Here I am, less than a day away from my departure to Ghana. It’s safe to say there are a few different things I’m feeling all at once, none as powerful as pure excitement. Almost everything I do, from here on, will be a new experience and that doesn’t scare me in the least. Instead, I get that feeling of butterflies we’ve all had as a child, as we explored new lands… or at least that’s what I imagined. Now, it’s different because I don’t need to imagine those new lands, but also sort of the same because I still drool quite a bit. I think a close second is relief, that I get to take all my lessons and hard work from school and put everything I have into my experiences in Ghana.
I can’t even describe how it feels to get the chance to surround myself with my biggest passions, mostly because I’m actually surrounded by old, fat, American men still (I’m in the airport now). I’m not even exaggerating, there is a big fat guy sitting next to me shaking his legs so vigorously my teeth are chattering. Okay second lesson here, I will NEVER exaggerate in my stories, and still never use sarcasm. Oops there I go repeating things again. I’m telling you, just run now before these stories drive you mad. Anyway, his legs have slowed down now and it feels like I’m sitting in a nice message chair, you see in the malls. I feel bad though, he probably has restless leg syndrome and doctors have created drugs to cure this terrible disease. It couldn’t possibly be because he hasn’t exercised since he last saw his feet.
I have had a lot of time to imagine what I will experience in Ghana. I have already had some Ghanaian people teaching me about the culture and what I can expect. My mom works with a man named Joseph, who was born in Ghana and lived there until he was about 18. He has been nice enough to speak with me on the phone and in person about what I should expect and answer all of my questions. In our discussions he and his family, living in Accra, offered to have me stay with them for a week. I am so grateful that there are people like Joseph’s family in the world. And I am honored that my family is so well acquainted with Joseph. Soon, I will be well acquainted with much more of his Family. Joe keeps telling me how much I will love it in Ghana and warning me that I won’t want to leave. Also, I have been trying to become more acquainted with Twi, which is spoken by about 40% of the population and by many where I will be staying, in Kumasi. Even though English is the official language in Ghana, I want to learn the local language to deepen the connections I make with the people I interact with on any given day. To do this, I found a few language exchange websites that allow me to teach people English and about the US culture, while they teach me Twi and about the Ghanaian culture in return. After connecting with about 5 people, willing to teach me Twi, they insisted to teach me and asked for nothing in return. I’m not even there yet and the Ghanaian people seem like the kindest people I’ve ever met. Even if they had asked for something small, it wasn’t until after they had given me so much of their time. I already have Joe’s Family in Accra and now a few good friends from all across Ghana. Maybe this has a bit to do with why I’m not scared about this experience. Well, I’m hungry and frankly pretty bored of writing, so I’m going to eat and get ready for the plane. I’ll write my next entry when I arrive in Accra. Whether or not I have the time or resources to post them right away, I will still have them written every day and catch the blog up when I do have access to the Internet.