Day 64

See you later Tafi Atome, because there is no way this is goodbye. This trip was nothing that I expected but everything I wanted and needed. I’m currently on a trotro to Accra and a few more tears have managed to escape. Over the past months Tafi has become home, just as the chiefs said it would becom a short 9 weeks ago. I truly am blessed to have been given the opportunity immerse myself in a totally different culture. This experience, the memories, and all the people will be cherished forever. As mentioned before, the Edge training really prepared me for this trip. I found myself being extremely mindful of the culture, in situations that would have before been uncomfortable for me. I also found myself wanting to create sustainability in the village, rather than just give things in the moment. Of course I donated clothing and school supplies, but when I was asked for money or asked to sponsor a child I instead thought of way for the families to earn this money. This summer, I also learned a lot about myself. I had a lot of time to reflect and I realized that working with non-profits and improving the quality of others lives is something I want to continue, especially in Tafi. As I was saying my goodbyes, no matter how many times I told people I would be back they simply did not believe me. After talking with the headmaster and teaching staff I realized that so many people have volunteered in Tafi and maybe a handful have returned. It got me thinking, what is the point? It really is selfish and not very productive to go somewhere for a relatively short period of time, begin projects and just hope that they continue. Wilson explained this idea perfectly before I left with a planting/gardening analogy; I planted these seeds, I cannot just sit back and expect something to grow, my garden needs maintenance. With that said, I without a doubt intend on going back next summer. As for the friendships I made in the village, I cannot wait to go back and see my children again. Saying goodbye to Joseph, Wisdom, Roland, Keke, Debbie, Lucky, Eli, Williams, Pius…and the list goes on…absolutely broke my heart, especially Josephine. She is usually sassy and a tough cookie, but the waterworks began after seeing her with eyes full of tears the night before I left. And I especially lost it when she called me into her room to give me a necklace (one I will wear forever) and note telling me how much she was going to miss me. Tafi will forever have a piece of my heart and like they say..home is where the heart is.

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