As we stepped of the plane in Ghana, we were greeted with a wave of heat and humidity. It was the first step onto African ground for most of us. We marched out of the airport excited for the trip but absolutely unable to predict the experience to come.
Throughout two weeks we visited Accra, the capital of Ghana, Kumasi, Cape Coast and Bompata, a small village home to an MC alum. Each destination offered a unique atmosphere and learning experience. While in Accra, we learned a lot about the current condition and history of Ghana through both lectures and tours. In Kumasi, we got to experience the making of several Ghanaian crafts such as kente cloth and glass beads as well as stamp and ink production. Many even tested out their own skills on the kente cloth looms. In addition, we were able to pay a quick visit to the Kumasi Central Market, the largest market in West Africa. During our short time in Cape Coast, we traveled from the deep depths of the slave dungeons at both Elmina and Cape Coast castle to the tip-tops of the trees on the Kakum Forrest canopy walk.
Of all the destinations, I think almost everyone left their hearts in Bompata. Many were skeptical going into the home-stay portion of the trip, but after four nights spent there, we were overwhelmed by the hospitality and love shown to us by the Bompata community. It was hard not to open up your heart to the children who were so eager to shake your hand or yell “HI” from around every corner you turned. For most of us, Bompata was unlike anything we had ever been exposed to before, and it was humbling to be introduced to such a simple way of life.
I cannot speak for everyone, but I know that there are many things I will be unable to forget. The light in the children’s eyes when you showed them their picture, the horror of entering the condemnation cell at Cape Coast, the shaking legs and adrenaline rush from crossing the canopy walk and the genuine interest and care shown to us by the people of Ghana to name a few.