Day 39: Waterfalls, canopy walks through the forest, nature hikes, playing with monkeys, and baby goats… The spontaneous adventures never end over here in Ghana. I just got back from a four day weekend visiting Cape Coast. It was a perfect getaway spent with the other volunteers that have grown so close to my heart. It consisted of beach bungalows, cultural festivals, tons of food, World Cup games, nature fun and a visit to the Cape Coast Slave Castle. I knew it was going to be an uncomfortable experience but that barely captures the emotions I went through. I have studied a lot about the Atlantic Slave Trade and the brutal details of how the captured Africans were treated before and after the point of no return. The castle was absolutely beautiful and that is what made me so weak. How could something so beautiful have caused so much hurt and destruction? All I pictured was the tears, the screams, and the fears that were made in that beautiful piece of architecture. There was one true amazing thing about the slave castle- that is, the moment I walked out of it the world was joyful again. Children were playing on the beach, people were laughing, and life suddenly became colorful. That is what I loved about this day. I was reminded that the act of forgiveness can make one free. The history that took place before them should never be forgotten but should also be the reason to keep on living freely.
Going away for the weekend is always an exciting time, but there is something special about coming back to a place you call home. Tafi Atome is a lot different from my American home though. Selflessness seems to be a genetic trait, meaning that everyone is naturally each other’s keeper. The children fetch water from the distant river at least three times a day. Children go on mile walks to their family’s farm to work and bring back fire wood. Children use machetes to weed the football sized fields surrounding the village. Children hand wash their family’s clothes- while all having the biggest smiles on their faces. The amount of goods one owns doesn’t matter here. It is the relationships that make their lives meaningful- I want to live by that example. The Menzies Family is the heart of my existence, and I want to love them with a humble heart. People are what matter in a lifetime.
“I need to help you because you are my dear friend”, says Josephine, a student from class 6.