I began my final week in Ghana with a weekend getaway to the Volta region. The bustling streets of Accra were soon replaced with vast expanses of trees as we made our way to the Wli Waterfall, the tallest waterfall in West Africa.
The air felt cool and refreshing as we trekked along the 40-minute winding pathway to the waterfall, but the sight of the falls immediately took our breath away. Although the water was chilly, I, along with the 14 other students that travelled with me, knew we could not pass the opportunity to stand under the enormous crash of water.
We all jumped into the water and ran towards the falls, slipping and laughing along the way. As we got closer to the center of the gushing water, the immense power of the falls created a large gust of wind and water that blew directly into our faces, forcing us to walk backwards into the pounding water.
Directly under the falls, my skin was pelted by what felt like thousands of darts every second, but the adrenaline empowered me to keep walking backwards, getting closer and closer to the wall.
Finally, as I held hands with two friends to avoid getting lost in the chaos, my back felt the cold, rough texture of the back wall of the waterfall, and a rush of triumph ran through my body as I leapt back out and looked up at the enormous waterfall that had consumed me just moments before.
In that moment I felt enormously blessed to be able to get out of the city and experience the nature that Ghana has to offer.
Our adventure continued the next day as we ventured to the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary. Our excitement grew once again as we neared our destination for the day. None of us had ever been so close to wild monkeys, so an air of wonder and amazement rushed through the bus as we finally pulled up.
Walking into the jungle felt completely surreal, and when we heard the rustles of the leaves around us, we knew the monkeys were approaching. The other students and I all held bananas up to the trees and, soon enough, little monkey faces began popping out of the branches, eager the grab the delicious food from our hands.
At one point, I brought the banana close to my face, and a monkey ran down a branch and clung to my arm as he quickly ate the banana and stole glances at my face.
The entire experience felt as if I were in a dream; everywhere I looked, monkeys were rushing to jump onto my friends’ arms and eating the fruit we had offered before they darted back into the treetops to watch us from afar.
This exhilarating weekend trip reflected the adventure and excitement that I have felt throughout my entire time in Ghana. Every moment of my time has been spent learning new things about this culture and figuring out how to somehow find a place to fit into my beautiful surroundings.
Although travelling to foreign countries always comes with challenges, I will be terribly sad to say goodbye to this open-minded and joyful country.