A Letter to Remember

Dear Ghana,

I cannot thank you enough for making this one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. You’ve welcomed me with open arms and an open heart. You’ve allowed me to explore who I am and what I want in life.

You’ve taught me that I’m stronger than I think (physically, mentally and emotionally) by putting me to the test hiking Mt. Afajato, challenging me with unexpected blackouts or rainstorms and even bargaining in the markets or with taxi drivers.

You’ve taught me to live in the moment and appreciate every given day, which should be lived to its fullest.

You’ve accepted every part of me, from my ignorance to my curiosity, from my pain to my joy, from Aug. 10 to Dec. 12th.

You’ve built me up and made me confident in myself, revealing my lost pre-colonization identity and culture. Thank you for helping me heal the wound of not having a direct connection with my African history by exposing me to Ghanaian culture and accepting me as your sister, your daughter, your niece and your friend.

You’ve spoiled me with your multitude of beautiful colors and designs of Kente and Adinkra symbols, the intricate sounds and rhythms of the local drums, and the exciting songs of dancehall and afrobeats, from Shatta Wale, Sarkodie, Ebony and Stonebwoy.

You’ve filled me up with an array of sweet flavors and spices, especially in groundnut soup or ripe plantains and the sweet and refreshing taste of mangos, bananas, and popos and the softness of the ‘swallow foods’ like banku, fufu, or kenkey. Not to mention the complexity and uniqueness of the various tones, nasalizations, phrases and proverbs of Asante Twi.

Words cannot describe my overall experience living in Ghana for four months. Through the good and the bad, I’ve cherished every moment. The only regret I have is not coming sooner and not staying longer. I am beyond proud of my personal growth this semester and I am ready to continue my journey with the goal of coming back.

Special thanks!

Auntie Theresa & Eleanor
Thank you for helping me acclimate to the country and providing me a safe space to be vulnerable. You’ve both made me feel secure in my times of uncertainty and calmed me down in my times of panic. I am going to deeply miss being able to come to your office for great conversation, laughter, hugs and American chocolate.

Mjiba
Thank you so much for not only persuading me to come to Ghana, but for being my family away from home. You’ve given me your shoulder to lean on during my times of distress, encouraging words in my times of doubt and energy in my times of excitement. I am going to miss our lunch dates, popping into your office and having coffee and just being able to confide in you during this experience.

Friends
Thank you for being on this journey with me! We made it through successfully and we made it through with one another. We’ve shared a bond that cannot be broken because we really considered one another as family. I still cannot fathom how we went from stressing over getting our Malaria medication and vaccines, running around departments to pick our classes, sharing Thanksgiving with one another, to saying goodbye in the Ish parking lot. I wish you all the best in everything you do !

This experience has shaped me into a new woman and I’m ecstatic to see how far I will reach and how much more I will accomplish. But, Ghana, I will be back so mepaakyɛw (please) don’t forget about me!

Yɛbɛhyia bio! (We’ll meet again!)

Love,

Brittany ‘Akosua’ Jones

“I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me.”

    -Dr. Kwame Nkrumah


Brittany Jones is a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies in three departments, with an emphasis in social work, psychology and criminal justice. She is studying abroad this fall in Accra, Ghana.

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