For the majority of my internship, I attempted to give off the appearance of composure, exhausting my mouth muscles with wide smiles and offering help while knowing my contributions would likely do more harm than good.
It’s like a child who bravely and boldly offers to wash her dad’s car. Half an hour later, she yells “TADAAAA” and he looks behind her at his windshield covered in tiny swirls of mud.
Much like her, I attempted a lot of tasks that were out of my range of skills. I acted like I stayed up to date with Ghanaian politics and that writing a radio script was “no big deal”. “Oh yeah, I’m sure I can figure this out.” It’ll be like riding a bike. Which it was, if the bike I had imagined riding was hot pink with training wheels. Yet in reality, I was jumping on the back of a Harley Davidson. Vroom vroom.
I was a constant tornado of confusion spiraling towards important conferences, bumping into governmental officials, my anxiety picking up steam as I interviewed local Ghanaian’s on recent events I didn’t understand myself. The whole time I was waiting to for someone to yell, “Who gave this girl a recorder and press pass?!”
Being halfway across the world, in a job you’ve never done, surrounded by strangers shakes any foundation of confidence you have built up. And let me tell you, I spent my time at Starr shook.
But, as with anything in life, there’s a turning point where the culmination of time, practice, and hard work root themselves back into the ground, restoring the cracked foundation. Layers of lived experiences stick like cement, strengthening its thickness.
For me, this change came when I was asked to do a story about our program.
What do me and my friends think of our time in Ghana?
My story was aired on my last day of work.
There were so many times throughout my 5 weeks where the thought of where I was and what I was doing was jarring. Unsettling.
As I my report played live on air, I reminded myself where I was. Halfway across the world. Surrounded by my co-workers, whose faces had become places of comfort instead of unfamiliarity. My voice, my story playing on air for hundreds of Ghanaian listeners.
It made opting out of 4 weeks in London so worth it.