We have made a safe return from Africa. I had an amazing experience and would love to go back sometime in the near future. I experienced more of a culture shock coming home than I did when entering Ghana.
The people living in Ghana are truly some of the most amazing people I have ever met. My Coordinator Elvis especially was an excellent host. I will miss him a great deal. He showed us around and provided emotional support when needed – which was very comforting, considering meeting the children for the first time was very emotional for me.
I enjoyed living with a host family. Both families we stayed with were supportive and friendly. With both families we ate well. It only took a couple days to learn that you do not share your hard boiled egg in Ghana. Again – both families were very accommodating and took good care of us.
Elvis was able to be our tour guide. We saw Cape Coast (which is simply amazing) and the Volta Region (Ho Hoe) – which was probably my favorite place. The town that sat on the side of the mountain in Ho Hoe was breathtaking. We hiked back to Wli Falls which was just sublime. The people that reside in Ho Hoe are true survivors, as they thrive in their primitive community.
I pay so much respect to all those who live in Ghana. They are the hardest working people I have ever met. I have never seen so many smiles from people that have to work so hard for everything they have. We take so much for granted here in the US.
It was difficult to see how many children are sent to work rather than going to school. I felt horrible when I was not in a position to buy whatever the children were selling (i.e. pure water, tooth paste, fried plantains…). It was also difficult to see families sleeping on the streets and people with disabilities having no adaptive equipment.
This trip definitely changed me in so many ways and I expect it to continue doing so as I reflect on this experience. My perspective and outlook on life is much broader now. I view my community on a much larger scale and realize that we have it rather good here in the US. I am not proud to be an American but I feel fortunate to have access to resources and have many accommodations readily available.
I feel as though I have only scratched the surface- but I definitely want to go back to Ghana someday – I fell in love with the people, country, and most of all the culture.
Thank you for all that you guys and gals did to make this dream of mine a reality. When I return to Ghana I will be arranging my visit through Cosmic Volunteers, will highly recommended your services to friends and family who are interested in volunteering in the future.
Kristine Deuvall (USA)
Orphanage and HIV/AIDS Volunteer in Ghana