or forget…do me one last favor? Could you hold me to them? I appreciate it.
They say the world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only the first page… Well, I’d say I’ve just polished off the preface…time to move onto chapter one. After all, adventure is the pursuit of life, so let the chase begin! Or is it continue? You know… Since I’ve already started…. Hmmmm…whatever.
I’m gonna miss you Ghana, and I can’t wait to see you America!
Until we meet again everybody,