This Christmas break was such an amazing experience. I went to Ghana, Africa to visit my grandmother. I originally was going to go home to the United States for break but then I realized, I’m probably never going live only 8 hours away from my grandmother again. Flying to her from the U.S would be like a 14 hour flight, so I decided to take full advantage of being so close and see her. During my time there I learned so much. So much about myself, about Africa, about the U.S, about my ancestors…. it truly was unforgettable. My grandmother showed me so much of Ghana and yet we didn’t even scratch the surface. The things it has to offer is limitless.
Before arriving I unconsciously had this picture of Africa in my mind. It was a negative image that many people seem to have (especially Americans). “It’s dirty. It’s uncivilized. People live in huts. They live in trees. It’s dangerous. Etc etc”. First I’d like to address something a lot of people seem to forget, Africa is a continent, not a country. It’s composed of 54 countries and 100s of languages and dialects. So yeah there are some parts where people live in huts but guess what, that’s their business. Yes there are some places that are rather unsafe but, so are certain parts of the United States and Ireland. People need to stop listening to the media, and miseducated individuals and do some actual research before they form an opinion on something. Or better yet, it’s okay to have an opinion, but if it’s not one that’s backed up by facts, and just comes from a place of ignorance and bigotry, I think their best kept to themselves.
I fell asleep in a hammock while reading a book. I washed my feet in the ocean after visiting a slave dungeon. I learned about the history of my ancestors both good and terrifying. For 10 days I laid in the sun. For 10 days I ate fresh fruit and vegetables. For 10 days I was surrounded by my people. I didn’t feel out of place. I was able to walk down the street without getting stared at because of the color of my skin. I wasn’t constantly being reminded of my color and met with ignorant comments (“can I touch your hair”, “you’re a pretty black girl”) like I am in Ireland or the U.S. That kind of stuff eventually takes a toll on a person. I understand “being the bigger person” and “not letting that kind of stuff get to you” but… imagine not having to take the higher road. Not having to “just ignore them”. Imagine just not being put in that situation in the first place! It’s a really great feeling..
I loved my trip to Ghana. I loved going to Africa. I loved being able to spend my Christmas break with my grandmother and her fiancé. I can go on and on about the beauty of Ghana, and about my experiences but… its really something you need to experience for yourself to really get it.
As an African American I have been brain washed into thinking America is my home. It’s not. Ireland is currently my country of residence, the United States is where I was born, but Africa is my homeland. And I have all intentions on returning as soon as possible.