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Friday, September 23, 2011

First Week in Ghana

After an almost 24 hour flight (including layovers) I have landed safely in Ghana. Arriving in Accra was somewhat a breeze. I met up with my IFESH buddies in Amsterdam and we all arrived together. Coming back after just a year was.... special. On the plane, I kept looking at the window, marveling at the fact that I am thousands of miles away from home and I ain't going backing anytime soon.... I almost psyched myself out at the thought of it. I'm going to freaking live here. Great.

Don't get me wrong, I am so happy to be here and I'm excited at the experience before me but my emotions have changed from excitement to anxiety to disbelief. I'm here! I'm really doing this...

Whenever I would visit Ghana, I would never venture out. I would stay on the veranda and watch people. I wouldn't do anything without a friend or family's assistance/guidance (which is suggested anyway). Even for little things like going across the street to buy a coconut. I wouldn't do it. I was afraid. Afraid for my voice to admit what was already obvious: I'm not from here. I know you may think, "what do you expect Mabel? You're not a true Ghanaian!" I know, I know. But the stares, the inability to effectively communicate or know my surroundings was just so overwhelming to me that I would avoid it if possible. So coming back, alone, has done some things to me. It's forced me to do things that I just have to do... Like, cross the street to buy the darn coconut. Or hail a taxi to my hotel. Or order my food in Twi. Hmm. If ya'll were to hear me, ya'll would just laugh; I'm even learning to laugh at myself. However, practicing my Twi kind of works out in my favor because everyone else I'm with doesn't speak a lick of it. The little I know makes me feel like a true ohemaa... but I got a long way to go.

With every effort to move outside my comfort zone, I feel absolutely liberated from my mental blocks and grateful to God that these baby steps are causing me to trust myself a little bit more.

I better.


Zainab Sankoh said...

I expect you to converse fluently in Twi when you get back, no excuses lol! I hope you're still using your Twi app on ur iPod!

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