“So, in Ghana…”

Lake District, Northern England
Lake District, Northern England

Here I thought I was going to have all the time in the world to write while on vacation. Boy was I wrong. I did not even get a single blog entry draft in!

Mid April to mid May, I got to spend in England. I had not been back in almost four years and almost all my friends there I had not seen for that same period of time. There were only a handful of things I planned beforehand, leaving most of the month open to scheduling when I was there. And every day got booked up. I am certainly not complaining because I got to do all I wanted and see everyone I needed to. There were only a couple people I did not get to spend nearly as much time with as I wanted to. The blog definitely took the backseat as I enjoyed every single moment.

This trip was also the first time leaving Ghana since arriving in October 2015. I did not go on vacation because I needed a break from Ghana. The opportunity came up to see dear friends and I took it. I am fortunate indeed. I chose this time of the year because it is the hot season – meaning no rain, so agriculturally, not much is going on and weather-wise, it is a difficult time to get a decent night’s sleep. Again – wow was I wrong. Well – at least about the first part. I finally got the ball rolling on a mill project and I missed almost the entire building process of the housing structure. It was the annual GLOW/BRO camp and I did not get to see how the girls I sent did with my own eyes, nor lead any of the sessions I did the year before. Also, it was World Malaria month and a couple dear Dusters led the charge on all the projects done across the country. I completely missed out. It seems there is never a good time to take a vacation!

20170507_113523
Snowdon, North Wales

HOWEVER! I sort of, somehow, got to do work on Goal 3 – sharing Ghanaian culture. Only problem was, I did not share the culture with a single American (OK, there were two Americans but one had already been to Ghana himself). Instead it was a mix of British, Filipino, Colombian, German, French, Indian and Swedish people. Surely this goes beyond Goal 3…right?!

This was the first time I got to speak to people who know nothing about Ghana since being in Ghana and I loved it. It was so much fun telling stories, sharing cultural tidbits, cooking Ghanaian food, answering questions and correcting assumptions. It was only then I realized how much I had learned about Ghanaian culture and how much I have been enjoying it. It is funny that – only understanding how much you have enjoyed something when it is not right in front of you anymore. I barely spoke of my work. I talked about the people, their culture, food, beliefs, strengths and struggles.

This trip abroad only reaffirmed that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing and exactly where I am supposed to be. I loved getting to spend time with dear friends whom I missed (and of course, miss again already) but I am also so happy to be back in Ghana to get on with work, be in my community and eat some kenkey.

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