Gone to Ghana: My African Adventures

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July 9th 2015
Published: July 9th 2015
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Okay, I know I didn't update this blog in my last two months of living in Ghana. For that I'm sorry. I told you that Ghana had problems with electricity, which leads to horrible internet connections. Many of you know I'm now back home in the United States. I arrived 2 weeks ago. Therefore this will be my last post, my musings on life in Ghana.

First of all, I never told you just how dirty it is in Ghana. There aren't public trash bins, so people just throw their litter everywhere and anywhere. In my neighborhood there was actually a dump. Well actually it's called a "recycling" center, but there's no recycling at all. Garbage lines the streets, floats in the streams, and fills the obruni traps. It's no wonder why the tap water is unsafe to drink. The beaches are covered with trash too. I usually like going to the beach and swimming, but when you're sunbathing and swimming next to garbage then it's not so fun. My parents and I even saw people burying garbage in the sand on the beach. As if that solves the problem.

Living in Ghana was hard sometimes, but right now I'd love to go straight back. I'm dealing with the shock of life in a first-world country again. It's mostly emotional things that are hard for me to deal with; I miss my babies at the orphanage. I had a party for them before I left. It was the monthly birthday party, which also included a graduation as well. Wendibel just finished JHS, so we celebrated her graduation as well. I bought some cakes and juice for them, and we all had fun painting each other's faces. In the end every child, and most of the volunteers, had paint all over. That was a fun day.

Ghana changed me in many ways. First of all, I lost around 150 pounds. Sometimes I still don't know how I did that. I feel better physically and emotionally. I talked about how I've gained a lot of confidence over the year. I'm more secure with who I am.

I also got to see life on a different scale than what I've lived in a first-world country. I worked and lived alongside the poorest of the poor and understand more of what life is like for them. What strikes me the most is how rich they are in every way except money. For the most part they are happy and loving families. They are content with what they have and work hard to get everything they can. It really goes to show how money corrupts people. Children in Ghana are happy to have a free hour from school, running errands, doing stuff around the home, taking care of younger children, and possibly even working a part time job playing a game of football (soccer) with a partially deflated ball and sticks to mark the goals. In the US a child might groan about having to go to soccer practice where he has a team uniform and good shoes while playing on a nice field with a sack full of good soccer balls and real goals with netting because he wants to play more video games. I'm not trying to sound cynical. I'm just trying to explain the difference of what I've seen. In Ghana they eat everything they have, they never would even think about wasting food. They eat cats and dogs if they have to. I had one friend whose family was raising cats for meat. Is this the time to announce that I did try cat meat? Well, I did. I also had some friends who ate dog meat as well. They said it was quite good.

Saying goodbye was hard. The afternoon at the orphanage saying goodbye to the children was the most difficult day ever. Tears were shed, including by me. Since I was there for such a long time I had many friends to say goodbye to as well. It was hard to say goodbye to the best year of my life. I made friends who I will last a lifetime, and I know I have several families who I can say I'm a part of. I will go back at some point, but I just don't know when that will be. I miss the hugs, kisses, and smiles of all of my babies. It's been so hard to live without them. They will forever be a part of my heart.

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