My summer volunteering in Ghana
This past summer, I volunteered in Ghana's Volta Region, and it was the most incredible two weeks of my life. After volunteering with CCS in Guatemala the year before, I knew I wanted to do it again, but in Africa this time.
I fell in love with Ghana as soon as I got there. The people are so friendly and it is a gorgeous country. I volunteered in a school teaching first and second graders. They all have so much energy and they are so fascinated with the volunteers. They'd play with the girls' hair, since it was so long and soft, and they'd touch our skin to see if anything about it was different besides color. They also really love to sing songs, which I miss doing with them.
Throughout the trip, we got to do so many cool things, like swimming under a waterfall, feeding monkeys, hiking a mountain, playing soccer with the local kids, going on a boat tour of Lake Volta, and getting clothes made out of local fabric. Every activity we did was so much fun and gave us a chance to see and appreciate the beauty of the country. We also got the chance to learn some Ewe, which was fun and challenging. And we had different guest speakers come and talk to us about various subjects—this really helped us to understand the culture and history. One of my favorite things was when we had a group of dancers and drummers come and perform.
The best moment of the whole trip was on our last day of teaching. While we reviewed fractions, I sat down with one of the students who had been struggling to grasp the concept. While we were working, she finally started to understand fractions. I wrote down several problems for her and she solved them all on her own, and I could see the light bulb go on above her head. It was one of the best moments ever. We were both so excited. She had the biggest smile on her face and she gave me a huge hug and said "thank you." I will never forget that moment.
Ghana is somewhere that I really want to go back to, especially after receiving this message from a volunteer on a the trip after me: "A little girl in our class kept on telling me how much she missed the last two volunteers named Laura and Katie. She told me to tell you when I go back to America that she loves you, misses you, and wants to know when you will come back. She was really adamant that I tell you that and I promised I would so I just wanted to let you know!" I cannot wait to return to see of those kids again!