The Ghana Chronicles: 13

July 20, 2000

Dear Journal,

Well, well, well, the days just keep getting better and better!  I wish they would’ve been this great from the get-go.  I think it will still be nice to go back home.  Before, I was doubtful that I would cry when I had to leave here, but now I can easily see myself balling.

I have been to Africa.  I have travelled across the Great Atlantic, swam its seas and lived some form of their life . . . and how good it felt that I am able to say that!

I’m so glad that I’ve had this last week to kind of process all that I have been through this past month.  Now I can look back and truly appreciate it all.

It’s amazing how much I have learned and how I can laugh at how petrified I was of dying at the very beginning of my trip.

One of the students is leaving the team to go home.  It doesn’t make any sense . . . she’s leaving eight days or less before we’re scheduled to leave and she’s leaving right before the best part of our trip!

I feel sorry for her.  She doesn’t seem to know who she is.  She’s trying to figure it out but it’s taking her a lot of pain and tears to get there.  I have faith that maybe one day she’ll know who she is, what she truly at heart stands for and she’ll be proud of who she is.

As for now, as right as it may feel to leave, I think she may, not regret, but wonder whether the remainder of the trip was worth the wait or not.  Bummer.

It’s funny.  Now that my spirits are up, truly, I am able to see the better sides of Ghana.

Before, I focused on the poverty and pollution and while I acknowledged the fun cultural things like religion and the people, I didn’t/haven’t appreciated it, until now . . . starting now.

It’s amazing to me. . . how happy and nice Ghanaians are- poverty stricken or not, they LOVE JESUS!! While it is fun to watch them in action at a charismatic church and even funnier to act out, I definitely have gained a certain amount of respect for these people.

Their life relies on their faith.  In my host father’s sermon, he talked about not relying on any people- no matter who they are, somehow they will betray you, so you shouldn’t rely on them.

You should only rely on Jesus.  He alone is enough to get you through life.  Giving is better than receiving.  This is another point that was made.  It should feel better to give than to receive.

Overall, Ghanians are friendly people who put their trust, their life into the hands of God. . . and in their eyes, some get lucky and some don’t.  But God has a plan for each one of us.

I can’t wait to write up my presentation.  I can’t wait to tell everyone about this awesome trip.

They’ll never understand fully, unless they make this journey and even for them it may be a completely different experience.

Now. . . if only I could fall asleep. . .

Love,

Lauren

IMG_0265.JPG
Me and my host parents July 2000

The Ghana Chronicles: 2

Dear Journal,

These past 24 hours have been the hardest that I have faced in my lifetime.  I am trying to get used to the culture and ways of my host family and trying to stay sane at the same time.  Moving in with my family was the hardest transition yet.  They do not understand why I eat so little and why I am so homesick, why I cry because I miss my mom and friends or anything else for that matter.  I am hoping that as the days go by, it will get easier for me to cope with.  As for now, it is hard to keep my eyes dry and a positive attitude on the situation.  I’m scared for my safety in this neighborhood but more scared that I am or already have offended the family.

I miss my home so much.  I miss everything about it.  I miss my mom more than anything though, and I’d give ANYTHING just to have her here with me.  I’ll never let go of her again, so long as I live.  I want to spend every waking minute with her by my side.

July 1, 2000

IMG_9456

IMG_9457IMG_9458