First Impressions

Landing in Ghana had to have been one of the most overwhelming experiences of my life. As soon as I stepped off of the airplane, I entered into a completely different world than I was used to. It really hit me when I passed through customs, I realized that I was now considered a foreigner. Because I have never been outside of The U.S., I never experienced this feeling before. That moment in time really helped to identify with those foreigners who come to America. Driving from the airport to my destination was interesting as well, I was taking pictures of everything and everyone, I completely looked like a tourist. People on streets were selling everything from peanuts to windshield wipers. They would walk past the cars that were stopped at a traffic light, looking for potential customers. Sometimes, I would stare at them for a little too long, and they would immediately rush to my car to sell me something. They would scream the price through the window “2 cedis, 2 cedis,” trying to persuade me to make a purchase. Little did they know, I hadn’t even changed my American money into the Ghanain currency yet.

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My first week in Ghana was full of introductions. I met the staff and students at Mawuvio Outreach Programme. They all greeted me with a warm welcome. The kids even sang a welcome song, which said “we welcome our friends from far away.” It made me happy to see that they were excited about my arrival. The director, Renee, allowed me to visit each classroom to see which one I felt most comfortable with. The school classes range from nursery to class 6. While visiting each class, I noticed that there is a huge age gap within the classrooms. For instance, class 3 has students who are between the ages of 8 and 13. However, immediately after visiting this class, I knew that I wanted to work with them. Right away, I could tell that they were a vivacious group who would make my teacher’s assistant job extremely interesting. One of the girls named Priscilla smiled at me the entire time I was there, she was overjoyed that I had come to work with her school. On lunch break, she rushed up to me and asked if I would be returning the following day. I smiled and replied “yes.”

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