This summer, I went on a month’s trip to Ghana in West Africa. This was truly an experience that will follow along with me for the rest of my life. Ghana is one of the friendliest countries you will ever visit, so when I arrived, I was nothing but welcomed. I went because of a fully paid scholarship I won called Travel zoo foundation, youth ambassadorial scholarship. I found it through a program I am in called Summer Search, who helped out with the application, along with mentally preparing me for this trip.
I went on a summer team mission, through a program called AFS. Me and 39 other kids worked at two orphanages in Ghana, and lived with a different host family. It was like living in a new home with a whole new family all by yourself and waking up for school everyday, but instead to go to an orphanage to volunteer. My family was so welcoming, and on the weekends, they took me out, and showed me an extremely great time. The group of us that were together for the trip, all got along so well. We even designed a shirt together that we got printed out up in Ghana, that read “Sesan Wiase” , which meant “Change the world”, this is something we were all definitely adding to during this trip.
At the first orphanage, called Peace and Love, where we worked for the first week, the children were so cute, and loveable. All they wanted from us was our love and attention. It was so heart warming to see how talented and outgoing these children were, especially as orphans. It was very hard to say goodbye to this group, because we have grown such a tight bond with them. The next week, we worked at a different orphanage called Christ Faith. In this one, the children were kind of shy towards us, mostly because we were strangers, and they weren’t use to seeing new people as much.
At both of the orphanages, we played with the children, and helped restored their homes, by painting, and renovating things like the windows and doors. To me, it was very hard to see children living in such poor areas, because I felt as if what we have over here in America, we take for granted. I too am also an orphan, living with no parents, so in my heart it is good to see children adjusting to life in a way in which they are able to make the best out of what they have. Like me, these orphans have also learned to find their strengths even without the hopes of having their parents around. It made me feel as if we are all strong in someway, and this is not something you see in many orphans. I am hoping that I will be able to visit again one day in my older years to give back to Ghana as a whole.
After those two weeks with the children, we had a week for ourselves, where our whole group went around different areas in Ghana, to tour, and see what it was like. We even went to visit different castles, such as the Elmina Castle, which was one of the oldest areas where slaves were kept. It was very depressing to see where the slaves stayed hundreds of years ago. The areas in Ghana are not only poor, but there are very rich areas around there. All you need is money to survive, and you will live in royalty. The family I stayed with lived in a not so bad area either. The house I stayed in was more of a mansion, and all my host brothers, and sister had pretty much everything they wanted. It was very cool to see the life of someone else in a completely different country, and learn to find ways to relate with each other. I am hoping to give back some way this year to the children who lived in the orphanage, and also I am planning to save money to go to visit Africa again later on this year. It was definitely not what I expected, and more than I could have possibly asked for. I LOVE GHANA. =0]
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.