Athough, my trip to Ghana has come to an end, the impact that it has had on my life will never end. From the beginning of the trip to the end, I some times found myself asking to question, what have I gotten myself into. Now reflecting back on the last 21 days I now know what I got myself into…
I was not comfortable with staying in the hostel because I had to take cold showers. since my room was on the ground floor, I was woken by loud voices and the honking of cars almost everyday. I thought that I would eventually get use to having to take cold showers by the end of that week, but I never did. So,I sucked up having to take cold showers and took taking them with stride. In the middle of the first week in Ghana we visited the rain forest, Cape Coast and Kumasi.Walking 150 feet in the air on the canopy walk in the rainforest has taught me that I am able to reach any height, if I allow myself to. When we reached the top of the mountain, before we walked onto the canopy walk, I did not allow myself to think about what I was getting ready to do. I really did not have time to think about myself because, I was concerned about Sonya. By me being concerned about her, I had to find enough courage from somewhere for the both of us. Me doing that has taught me sometimes when you put yourself aside for the sake of other, at the end you benefit two folds. One from the accomplishment you have made and the other from the accomplishment the other person has made. Seeing how proud Sonya was of herself made hiking up the mountain and walking the canopy walk worth every drop of sweat perspired. Walking through Cape Coast slave castle was emotional but needed. the more I learn about slavery the more I become interested in learning about my ancestors. I want to know their names; where they came from; who were their master’s; etc.These questions yearn to be answered, but I am afraid of the response that I may receive. I know the past of my ancestors is not one of peaches and cream,and the visit to cape coast made me face that harsh reality. Facing the reality of my ancestors have made me want to learn about them more now than ever. I understand that the pain that not only my ancestors faced but, other slaves as well during the era of slavery, is unimaginable. It is because of them that I am able to be the young black women I am today. I pay my respect for them being took from their native land, losing their lives, and more by educating myself and my fellow african americans around me about our past.
Going into our second week, I was more comfortable with my surroundings. I was not able to be as involvedwith activities going on around me because, I was not able to find a balance between my school work and activities. When I did find a way to balance between the two, I was less stressed about not being able to participate in one or the other. Taking dance lessons was exciting because, it was a for sure time that I would have a break from class work, which was needed. During dance lessons I not only had a break but I was able to learn three dances performed in the traditional Ghanaian culture. Learning those dances gave me a first hand experience of the style of dance danced. Learning that the beat I danced on was different from the beat danced on during Ghanaian music was difficult. Learning how to dance on the correct beat, which was to drums, was difficult and never really accomplished. Going through the second week in Ghana taught me that whatever I do in life, there needs to be a balance. With out a balance, something vital will be sacrificed. sometimes what is sacrificed will not be noticed immediately, but it will eventually float to the surface.
Not knowing what I was getting myself into at the beginning of the trip may have been what was best for me. I went into the trip like an empty book and came out with memories that will last me a life time and life lessons covering my book from the front cover to the end.