Saturday, June 4, 2011

Akwaaba! My trip to Ghana, Africa

Three months ago, I received a host of vaccinations: Yellow fever, Malaria, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, and Typhoid. It sounds like I should have been admitted to the Center for Disease Control, but I wasn’t. I was just going to a third world country. This past Wednesday, I arrived from my first visit to Ghana, Africa. I was there for two weeks, and had the chance to experience the Ghanaian lifestyle. I will try to keep this blog, short and straight to the point. I will only outline my top three moments, and I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

A group of us from Holy Cross College stayed with the Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Ghana, Africa. Aside from the 100% humidity, my trip to Ghana showed me the meaning of joy and community. In retrospect, I wouldn’t exactly call my trip to Ghana, “fun”; it lies more along the lines of “inspiring”. There were many sad, thoughtful moments; moments you wish you could relive over and over again.

Firstly, my experience in Moree and Ekon, a typical African village with those wooden skeletal buildings, barefooted children, people carrying food supplies on their head, deteriorating homes, and lots of scarlet dust, flies, and sweat. This was no impoverished city in the U.S. There was no electricity, clean running water, or paved roads. However, through the impoverished circumstances, I was greeted by a lively and joyful swarm of Ghanaian children. There is something about seeing smiles of poor children that makes your soul soar to the galaxy of humility and hope. I realized when you encounter the poor, you not only lose apart of yourself, but you gain the most important part of yourself, that is to say, the understanding of the human experience. My encounter with the children at Moree and Ekon, showed me what it means to be human; a joyful person seeking to love upon every encounter. Secondly, I had the chance to teach at Cape Coast School for the Deaf and Blind. I didn’t even know sign language, and didn’t do anything to prepare for it. I was intimidated and scared that I would be the laughing stock in Ghana. Nevertheless, when I walked into my classroom, the sound barrier was immediately broken; I was greeted by thirty students who waved their hands above their heads in pure bliss and happiness. They taught me how to sign my name, the alphabet, numbers, colors, and basic greetings. It was such a rewarding experience. Thirdly, we went to Mass at St. Joseph’s Minor Basilica and Kumasi Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. It was such a beautiful testimony of faith. I love being Catholic. What makes it so beautiful is the fact that it’s the same everywhere in the world. The readings are the same and the mass structure is the same commemorating Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. My trip to Ghana was truly a remarkable experience. I hope you enjoyed reading about my short experience in Ghana. Enjoy the following pictures:

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