I can’t believe that I’ve already been in this amazing place for over three weeks now! I’m amazed at how quickly time has passed by but also excited to see how much we as a group have accomplished and to see how our relationships with the other volunteers, staff and ABAN women and their children have continued to flourish.
Work on the land has steadily continued with the help of our Ghanaian heroes, also known as the master landscapers. At this point, we have filled up well over a dozen crop beds with carrots, sweet peppers, maize and lettuce. It’s crazy how excited a group of students gets when they see little green leaves spring up from crops that they planted with VERY little experience. The summer hut has also officially started construction on the land. Although we are unable to do much with the building at this point, we are very good at pretending we are building the hut and even better at taking pictures next to it. After the frame is built though, we will get to sand it and then choose what colors we want to paint it. I’m rooting for KU’s crimson and blue but since I’m the only student here not from North Carolina, my chances are looking pretty slim.
What’s a trip to Ghana though, without a little friendly competition? Recently, we engaged in a soccer game with all of the American and Ghanaian staff and the ABAN women. The end score was too close to call but since it ended up pouring/monsooning on us and we all were covered in mud, I’d say it was a successful game.
For me, I think that situations like the soccer game are my favorite experiences here. At the beginning of this trip, I came to Ghana and primarily focused on the differences in culture and spent much of the time contrasting this trip to the way my life is in America. However, it’s indescribable to be able to join together over something as simple as soccer but something that is also prominent and important in both places.
Although our cultures may be different, we as people are the same. We crave for acceptance and friendship and love and to freely desire these things, without the fear of judgment. Through the use of soccer games, projects and just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company on a daily basis, I feel like we get to know the ABAN women in their natural habitat. This allows us to build strong relationships with the girls and I honestly can’t think of anything that I enjoy more.
For the second half of my trip, I hope to keep in perspective how truly blessed I am to be on this trip and to also take advantage that I am given the opportunity for daily interaction with these remarkable women and staff. I’m excited to see how the land continues to develop as well. This is easily the most gorgeous place I have even been to and with an upcoming trip to hike one of the largest mountains in West Africa as well as a trip to a beach resort, Ghana is full of all sorts of wonderful surprises that I can’t wait to discover!
With so much love,
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