My trip to the motherland, Ghana!
My trip to the motherland, Ghana!
Hello beautiful friends,
I hope you are all well!
Mine was really nice. I spent time at home with hubby, writing, cooking, cleaning, chatting, laughing and just relaxing. It was quite refreshing. How was yours?
As many of you may know (I shared on Instagram) I visited Ghana recently. I went with my brother, mother, father and cousins to celebrate the milestone 90th birthday of my dear Grandma (my mother’s mum). I was born in the UK and at a few tender months looked after by my grandmother in Ghana for 4 years – so the early stages of my childhood and schooling were all in GH.
Since moving back to the UK I have visited Ghana a handful of times. Mum is half Ga and Fanti, and my dad is Ga. I understand Fanti, Twi and Ga, and can speak some Ga but not fluently anymore! 🙁
Needless to say then, I was VERY VERY excited to be visiting the Motherland with everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there with my cousins, aunties and uncles. It was wonderful and I wished that our trip hadn’t been so short!
Few quick fun facts about Ghana:
1. Ghana (according to most arguments) was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence post-colonialism. It gained its independence on March 6, 1957.
2. Lake Volta, in the Volta region of the country, is the world’s largest man-made lake. It’s 250 miles long and covers 3,283 square miles, or 3.6 percent of Ghana’s area.
3.The Ghana Empire was built on trade in salt and gold, which is why British merchants later called it the Gold Coast.
4. Ghana has more than seventy ethnic groups, each with its own distinct language.
5. Ghana has a population of over 27,000,000
It was difficult to contain my excitement as the plane landed on African soil. When the doors opened familiar scents filled my nose, and the warm evening air clothed me like a blanket.
I was home 🙂
Now that I am back, I miss Ghana terribly. I knew that I would feel this way. I must say, this trip was one that tore at my heartstrings in many different ways. Never have I felt so conflicted. My heart rejoices at some of the major changes and developments, and at the same time is heavily burdened at the sight of the seemingly ending sight of rife poverty.
It really broke my heart and the question what can I do that will ACTUALLY help towards real change? resounds loudly in my heart. The connection that I feel runs deep and I knew that travelling there would bring such a mixture of emotions. I thought I would briefly share a few of my own thoughts and reflections with you of my beautiful experience.
Food, clothing, shoes, drinks, you name it. Whatever it is, it is stretched to reach the maximum people for the maximum amount of time. It is quite humbling to see this. In the western culture this may not be our everyday experience. Typically once we see something wearing and tearing, we are ready to throw it away and buy a new one. I wonder if contentment here is non existent because choice is too abundant? We have too much variety, too many alternatives, and too many assortments. While a blessing, it can also prove to be a form of entanglement as we can develop ingratitude for the little things in life. I believe that there is also a great blessing in nothingness. The simplicity of life can be sweet, and it has re inspired me to strive for this in my own home, and general outlook in life.
It also reminded me of the following scripture:
1 Timothy 6:6-11
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.
For the Christian, our state of contentment must come from the principles of godliness because this in itself is true wealth whether we have an abundance of material possessions or not. “We brought nothing with us into this world, and yet God provided for us, care was taken of us, we have been fed all our lives long unto this day; and therefore, when we are reduced to the greatest straits, we cannot be poorer than when we came into this world, and yet then we were provided for; therefore let us trust in God for the remaining part of our pilgrimage”.
2. The pace of life is much slower
Generally much much slower. Granted I always stay with my grandmother who doesn’t actively do much. When I spend time with my cousins we do more. However there were several moments when I would ask what the time was, or check the time for myself and be surprised. Here in the UK life can feel- and certainly is very fast paced! At times I feel as though I simply cannot accomplish everything that I need to do in one day. I think this goes hand in hand with my first point. We are always rushed off our feet, as we attempt to squeeze multiple activities into a single day. Life in the western society is instant, and goods, commodities and services readily available. This isn’t always so in Ghana. It can prove to be frustrating, but thinking about it now, I would like to embrace that. It teaches you how to be patient, how to walk a little slower, think and process things a little bit better.
3. Time is limitless in Ghana.
lol. This point may seem contradictory to what I just said but here in the West time is money, and time is expensive! I don’t always get that feeling when I go to Ghana. Africans and time keeping is very interesting (enough said haha!) and for someone who is very punctual and who can be quite pedantic at times, the lack of awareness by the majority when it comes to time keeping does jar me slightly.
4. The women are strong
Lastly I could not help but notice the resilience, strength and heart of many of the women that I encountered. They were up early, preaching in the area, walking on the roads balancing all sorts of wonderful foods, household goods and other items such as wood and bags. These same women were carrying their sweet babies, wrapped on their backs, or by their sides. I encountered truly hard working women, and this was incredibly humbling.
These women were relentless because I suppose they have to be. They cannot afford to be lazy otherwise their children do not eat. Literally. This left a powerful impression upon me, and it gave me a new zeal to work hard and purposefully for my family, and for God.
I love Ghana. It is a beautiful country and I am proud to say that it is part of my earthly heritage. I am excited about the country’s development that can be seen in so many places- from the beautiful properties, roads and shopping centres. what I miss the most is the experience of the beautiful morning sunrises- waking up to the drum and voice of the dawn preachers, the hustle and bustle of business being done at Kaneshie market, the distant crow of the rooster, and the sounds of women- all up early sweeping their compounds and cooking food.
Such a rich and wonderful experience which is a part of me.
God bless my homeland Ghana.