Experiences in Ghana - My Family Travels

 Arriving in Ghana was like diving into an ocean of African faces-their lives, hardships, and delights. From the time we stepped off the plane in Accra (the capital of Ghana), we were surrounded by eager merchants selling drums, Kente cloth, and souvenirs. We soon realized that time in Ghana is immaterial; the most specific anyone got would be to tell another person to meet him when the sun is in the middle of the sky. This was one of the most shocking and rewarding qualities of the country.

            Our taxi ride, which was maybe 15 miles, lasted over an hour and a half. This delay was produced again, from the selling of goods. Some of main streets of Ghana are treated as open air, “drive through” malls, and here you can find anything from plumbing parts to tasty Banku or Fufu. We went bumping along on the tiny dirt road that led to a small town named Kokrobite. Paradise on earth. With beautiful beaches, an exhilarating ocean, and the nicest people on the planet, Kokrobite will be seeing me again soon.

            After you get acclimatized, you start to realize that you know fifty percent of the village’s citizens, apart from all the other baffled tourists you meet along the way. Everyone treats everyone else like family, and to get from point A to point B (usually a few hundred meters-it is a small town) could take up to an hour. Everyone you pass while walking to your destination wants to stop and talk with you, enjoy a drink with you, or show you their family. This was the second most rewarding thing.

Time started to disappear entirely. A day could feel like a week at times, because of these simple experiences one had going through his daily activities. I met more people in one month than I have ever met in that short of a time span. One particularly rewarding experience was when, walking along the dirt road, I met an orphan from the Ivory Coast named Yala. He told me he and his brother, Elias, ran all the way to Ghana because of the severe violence and brutality that killed their parents in Ivory Coast. When they reached Ghana, they had nothing. And now they still have nothing but in their hearts, they have everything it seems.

            They constructed a shanty type house (about 10 by 10 feet) out of wood and corrugated metal where they cook food on the floor and sleep on the ground. This type of lifestyle showed me extreme perseverance-more than I had ever seen in my life. If I was placed in their situation, I would have had no idea at all how to survive. Their life was simple and because of this, they were some of the happiest people. I ate Jolluf rice with them on multiple occasions, and talked about the atrocities of war and their pasts. They taught me how personal perseverance and the will to live on was one of the most powerful forces.

            Usually when visiting a foreign country, you learn a lot about the sights and monuments in the country. In Ghana you learn the most about yourself. This experience has changed my outlook on life greatly. After being in Ghana for about a month, I have now realized that my personal goal is to be happy. I am no longer constantly checking the time on the clock and worrying about my next appointment or assignment. I highly recommend Ghana to anyone who is looking to learn more about themselves then they ever have.

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