February 27, 2018
ONE. WHOLE. MONTH.
Holy heck y’all, how have I been living in AFRICA for ONE WHOLE MONTH?!
Honestly, I’m not sure. This past month has been absolutely wild.
Let’s dive right in to these past 30 days. Basically, this isn’t what I thought it would be. I knew this experience was going to be difficult and I knew that I was entering into a completely different world essentially but there are just some things you really can’t grasp until you’re here and you’re in this situation. They claim to be the most welcoming country in West Africa and honestly I haven’t experienced that much. People off campus have been helpful in making sure we get to the proper location and what not but on campus, people don’t really try to make friendships. Instead they stare. I (and’ my friends) are the center of attention ALL OF THE TIME. If people do decide to talk to us, you then have to differentiate if they are trying to be your friend or use you. In this month, I don’t think I’ve made one Ghanaian friend by myself so there’s that. I mean my international friend are awesome so that’s good. The patriarchy here is a little (a lot) much basically all of the time. People in my group have been grabbed, grouped, and sexually assaulted. At our orientation, someone asked the security guard after his presentation if we were allowed to fight back if anything happens to us and he said “no, run away”. Relationship rape/marriage rape isn’t a thing here. I was in one of my classes and the prof asked the class if any of the men in our families knew how to cook or clean and not one single person (other than me) of the 20 in there raised their hands. Its just crazy. Its also crazy to drive past million dollar mansions and 20 feet is from their privacy fences are barely standing, 6×6 makeshift houses with tin roofs, organized in tiny communities. The poverty, the patriarchy, this place is just so different and a lot to get used to. Plus the ladies in my class were mean to me and my friend. Ladies, if you ever see this… I’m sorry I’m not fluent in the language that only this area speaks but don’t worry, I’ll continue to “try harder”
But even after all of that, there is no place I would rather be.
This is what I need. This is what God needs for me. This is apart of my purpose & my plan, I feel it.
If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen two nights ago that I opened up about how rough this has actually been. If you don’t, basically I spent two hours trying to articulate how I felt into a caption without writing a book. After looking through my Jesus Journal, I found two studies I did over Mark 4 and I was like “this is it! this is exactly how I am feeling”. The moral of that instagram caption, this trip and really life is that life isn’t going to be easy but Christ willingly suffered a lot longer and a lot harder than we ever will so that we would never have to face suffering like him. Hosea 6:1 says that the Lord will not tear us down unless it is to build us up higher and stronger. The Lord is walking with you in your suffering and waiting right there to heal you if you look toward Him, not away. And just like Jesus calmed the storm in Mark 4, Jesus will calm the storm in your heart if you ask. I prayed before coming here that the Lord would break me down to build me up, show me beauty in the simple, to change me, to force me to lean into Him and His word and boy did He deliver. So there’s that.
I do not want anyone to think I’m miserable here because I’m absolutely not.
I love this culture. I love the passion the people have here and the community around their people. I met one of the most passionate people I have ever met in my first week here. He works at the library here on campus and gave us a tour and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone to have such a zest for life and love a job more. Simplicity
I have gotten to see life changing things. Met life changing people. Ate some life changing food
I live for cold mid-day showers. And the fact that people nap, even at work.
My chaco tan is KILLER and the fabrics here are so bright and beautiful.
My chemical burn on my eye from Day 1 has healed and I learned not to ever touch a wet mosquito net.
This campus is HUGE but beautiful. It takes me 30 minutes to walk from our hostel to the International Office where half of my classes are.
I don’t eat meals, I eat mangos
I also walk 4-6 miles a day
I will never be able to eat mangos when I get home because they will never be as good
The kids here are adorable
All of my clothes are becoming too big
I have been better at blogging (whoop whoop)
& I have done more self reflecting, journaling, talking to God and writing than ever before
I haven’t blogged about everything we have done so here are some of my favorite iPhone pics I’ve snapped over the past little bit.
We got to go to the W.E.B Du Bois museum and the memorial of Ghanas first president. W.E.B. Du Bois remains housed in his summer house on the property and in the first picture. The second picture is where Ghana’s first president and his wife are buried and the third picture is Du Bois last statement.
To the left is the “night market” behind our hostels where we buy our fresh fruit, food and whatever else we need. Above, is Agbogbloshie, one of the largest E-waste burn sites in Africa and probably the world
This is from the Stilt Village! Generally, tourists are not allowed to take pictures of the people however one of the girls in our group brought a Polaroid and was giving children pictures she took of them and therefore they all wanted pictures.
A nice stop open urination/stop open deification/ stop littering billboard
This is trash and e-waste run off from the burn sites. On the other side of the road is the ocean that at least some of this trash will end up in.
Here is the Art Market and then the men trying to come on to our bus to sell us stuff
Ripe plantain please?
Here are some fabrics in the seamstress’ studio!
Is there anything more terrifying than letting a bunch of 8 year olds use your camera? I’ll let you know when I find it but until then, I will continue to try them, let them be creative, and take it away when they start fighting over it again.
Ketchup with most sugar than actual tomato paste
Tiny fish that I tried to eat and will NEVER try again.
Here are my legs after hiking one of the tallest mountains in Ghana. I’m not lying when I say I’m dirty all of the time!
Here are me and some of my friends at the Kwame Memorial
& this beautiful picture my friend Emily took!
And here is probably my favorite thing about this trip so far. I volunteering with an after school program called Play and Learn. With them, I am doing photography and helping them to grow their brand in hopes of getting more sponsors. That means, I get to be surrounded by adorable kids whenever I want! I am also volunteering at the local hospital in the children’s ward and Y’ALL – I AM IN LOVE!!!!! So many neonates and oh my goodness, this is going to be my thing. I will hopefully get in on some surgeries as well! Yes, I wore my ripped skinny jeans to volunteering. Did anyone care? Nope. I also got my first ~unofficial~ white coat and again, I am so excited (if you can’t tell)
Well, thanks for reading!
Thanks to everyone who has constantly kept me covered in prayer, I feel it & appreciate it more than you will ever know.
Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to take this leap of faith and dive head first into this opportunity
Thanks to God for constantly calming this storm & giving me the most amazing people in my program
Here’s to the next 3 months!
With Love, Grace/Morgs/Morgan/Morgan Rose