Goodbye to Ghana

Looking back at the past few weeks, it’s interesting to see how my daily routine in Ghana has changed. Throughout college, as I led service trips to Ghana for other undergrads, my focus was exposing my travel companions to the genuine “Ghanaian experience”…sweaty tro-tro rides, broken-down buses, trips to the market. In the past 20 days, meeting with hospitals and officials in 4 of Ghana’s regions and traveling through several more, I have found myself increasingly opting for efficiency and professionalism—riding to site visits in government cars, trading shorts for dress pants and a polo, and using a mobile internet modem. In the past, I found myself looking at people riding in USAID SUVs with a certain amount of judgment. Now, as I have made the personal transition from a student volunteer to a director of a nonprofit, I understand that getting the job done (while sticking to our shoestring budget!) is the first priority. I appreciate all of the experiences that I have had, transportation nightmares and all, and know I will continue to have my fair share of Ghanaian adventures.

I’m writing this post from the airport in Accra, waiting at the gate to board my flight to JFK. I cannot believe how fast the past few weeks flew by, but I’m happy with how much I have accomplished and ready to tackle the states-side aspects of preparing our next shipments. Goodbye to Ghana, my now-destroyed black flats (that somehow made it through 3 trips to Ghana and 9 med school interviews), my much-needed sweat rag (slightly smelly but so necessary), eating fish at bus stations (I think I my meal last night broke every rule the travel clinic advises), and the wonderful people that have made this trip so enjoyable!