Hello to Session 2 of Ghana: Children of Africa at the Pin Drop Hotel Home Base in Anloga!!!
We hope you are all doing well! Time has flown by since we said our last good-byes at the Accra airport. While we all eventually made it back to our homes and returned to our normal lives, we will always have the memories from an incredible three weeks together in Ghana. This ‘Time Capsule Letter’ is a great way to look back on the people we met, the places we saw, and the experiences we shared during our time together. Hopefully all of you are able to think back to your time making one of the 2,707 bricks our group collectively made, or one of the classes you taught at Avete, Hafiakor, or Zico Schools, or the relationships you built with the local community, the boys from Father’s House, the Ghanaian school children, and each other, and you are able to smile, laugh, and appreciate our experiences in Ghana.
Your group will always hold a special place in our collective hearts since we were able to spend three full weeks together. Being thrown into a situation where you spend so much time with a group of people that were mostly strangers before coming together as a group means you learn a lot about the other people on your trip in a very short time. It happens on 10-day trips and 14-day trips, but spending a whopping 21 days together in Ghana in the middle of the summer is a whole different level. We were incredibly fortunate to have such an interesting group of people that supported each other and brought such a variety of unique personalities and perspectives.
You guys were all awesome and it made the experience so much more rewarding to have been able to share it with so many other great people. That’s not to say everything was wonderful sunshine and rainbows all day, every day. There were mosquitos (lots of them); there were classes where students didn’t listen; there were upset stomachs and other illnesses; there was a whole lot of delicious food (especially all the cereal and choco/peanut butter goodness); there were schedule changes and long van/bus rides and nightly curfew checks. But that’s all part of what makes traveling to new countries and experiencing new cultures such a rewarding experience: you never know exactly what you will get. It’s all about making the most of those experiences while you are there, and you were all great at that.
GLA programs can be exciting, a little overwhelming, and a whole lot of fun, but one thing GLA hopes to stress is how the experience you have while in Ghana, Peru, China, or wherever else you may travel with GLA can be an opportunity to learn about a new culture, become more informed about how interconnected the world has become, and reflect on ways you can make a positive impact on the world around you. In addition to being an opportunity to travel and learn about what life is like in a different place and culture, a GLA trip can also be a valuable opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself, about your strengths and values, and about what motivates you to be the best person you can be.
So as you make your way through your high school classes, or as you settle in to your new surroundings on a college campus, or wherever life takes you this fall, winter, and beyond, remember to think back to your experiences and the relationships you built last summer in Anloga, to cherish them, and to use them as a part of what makes each of you unique. And then go out there and keep being awesome!
Before we wrap this up, here are a few of our favorite memories from Session 2:
- Solomon and Eli filling up on stir fry upon arrival in Accra
- Learning Euchre from Barrett and Elena and playing so many great card games (shout out to Maddie!)
- Playing ‘Birdie on a Perch’ and ‘the Wedding Game’, followed by the best dance party ever
- Hearing children yell “Yevu! Yevu!” all the time
- Meeting Jeremiah and all the boys at Father’s House
- Kaylee, Yunah, and Madi’s reaction to Keith laughing about Solomon’s attempts to sabotage brick-making and prevent a new P.R.
- All the Chow Circle shout-outs for sharing pants
- The unexpected choir performance request that led to a beautiful rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Lean On Me’ at church
- String bracelets catching on like wildfire
- The Kan-Jam tournament orchestrated by Miles
- Addie’s long-awaited ascension to becoming leader of the day
- All the fun we had playing volleyball, swimming, and canoeing at Meet Me There
- Playing games and riddles on the bus ride to Ho, including eventually figuring who actually had the ball (Paige), and playing ‘Contact’… 😉
- Yunah laughing at everything
- Stephen trying (and failing) to throw the volleyball from one boat to the other during the river tour
- Eli’s intrepid bravery around monkeys
- Being blown away by the pure power of the waterfall in Wli
- Getting up super early to walk to the beach for the sunrise
- Solomon’s impressive performance as Keith, and Madi’s spot-on impersonation of Solomon (sooooooo lit!)
- Seeing all our students run to welcome us every day and saying our heartfelt good-byes on our last day of service
Finally, from all of us that had the pleasure of meeting you guys last summer – Thank you again for being such a great group and we wish you all the best in wherever your future takes you! Keep doing amazing things!!!
-Dodzi, Stephen, Wisdom, Seyram, Ariel, Ashley, James, and Keith