People often refer to the idea that “The best things in life are free.” In reality, though, how difficult is it to remember that lesson on a daily basis? With the lightning-fast pace of the western world come constant reminders of material goods, salaries, and all of the things that we’d love to have, but don’t.
We’re not judging. It’s next to impossible to keep this ideal in mind all the time! But if you asked Annie O, a teenager from Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, she’d tell you that’s a shame. Annie is currently in Ghana, Africa, where she is volunteering with Global Leadership Adventures “Children of Africa” Program, and she’s recently gained some perspective on what her favorite experiences abroad are teaching her.
Read this journal entry from Annie’s time in Ghana to learn more about the things she is holding dear to her heart these days:
July 5th, 2013
“Woezo,” is a phrase that we hear often here in Ghana. Whether we’re walking through the market, riding in a tro-tro or simply meeting someone for the first time, we will immediately be told, “You are welcome!” It has become my favorite thing to hear.
Here’s the thing: Ghanaians do not care who you are or where you come from. If they see that you’ve come from another town, or another country, in our case, they will greet you. It makes me feel so great knowing that they want us here and they are happy to see us.
Today, this welcoming spirit was one again shown to us by our amazing host families. As soon as we left our first visit more than a week ago, I began counting down the days until we were able to go back. My host family is made up of the nicest people I have ever met. We were able to talk about anything! They’ve also taught me so much about Ghanaian customs and traditions.
We all became so close in such a short period of time, and I felt so at home that by the end of our visit today I was calling my hosts “Grandma” and “Grandpa.” It was so kind of them to welcome us into their home and into their family. They did not know us when they met us two weeks ago, but they treated us like family right away. I doubt that many Americans would show strangers the same hospitality.
It’s been an amazing experience for me to spend time with a real Ghanaian family. They taught me so much and I’m so grateful. It was hard to say goodbye, but I know that I will see them again. Having host families was definitely one of my favorite parts of my time in Ghana, and I can’t wait to share everything I’ve learned with my family back home.”
To learn more about Ghana, or to figure out how you can a transformative experience of your own, schedule an appointment with one of our enrollment advisors today.
Mariana Gama says
I can totally relate Annie. In Costa Rica the people were so welcoming even though we didn’t know them. I remember one time my family group went on a walk and we ran into a Costa Rican riding his horse. The man kindly greeted us with the phrase “pura vida” which means pure life and even let us sit on his horse and take pictures. The locals, mentors and the other students truly made my experience with GLA a memorable one.