The Ghana Chronicles: 9

July 14, 2000

Dear Journal,

The days are starting to go by faster now and each day is getting better and better.  Today was our last day at the CCCF Orphanage- it was hard to say goodbye, especially since I started to really get attached to these children.

The lights finally came back on.  Electricity flashes on and off whenever the city decides they want to conserve energy.  It’s worth it, but inconvenient.

July 16, 2000

Dear Journal,

This is crazy.  I’m actually gonna be able to say, “Yah, I’ve been to Africa.”  What do I say when they ask, “What’s it like?”

It’s unexplainable.  There’s absolutely NO WAY to prepare yourself for what you are about to get into.  It’s extremely nice people living in extreme poverty.  It’s naked children with smiles on their faces when you wave to them.  It’s open sewers, it’s green (outside the city).  It’s traffic and the sound of horns (inside the city) and it’s different than anything you’ve ever seen or imagined before.

It’s culture shock in full blown action.  It’s undescribable- there’s no definition that can capture the culture, no category to fit the people under, no way to understand until you’ve experienced it.

So I don’t know how to explain what it’s “like”.  This adventure has taught me so much about myself.

Don’t be so sure of yourself Lauren.  Because as much as you think you do, you don’t know-it-all.  If you think you do then you are no longer open minded.  Being opened minded doesn’t just meant that you only respect other’s ideas.  You can’t just say, “Well, I know what she’s trying to say, but…..”.  You have to respect people from where they are coming from and as hard as you try to put yourself in their shoes, you’ll never fully be able to understand their frame of mind. You’ll never be able to “know how they’re feeling”.  You can get a sense- but you aren’t them.

So stop trying to think you know how it is.  Face the fact that you don’t.

And when you aren’t happy with a situation or your job or your status, then get your lazy ass up and do something about it.  Don’t say, “I have no control over it.  I can’t do anything about it.”  Well you sure as hell are ineffective if you keep that mindframe.  If you’ve got a problem with something then at least give some effort and try to change it or effect it.  Something is usually better than nothing in terms of reform.

REMEMBER THAT NEXT TIME YOU ARE IN A BIND.  STOP BITCHING AND START DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

LAUREN!

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