My time in Ghana always felt fleeting.
Time had no consistency. It either raced by or was stuck stagnant — usually while I was stuck in traffic on a trotro. My emotions jumped from one extreme to the next polar opposite. At any moment I experienced a deep longing for the comfort of home or felt in pure awe as Ghana surprised me with yet another moment.
Right now, home feels so foreign. I’ve grown used to sleeping under a mosquito net, under the same roof as 17 of my classmates. I’ve grown used to the 15 different smells as I walk through the house in the morning, getting ready for work. Ha, let’s be honest, I’ll never get used to the smells.
But I know how quickly my life at home will settle back in as my new normal. How easy it will be to become accustomed to warm showers and fresh air. How soon the friends I’ve made here will feel so far from my life in Oregon.
It’s hard to know what the long term effects of my time in Ghana will be. This experience has taught me so much. It has altered how I see the world. It has challenged how I view my privilege as an American. It’s shown me how hardworking Ghanaians are and the value of persistence.
As I leave Ghana, as I fly back home, as I settle back to my version of normal, I don’t know what more my experience will teach me. Yet I take comfort in the fact that my time here will continue to provide moment after moment of learning.