The Africa We Have Come To Know

For those who do not know us, we are the Muhlenberg Gals: Ali, Caroline, Bobbie and Jordan. Today was our last full day in Ghana; we have spent the past two weeks here in Ghana experiencing the thrill of exploring a different country, but today was by far our hardest day emotionally. We all struggled with leaving the classes we have so passionately taught, and leaving a country that we have all grown to love. Its hard to imagine that tomorrow at this time, we will be sitting in the Accra airport waiting to board our flight to Amsterdam and then on to the glorious city of Newark, NJ.

The walk to school this morning consisted of us discussing our cravings for various western foods such as Chipotle, Panera Bread, and real pizza (not the ketchup and goat cheese concoction that Ali and Bobbie ate on our trip to Kakum). Upon our arrival at Heritage, we were greeted by the adorable lower school kids, who until today, had been on holiday break. By now, we have all settled into the comfortable routine of reading, teaching, and spending time with the kids at Heritage Academy. As always, are nights were full of highs and lows about our experiences. Some of our highs from today included teaching classes that grasped the material more than we had anticipated, jumping into an impromptu Spanish class during an open period, seeing strong improvements in the reading of our students (even after only a week), having meaningful conversations with the High School students, and ground nut soup and rice balls we enjoyed for dinner. Yet, with highs, also come the lows. The Muhlenberg bunch was upset that this would be our last day at the school, and some of the Franklin & Marshall students spoke about misbehaving classes, and leaving special hot sauce at school (but since learning that said hot sauce is safe and sound – Anita is now extremely relieved).

Tonight before reflection, some of us were joking about how we should road trip it to Nigeria or Ivory Coast, and how that people often lump Ghana in with other African countries that suffer from political instability and ethnic conflict. When people picture Africa, they think of the images out of the Congo, Mali, Libya, or Somalia that are plastered across the front page of the New York Times. The Africa that we have been experiencing is so much different than mainstream media would like those at home to believe. There is no denying that Ghana is a poor country in terms of monetary and material assets, but it is incredibly rich in terms of the kindness and spirit of the people. Having the incredible experience of going into a school and the communities surrounding it, and meeting the kids and adults who live and learn there has proved that the future of this country, and the countries surrounding it, is incredibly bright. We were lucky to experience that first hand and will treasure these moments for the rest of our lives.

With love from Ajumako,

Caroline, Ali, Jordan and Bobbie
a.k.a. the obrunis from Muhlenberg College

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2 thoughts on “The Africa We Have Come To Know

  1. Phyllis Miller says:

    Sounds like a most enlightening and wonderful experience.
    I envy the kids that partook.

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