My daughter’s time in Ghana was transformational, probably the most significant learning experience of her young life.
She headed off for the airport on 1 July kicking and screaming, adamant that her trip to Ghana was “not going to change me one bit; I’m still going to be the same person I am.” Little did she know.
She returned on 17 July and walked off the plane with a look of pride and accomplishment that I had never seen. She found she could survive in a far-away place and quickly adapt to local ways and customs. Her endearing personality traits were brought out, dusted off and made to shine.
The Cosmic Volunteers staff on the ground who took her on had been forewarned and, perhaps, had prepared themselves for the worse: a selfish adolescent who rarely challenged herself; a young person who could see her life being frittered away hanging out on the street corner; someone who had no goals for herself.
What Cosmic Volunteers sent home to me was someone quite different: she is focused on what she wants to achieve, recognizes the pitfalls of her peer group and is committed to surmounting the narrow-minded and dead-end mindset that previously held her in its grip. She has grown up and she has become wiser.
She is still young. She has a long way to go but, as a result of her time in Ghana, she has taken the first steps toward carving out her own life, not just someone who blends in with the prevailing mindset of her peers.
I am proud of her and I wish her the best.
Peter (Washington DC)
Parent of Aliya