Recently, I was contacted by a student at the University of Ghana. She said she wanted to interview me for an article they were doing about International students. She sent me a list of questions to answer. The last one read: “What did you take from the experience? How did your perceptions change?”
Here was my response.
I don’t even know if I can fully answer that on a computer. I learned to appreciate what I have, and to be happy no matter the circumstances. I learned to greet people and be respectful to anyone you come in contact with. I learned that people are meant to help others. I also learned that germs are over rated!
My perceptions have changed a lot. I no longer complain about little things that happen here and there. I’m thankful for having running water, toilet paper, and electricity.
I’ve also learned that lots of people generalize Africa in a way that makes every country of Africa seem like it is the same. I came back and everyone was asking, “How was Africa?!”, “What is it like in Africa?!” “What do they eat in Africa?!” Before going to Ghana, I was a victim myself, but most people don’t realize that generalizing one country and referring to it as ‘Africa’ is very misleading. No one goes to China and says, “Wow! In Asia…..” You would never ask your friend who went surfing on the coast of California “What are the waves like in the Pacific Ocean?”
I can honestly say I have changed for the better, and it is noticeable. I’ve become a more positive person, I’ve become nicer, more patient, and overall a happier human being. I truly believe America would be a significantly better country if more people experience Ghana the way I did.
Have a great weekend everyone!