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What doesn’t kill you

When I first heard of the robbery, I didn’t believe it. Nonetheless I jumped out bed and went into the kitchen; I didn’t even put on a shirt or pants (sorry roommates). It wasn’t until I saw my backpack outside of the house, emptied of valuables that I believed what happened. I think we were all shocked because we felt so safe in our house with iron bars on the windows, barbed wire on the fence, and locks on all of our doors.

I brought my backpack in, and automatically went to check for my passport in my suitcase. Our program director (Mama) Leslie Steeves made a point that passports and other important things should be locked in suitcases and hidden away. Mine was far from hidden, but I found that it was still there. At least they only took my computer and iPod, I thought. But I wasn’t angry or sad. It seemed to me that it was just something that happened, a fact we had to face.

Others were understandably angry. They had lost things that wouldn’t be easy to replace. The most I had lost was my two-weeks worth of work I had done for my internship and my progress on “The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap.” Not end-of-the-world material whatsoever.

My few years in the Boy Scouts taught me one important thing: “Always be prepared.” I try to take that to heart. I’m a planner and like to think of various situations and how best to plan for them. Before this trip, I decided not to bring my MacBook or other fancy electronics that could get damaged or lost (aside from a new camera, which was spared). Instead I brought things that I would be able to live without, a cheap notebook and an old iPod. I still didn’t back up any work I did on my computer, though.

I was prepared to lose these items, but I wasn’t prepared to lose my sense of security. Two nights after the incident I lay in bed and stared at the dark room. My imagination filled itself with images of men in the room, going through my stuff. I’ll admit, I was frightened. This robbery is the most traumatic thing to have happened to me, though I know that the fear will pass in time.

This robbery is just another experience to make us stronger. We have overcome anything Ghana had to throw at us, whether it be tro-tro’s, humidity or food poisoning, and everything that we get past adds to our understanding of the world. I don’t get flu shots for the same reason: what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. This robbery just adds to our immunity against future robberies.

We only have two weeks left in Ghana, and we’re going to make them the best two weeks Ghana has ever seen.