I wrote this two days ago but am just now getting internet enough to post...
If you want an overview of what I am doing here, CLICK HERE
If you want to read in detail about my first adventure in 2012, CLICK HERE
If you want to just see my photos from 2012, CLICK HERE
If you want to read about my last adventure in January 2016, CLICK HERE
If you want to see the book I put together (all of the money, including what I put in to produce each book, is going directly back to help the orphanage), CLICK HERE
If you don't want to read or see anything before this, you can start reading and looking now...
I wasn’t going to start a blog, but some people asked me about it. I wasn’t sure I felt like letting everyone into my trip this time, like I did last time. (It is emotionally exhausting, because anyone who read my last blog knows why I came back.) I was hesitant because I know so many things about this place now, I always think there are things I shouldn’t say - because in the end, the good far outweighs the bad, and this place is embedded in my heart. (It is also very different depending where you are. Some places in Accra, you might think you are in the US. Right now I am sitting in a coffee shop in the mall, starting this blog and using the free internet, and if I wanted to, I could forget I’m across the world.) In skipping over the really unpleasant things, it feels to me like I am not giving a genuine account of living in this village in Ghana, and everyone thinks this is a vacation. On the flip side, it makes me feel like a spoiled American to talk about the flies and tiny crawly bugs on the table where I eat, or the goats roaming through the kitchen, or the animal poop that litters the compound; to tell you that toilets are a rarity here and people just squat and go outside when they have to go, and it smells; to complain that I am constantly sweaty, and often walk around with a headache, feeling like I’m not all there, and wondering if I might be getting Malaria (because it has rained a lot lately, and the mosquitoes are everywhere) - because this is what I signed up for. I didn’t come here because it is clean or easy - I have been here enough times to know. I didn’t come here to stay in luxury, and see the things that are America-like. I didn’t come here to relax. I didn’t come here to look nice or to be comfortable. I came here for the realness - because there is a complex simplicity to it that fascinates me - and the overall reason I came back is for these kids. I remember the first time I was here, close to leaving. One of the teenagers asked me if I would come back to see them, and I said of course I would. He told me that all the white ladies say that and then they never see them again. I couldn't imagine just knowing these kids for a period of time, and then forgetting about them. They are too special to be forgotten, and I will make sure they know that.
This post is a disclaimer: Don’t feel bad for me, or for them. No matter what I say in these blog posts, don’t. That is not my intention - it is just to give you an accurate picture of what it is like to be here.
I will also try to mix it with fun stories, because my life in general is weird and sometimes funny and always entertaining - probably moreso from the outside, and especially in situations like being a white girl in Africa (lol). Last time my blog was more organized, but this time I feel like just making it a free-for-all. It will be unorganized and maybe hard to follow, and intermittently uploaded because I will write every night but don’t have internet to upload until the next day at school, and sometimes have more important things to do than sit on the internet - like play barefoot soccer with these kids, or gossip with the kitchen lady, or dodge the adults here who will ask me for money because white person = rich person.