For the first time since June 28, when I left for my internship in Ghana, I have the place to myself. My 19 former housemates and I have all dispersed. Now, I’m sitting in my apartment’s dining room, trying to come up with some way to summarize six weeks in 500 words or less. During the Media in Ghana program, I met scores of people; traveled to a continent I had never seen before; worked in broadcast journalism for the first time; took thousands of photos; lost my way in the labyrinthine Kumasi Market, the third largest open-air market in the world; swam beneath the highest waterfall in West Africa; and so much more. How can I adequately sum up everything I learned?
I can’t. I could write this post fifteen times in fifteen different ways and each of them would paint a different picture of my time in Ghana. I know already that it will be a long time before I’ve fully unpacked everything that happened. I feel like right now every conversation I have, I bring up Ghana because it’s such a presence in my mind.
I’ve noticed myself making little comparisons quite often. Flying in to Dallas-Fort Worth, I looked out the window and saw the big box stores. “They don’t have many of those in Ghana; they go to the market where commerce is more human and personal,” I thought. The first time I got behind the wheel of a car I remembered how chaotic traffic was in Accra. When it rained it summoned images of being trapped in an immense storm the first day of my internship and showing up to work soaked.
Reflecting, I know I can’t stay in the United States forever. I will return to Ghana one day, and other parts of Africa. I’ll be sure to see Eastern Europe and the Middle East after the advisement of my father. I’d like to practice journalism in the Spanish-speaking world. There’s no place I don’t want to learn about, to go to, to meet the people of. Though Ghana wasn’t the first country I’ve been to abroad, it’s the first one I’ve been privileged to experience so deeply. And it’s just the beginning.