I have officially been back in the United States for one month, one straight month after living across the world for three. My life before and after Ghana look nothing alike. Before Ghana I was a high school student wanting more than anything to leave everything behind and now I am a college loving girl who is making her dreams come true. The contrast in myself is shocking and I can only hope that others can see the changes as well. Right now I’m dreaming bigger, loving more, and embracing every moment as it’s my last.
During my flights from Accra to London and London to Chicago I kept having this reoccurring dream. The reality like dream would start off with me walking through the international gate at O’Hare and my family and friends waiting at the end of the runway with bright smiles and open arms. I dropped my bags and felt their warms hugs embrace me. They said how happy they were to see me and that I’m home safe in Chicago. I could feel their warmth emanate though my body and their smiles would cause me to grin as well. The scene only lasted a few minutes but it would play over and over like a broken record player and I would wake up in a crowded plane with food sitting in front of me that might as well of been garbage because American food just smelled plain disgusting at that point. This dream did become reality when I landed back in Chicago and my best friend was there to meet me. It played out just as I imagined.
Now a month later I find myself having another dream and just like the last one this plays in my head almost every night. The dream goes as follows-I step off the plane in Accra and feel the warm air hit my body. The familiar smells fill my nose and I take one big breath and exhale with relief. The dream then jumps to me standing in my host family’s house in Atonsu. I walk down the stairs and through the gate of the house across the street. One child noticed me and then screams to all the others. All my kids come running towards with smiles bigger and wider than the sun. They are shocked that I am there as I didn’t tell them. Kofi comes over and gives me a big hug as Ora and Laudia cling to my legs and never let go. Tina and Victor, the smallest of the bunch, jump up and down while eating oranges or yams. Brigitte and Deborah, the most mature, wait their turn and then leap into my arms and hug me so tight the air is sucked out of me. Then I see Henry, in the back of the group hiding behind the older boys. I bend down to his level and he runs over to me for a hug. He’s wearing his favorite black and green athletic outfit that my family send him during my previous trip. His misshapen head and Dumbo ears make his smile shine even brighter. He greets me with the English he learned over the past year in school and I start speaking in Twi and using phrases that I studied over the year as well. Auntie B invites me to cook with her and I start pounding fufu as the girls play Ampe and the boys kick the football. Life goes running around me but in the moment I am remarkably and truly happy. The feeling that I’d been chasing for the past year has finally been reached. I am in Ghana, back home again. Just like I was snapped back to reality on the plane I often wake up from this dream by my alarm clock at the bright and early time of 6am. Jumping out of my bed I get ready for college classes in my over scheduled and stressful life. All I yearn for is that feeling of being home and happy, back in Africa again.
So if just three months changed my life imagine what I can do with the other nine of the year. I’m about to make my dreams a reality.
ALL GHANA PHOTOS have been posted on Flickr here.
One wall of my dorm room at SCAD.