Sunday, May 16, 2010

a story to be told

I am wearing the same clothes I wore 24 hours ago and I don't really even mind. I haven't slept in the past 24 hours either; Rachel and I made a pact to stay awake all night to watch the sun come up for our last night here. I had a few weak moments, moments where I about dozed off, but I made it!
Around 5:00 am, we headed towards the stadium, a short walk from out hostel, to watch the sun rise.
It was quick.
It wasn't particularly stunning.
But, at the same time, it was.
It's kind of like how Ghana has been, really. It wasn't always incredible on the surface. No, it was the intricate day-to-day experiences that made Ghana one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
But the sunrise was beautiful. And as it peaked over the horizon, it kind of hit me.
Have I been living a dream?
Did this really happen?
Is it really over?
Am I really going back to the United States?
How in the world do I adjust from Africa, from Ghana, to the United States of America?
It doesn't feel real.
It doesn't feel real to be leaving.
We said goodbye to my friend Paula last night, and that was hard.
Tonight, we are leaving Ghana.
My heart will be here forever, part of me will be here forever.
I have letters to finish, bags to pack, goodbyes to share, a few more tro tro rides, and one last cold shower to take.
And then, I will put on my pretty kente dress, with my matching kente bag and headband, and head home.
So many emotions, feelings, thoughts are running through my mind, and I don't really know how to put them together. One moment tears are ready to sprawl from my eyes, and another I can't help but laugh at every single thing because I am so giddy.
I guess I can be sure of one thing: this was a life-changing experience. I feel like the luckiest girl in the whole world to have lived in Ghana for 5 months. I've learnt more than you can possibly imagine, loved more than I possibly could, and laughed a ton along the way.
I couldn't have asked for anything better.
Ghana will be intricately woven into my story for the rest of my life.
There are many stories to be told, many experiences, that somehow are now part of my own story and that I look forward to sharing. 
That's a really beautiful, rare, amazing, and incredible thing.

Saying goodbye to Paula at the Accra airport
Gloria, Salem, and Rukia holding pictures of my family and friends from home. They each picked out a picture they wanted to keep. In a way, my family here can know my family at home.

These kids make me SO happy.

Beautiful Gloria, this is only the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Our last sunrise in Africa.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

it's the home strech

One week from today I will be boarding a plane to London. From there, I will be AMERICA bound.

It's exciting, it's sad, it's crazy, and it's coming very soon.

A few weeks ago I was freaking out about leaving. I couldn't imagine saying goodbye to a place that has come to mean so much to me.

Somehow, I feel ready. I know it will be hard. I know that. But, as Ghanaians say, it's coming. I have to face the reality; I have to realize that life is moving, ever-changing, and I can't make time stand still.

I have had the most incredible past few weeks. I have been living my life here in Ghana, here in Accra. I haven't traveled since we went to Benin, and this has allowed me significant time in Kissemahn, around ISH, around Legon, and in Accra. I've been to poetry readings, I've sang "Superfreak" at karaoke night with Rachel, I've been to the beach, I've shopped at the market, I've taken my finals, I've shown the kids how to play field hockey, I've been to a Ghanaian mass service, I've gone out dancing, and I've eaten way too much banku.

I have one week left, and I have no regrets. That's the best way to be, I think.

Here are some photos from the past few weeks. I wanted to add plenty more, but with sketchy internet I suppose these will suffice.

Peace and love.

Last day of lecture in Social Welfare & Social Policy

Sports Day at Kissemahn

Obrunis practicing for the traditional dance final : )

Kissemahn returns to the beach!


Sunset at home (ISH--International Students Hostel)