Despite how wonderful it is to be home, it is hard to readjust to the western world, to get over the things we have seen and done.
It seems like only one or the other world should be real. Is it possible that only a few months ago I was spending all day out in the sun shoveling dirt? Does my job here at Miami really matter in the grand scheme of things after the immense poverty I have seen in Ghana? Why is the US and its citizens so lucky?
While I was in Ghana I read a book by Alexandra Fuller called “Scribbling the Cat.” The book is about the southern part of Africa, but I saw a lot of similarities in what she described, especially in coming back to the states:
“It should not be physically possible to get from the banks of the Pepani River (in southern Africa) to Wyoming in less than two days, because mentally and emotionally it is impossible. The shock is too much, the contrast too raw. We should sail or swim or walk from Africa, letting bits of her drop out of us, and gradually, in tiny incremental sips, maybe touring up through South America and Mexico before trying to stomach the land of the Free and the Brave.”
I think it will continue to take me time to come to terms with my 6 weeks in Ghana. It was an incredible experience and I would recommend it to anyone.
The students who participated have each completed their own reflection projects, which will be on display on the Miami Campus at the beginning of October. Hopefully this display will help others at Miami understand what we have gone through.