After a flight of 14 hours total, I have finally arrived to the beautiful country of West Africa- Ghana. I've not even been here 24 hours yet, but I can already tell I am going to love it. Just as I've heard, the people are very friendly and welcoming. For starters, here is my driver and the first interaction I had here. His name is Richmond. He insists that I have Ghanain heritage and that specifically, I look like I come from the Ashanti people.
Richmond picked me up form the airport and took me to the hostel where I stayed last night before meeting up with the rest of the volunteers today. He also later picked me up so that I could go find dinner and ended up staying and eating with me at this local Indian Restaurant (by the way, I had no idea so many Indian people live in Ghana). As we ate, I got to learn a little bit about his story. He is 24 years old and has been working since the age of 12 when he had to discontinue going to school due to the costly school fees that his mother could not afford to pay. Since then, he has been working relentlessly, trying to get ahead and help take care of his family.
In talking with Richmond, I was reminded of the privileges I have, simply because of where I was born. I thought about all the kids back home that complain about getting up for school in the morning. I thought about the fact that every single child in America can go to school for free, all the way up to the 12th grade.
On the way home, a little boy, about age 6 or 7 came up to my car window while we were stopped at a light. His eyes looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. I hadn't exchanged any currency yet, so I couldn't give him any money, although I know that's what he was asking for. I asked his name. He said "Abram." "What's the matter, sweetie?" I asked. He looked down. And then we drove away.
Richmond told me that the little boy isn't from here, and that he most likely came over from Mali.
No child should have to be on the streets begging in order to eat. I will never forget that little boy.
That was my first real "eye opening" experiece here and I'm sure there is much more to come. I was exhausted yesterday when I came in, so not many pictures or anything yet. Today, I will meet up with the other volunteers. We will be staying at another hostel tonight before taking the 5 hour bus ride to another town called Kumasi. There, we will stay for the remainder of the trip and work at the orphanage. I have to say, I am so excited to meet all the kids, I almost want to fast forward to tomorrow!