REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED: REFLECTIONS IN GHANA.

You have to find that place that brings out the human in you. The soul in you. The love in you. ~Robert M Drake. 

For me, home is that place. I find that I am most inspired when I am travelling.

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  Over time I have developed a love for travelling, however, being a student I cannot take as many trips as I would love to. This trip, in particular, was, in fact, an early birthday gift. (So if anyone is thinking about getting me a Christmas present a nice trip away will do me just fine!).  I spent ten days in Ghana within two cities- Accra and Kumasi.  I have family in both cities, but I did not stay with any of them as I wanted to experience Ghana for myself! The main purpose of the trip was to go to a few children’s homes, villages and to really  get a taste of the lifestyle and connect with the people there as I plan to one day live in Ghana.

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My first trip to Ghana dates back to 2012. I was barely seventeen! I went with my dad, however, when we reached Ghana he went to Kumasi whilst I stayed in Accra with my maternal grandma. At the time of this trip, I was a bit confused about what I wanted to do at sixth form (university had not even crossed my mind). My mother would always complain about how easy we had it growing up I honestly thought she was exaggerating and was very close minded to the hardships that she faced as a child. Towards the end of the trip, I got very emotional when I remembered the stories my mother would tell me about her childhood. I witnessed a lot of children on the streets selling things and here I was with access to free education and a choice. It really hit me hard and since then I have made up my mind to try my hardest to make a difference in this world.

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Social work was my way of starting this journey. Ok, I will admit that when I started my course at university it was all new to me I did not actually know 100% what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that I wanted to help people and social work seemed like the right path to go down as it incorporated all my favourite subjects (sociology, psychology, law and social policy).  I was ready to take on the world filled with all the hope; I was going to change the world!  But, that little bubble of joy I was living in didn’t last so long. University was not how I envisioned it to be. I remember one lecturer saying how social work students start the course ready to conquer the world then realise it’s not as easy as they thought – damn right!!! Hearing this kind of deterred me, I didn’t know what to do. It is only now that I am coming to realise that one person can change the world by changing the world for one person.  Like any other course, it is a very challenging, and being exposed to such challenges taught much about myself and others.

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My advice to anyone pursuing their passion via the academic route is that you should always remind yourself why you started. Look back to when you were passionate and full of energy before you started and go back to that place to recharge. Where you’re at right now is just the beginning and there will always be challenges we always say if you love what you’re doing you’ll be happy but this is not entirely true everyone goes through challenges.

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I am now learning that university trains you not only academically but mentally for when  you step out into the working world. All the challenges you face now are slowly shaping you for the future and helping you build your resilience. So stay strong and keep fighting.

And one last thing, do not despise the small beginnings, sometimes we like to skip the small menial things in life and try to do everything at once. I am now learning that patience is key, we always preach about patience being a virtue but until you truly understand what this means you’re not going to value things if they’re easy to acquire.  You appreciate things more when you have to fight for it and fighting requires time and energy!!

This was just an introduction to my trip back home I will be posting more about my trip to Ghana over the next few weeks as I got up to quite a lot during the time I spent there.

Author: AFIANATASHA

A twenty one year old student on a journey...learning about oneself and the world around her.

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