Expat Magazine

Farewell Ghana - Hello New Adventures

By Holli

Boarding a plane from my suburban Canadian home so manyyears ago, with my three year old little boy, and our few worldly belongings intow, I knew I had chosen adventure, the unknown, the road less traveled. When we touched down in Ghana, West Africa, I was poised fora two year volunteer posting. I had no idea I’d be where I am today, after 16years, about to fly out once again from my mother’s suburban Canadian home, toGrenada, nestled in the Caribbean windward islands, as a starting base, to sailthe world with my true love and soul mate. My boy is grown, Ghana is anomnifarious memory, and the abyss of the unknown lies ahead, and beneath in theendless ocean. _________________________________________________My rearview mirror sees Ghana closer than she appears.Though we left her humid shores over five months ago, my time there was alifetime. Perhaps more.Ghana raised me from the blinding grip of naiveté, helpedmold me, open my sheltered eyes, gave me a new world in which to raise a familyand learn some heart piercing lessons about love and loss.Ghana has been everything to me - from a highschool bully tomy tour guide, my big sister, a boss you can never quite please. Ghana embracedme and showed me her beauty and her scars. I learned to speak Twi with the tomato sellers in Makolamarket and learned to navigate potholes and open gutters with ease. I wasprivileged to be invited into a Ghanaian home and made part of the family – Ilearned the best banku is that made at home on a Saturday afternoon, with allthe aunties and cousins, after a hot day in the market. My boys learned to washtheir school socks with their cousins on Sundays in a singing line up of soapysuds and smiles. I spent so many Sundays sipping local gin n’ juice at Labadibeach with ‘my girls’, serenaded by the glass eating acrobats “Everybodywatch!”. In Ghana I faced corruption and compassion, grit and beauty,poverty and richness in equal measure. It is a beautiful and complicatedcountry. And Ghanaians are proud. They taught me about nationalism and aloyalty I had never known. As a Canadian I had always wondered what our‘culture’ was. Ghanaians know their culture. And they will defend their flag atall times. Ghana has a love affair with soccer (football) and everylittle boy plays – dreaming of following the footsteps of the stars that havepaved their way. Essien, Desailly, Pele, Gyan… the streets literally burst withglee during international matches when Ghana scores or wins – the din of thecheering can be heard across the nation and it’s a magical thing. Being inGhana for the World Cup is an experience I’ll never forget. Truly amazing.Farewell Ghana - Hello new adventuresBut I am not a Ghanaian and no matter how long you live inGhana, how much you love it, if you are not a Ghanaian, you will never be aGhanaian. Ghana is a gracious and glorious host, but as a visitor there comes atime to go.Alas, 16 years past and seasons brought life and love anddeath and change.And the time has come to open another page in the book oflife. It’s time to seek out more languages, more experiences, more countriesand colours and flavours.I invite everyone to find us over in our new abode, SVShiloh, a vessel and a lifestyle, dedicated to the free spirit of my Ghanaianboy who left our world too soon. The new site is called SV-Shiloh: notes fromthe boat.I have vowed to keep track of all the new experiences, thequirks and caverns and catastrophies that travel promises. And I’d love toshare it with all the friends I made in Ghana and beyond, thanks to this blog.Holli has rambled here enough.Ye be hyia biyo (sp?!) Ghana! xoxo

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Hello Ducky

    The last public holiday before Christmas brought the crowds to the banks of the Wensum to cheer on the Grand Norwich Duck Race. Read more

    By  Jackscott
  • Hello Kid!

    Hello Kid!

    Photo by Paupau AlvarezA snippet of the conversation with this twelve-year-old (I'm sorry I forgot his name, foreign names refuse to stick to my brain) that... Read more

    By  Mustachio
  • Hello All!

    Hello All!

    My name is Vernon Allen and I'm in my senior year here at Wayne State. I'm studying journalism with a concentration in broadcast. Ali asked me about making a... Read more

    By  Dreamchasa101
  • Potters in Ghana

    Potters Ghana

    At Aba House we encourage creative interaction. Each summer we bring people from around the world to work with Ghanaian artisans. Many disciplines are... Read more

    By  Aba
  • Textile Workshop in Ghana

    Textile Workshop Ghana

    July 8 - 21 ,2012 Memories of Africa Textile Workshopsponsored by Cross Cultural CollaborativeThis is an opportunity to work with indigenous African artists at... Read more

    By  Aba
  • Would You Like to Come to Ghana in February?

    Would Like Come Ghana February?

    we are organizing a trip to Ghana for February 2012we are flexible want your visit to include things that are of interest to you - you can follow our... Read more

    By  Aba
  • Farewell Crescent City!

    Farewell Crescent City!

    It struck me that while I have been happy both in New Orleans and Natchez in Mississippi to stand there and admire the broad Mississippi River, I hadn't actuall... Read more

    By  Gardenamateur