I volunteered through Elghana in the summer of 2007. Upon my arrival, I walked off the plane to the humid air and sweet smell of the fresh Ghanaian air. I was picked up by a sweet girl named Nanaya and taken to our overnight hotel. I was so nervous yet so excited all at once. We traveled by bus from Accra to Kumasi to meet with the directors of Elghana, who are absolutely amazing people who gave a wonderful, warm welcome. Things in Ghana showed to be very different from America. The sounds, smells and sincerity of the people were all very different from my usual norm.
I went to the house I’d be living in for the next month and was surprised at how nice it was. My “house mother” Dora was so sweet and made me feel at home. Things that I saw during my stay were chickens and goat roaming the dirt roads and lots of turning heads. Children followed me home from the clinic as I walked home and called me Obruni and touched my skin and hair all in admiration. The food was different and I probably acted a bit too picky. If I were to do it all over, I would have tried the traditional Ghanian foods just to say I did. I found the street bars fun and relaxing on a weekend night and found my favorite beer, Star (which I wish was available in the U.S.!!) The clinic was an adventure in itself. Sepaase clinic was not as sanitized as U.S. Hospitals and clinics, but the nurses made me feel so welcome and we all became good friends. I spent my days at the clinic helping to circumcise babies, deliver babies and take blood pressures and even check gestation….manually! I learned so much about different cultures and my views on life have changed dramatically. I treasure the things I used to take for granted and appreciate the fact that I had taken the time to help those less fortunate.
I want to take time again to go back to Ghana to visit the friends I made and help again at a different clinic this time. I will never forget mt trip to Ghana. I had my ups and downs, but I pushed through and thoroughly enjoyed every last second of it. I truly believe its a life changing experience everyone should encounter in their lives.