Back to...ignorance?

Saturday, August 08, 2015

As you may have realized I have been absent from the blog for a while now and the reason for that is that I was packing my bags and leaving Ghana.
Although it was really tough trying to pack for good and leave my life there, knowing it will never be like this again, I was looking forward to going back.
 Some of my friends and family wrote to me, just before I was going to return home, saying how happy they were to see me again, which did a lot to highten my excitement.
However, it was somewhat dimmed, when in one email a relative said: "Now your bags are packed, you're preparing for your flight back to Germany and civilisation"

I can't even say how angry I was when I read this. There I was, having lived in Ghana for eleven months, perfectly alright and equipped with everything "civilisation" has to offer.
I'm back little more than one week and am really happy with how a lot of people seem really interested to hear some stories about Ghana, but it also makes me sad that some stick with their (often obsolete) prejudices. Now, I'm not saying, that I expected Ghana to be exactly the way it was for me in the end, but how could it be? Even now, after almost a year I would never claim to know or understand everything about this country, but that's the point:
Ghana is, any country is, too diverse to entirely get everything about it. And the same is true for Africa as a whole.
Yes, there is hunger, yes, there are wars and diseases - but that's not all there is, not everywhere.
There's also malls and smart phones, there's highways and skyscrapers, there's theatres and schools and so much more.

Many people congratulate me on how I made such a sacrifice to go "down there and help", but let me tell you something: Ghana and its people have helped me so much more than I did and I had all the comfort I needed. I can't even start to explain how this experience has helped me to develop my personality and mature.
My work in the school meant incredibly much to me, but now that I'm back home I see that the most important part of my service is to tell people a different tale about a part of Africa.
They say there is "the Africa the media never show you". That's true I guess, but there is also a lot to see out there if you just keep your eyes open, everybody can fight ignorance, even if it's just their own.

- Sarah

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