Moving to Ghana for ten weeks was a tough decision. Spending holidays in Ghana is always fun but living and working in Ghana long-term is a whole other animal. Being in Ghana for a few weeks has reaffirmed my long-term plans of moving back and settling down at home. As they say, home will always be home.
In my role as a Spring Marketing Fellow for Tarkwa Breman Community Alliance/Cocoa360 (we are rebranding!) I became an in-house photographer and I got to capture everything that happened on the ground, including spending time with our scholars and staff at our girls’ school. On most days, I would catch the second school bus with our Scholars at 7:30am and would be greeted by Gloria’s, “Auntie Good morning” all while demanding to hold my purse and lunch box as soon as I step foot out of the school bus. After the morning assembly and prayers, the girls would march to their various rooms and begin the day with the Founder’s Creed:
“I am a girl and I am blessed. I am a change maker in my community, so help me God.”
Overall, I had a really great experience living in Tarkwa Breman and working for TBCA. Just as any normal role, working at TBCA came with a lot of challenges and I am extremely grateful for them because it taught me three valuable lessons:
- Be Open: Although I lived in Ghana for eleven years prior to moving to the States, I never lived in the village. Whenever I would introduce myself to the members of the community, they would always applaud me, an “American Girl” for packing my bags and choosing to live just like them in the village. My host’s mother was always surprised when I would insist on washing the dishes because from her experience every Ghanaian who lived abroad was lazy and was not willing to lend a helping hand. Granted, washing the dishes is something I enjoy doing as I always use that time to think and plan, but being able to do this in TB gave me a chance to connect with the locals on another level.
- Be Patient: Tarkwa Breman is a small village so everyone knows everyone and people whom you have not even met know everything about you, literally. Having lived and worked in the States for some time now, I have become used to the fast-paced environment and ease of doing business. Working in the village sometimes felt like pulling teeth and going through NYC/Accra/LA traffic – extremely slow. This experience gave me the opportunity to really practice my patience and for that, I am grateful.
- Be Kind: Although the school is in Tarkwa Breman, some of our Scholars did not live in the community and had to commute over 7 miles from nearby villages on foot to attend school. Growing up I always heard stories from my parents – specifically my dad – on the number of miles he had to walk daily to get to school but I did not truly understand the scope of the matter until I experienced it for myself while living in Tarkwa Breman. I was extremely surprised because even though some of them had to travel long distances to get to school, they were always punctual and dedicated – which shows you their dedication to receiving a first-class education.
Although these lessons are unique to my experience in Tarkwa Breman, I believe they are universal and can be applied to almost every situation. Now that my internship at TBCA is over, I am currently in Dallas, Texas and will be here for 8 weeks serving as a Technology Consulting Intern at PricewaterhouseCoopers. As always, please keep me in prayer as I embark on yet another journey and feel free to reach out by commenting below or sending me an email with any questions!
Stay adventurous, dear friends, and always remember to stay golden. All ways, always.