This all started for myself. I wanted to travel, Africa seemed cool, Ghana seemed even cooler, and anywhere I could work with kids was great. I wanted to spend my time in amazing places, and Bawjiase, Ghana became one of a small handful of locations I have had the fortune of exploring. I spent my summer in this little town, and my sixth and final week there was consumed by phone calls to my mother, sobbing. I'm so attached to the people here, I cried to her. I don't know how to say goodbye, especially when I know, in my heart, that I will never be back. But my heart was wrong. I continued crying upon my return home. I missed Bawjiase and the people I met there more than I ever thought possible, and I just had to go back.
A college graduate as of five days ago, I spent the past few months dodging questions of what I was going to do now. Eventually they became impossible to avoid, and my answer turned into the one-liner of "I'm leaving the country." Some laughed, some asked questions, and some pressed for information of what I was going to do when I come back. And as for me, well I had no idea why. Throughout the next few months I hope to slowly discover the answer to these questions.
The orphanage in Bawjiase is currently home to 25 children, who are being evicted from their current building. The volunteers have come together in the past few months to raise the thousands of dollars needed to hire workers, purchase supplies, and construct a new building. Clearly passionate about this cause, I joined the fundraising bandwagon, and sent out emails and Facebook messages to friends and family. Suddenly, this trip wasn't simply about me.
I have been shocked by the interest those around me have taken in this orphanage. My faith in humanity has been restored (or perhaps finally established) as people ask me how they can help. My sister's holiday present to me was a donation, the children at my internship decided to raise money for the orphanage, and relatives I barely know are sending me emails asking what they can do. The more people who hear about my trip, a mere ten weeks of my life, the more I cannot believe what this has turned into. I never believed professors, classmates, coworkers, friends, relatives, and children would be so interested in a journey I set out on solely for myself.
I wasn't going to blog. I wasn't going to write about my experiences anywhere except a notebook, because my experiences were meant to be mine and mine alone. Yet other people want a piece of these experiences and after all their help and support, it is only fair to let them in.
I leave in three days, and although I like to think this is my adios, USA entry, I may in fact post with a frantic I-am-not-packed-so-I-am-blogging-instead-of-packing post. Either way, I will be here, posting pictures, updates, and thoughts, for myself and anyone who wants to be a part of them.
We are still fundraising, and if you are reading this and have yet to donate, please consider contributing to these beautiful children who mean the world to me, and will hopefully find their way into your hearts through this blog.