19 Feb Heading Home to Ghana and Learning to Let Go
Written by Kevin Kempe, 2014 West Africa Grassroots Education Program Leader
Home, for me, isn’t so much a fixed location as it is something inside me that’s tied to a place. In this sense, I first identified home as being in Rwanda. It was a place where I was first comfortable with myself, completely aware and consumed by culture and language, and able to sit back and realize the individual and collective potential that I possessed as a member of the global community. This sense of home has since followed me around, kept deep in my heart, to all the different places I have traveled to.
When I first arrived in Ghana to work as an intern researching food security in Sandema, those same feelings didn’t immediately emerge. I didn’t allow myself to feel the motions of the people, to indulge in the blessings of the sun and the joys of the winds through the maize fields as I lay down to bed. I remained in my own bubble.
But the sense of community I felt in Sandema soon overtook those initial feelings and overwhelmed me. The people who made my everyday life possible made no one day like any other. It was there that I came to understand the unimportance of a physical location and instead turn to my peers, colleagues, teachers, friends, and strangers to create a family that would be the foundation for a home.
Whether using art for community development with the Attukwei Art Foundation in Accra or strengthening the bonds of Horizon Children’s Centre in Sandema with the ever-growing Operation Groundswell family, this year’s West Africa Grassroots Education program will find a home and a heart for all of our teams in Ghana. Together, we’ll all grow as students, as leaders and as travelers — all while revelling in our own unique characteristics. With our diverse team, we’ll discover and uncover the multitude of characteristics that make a person an adventurer, a leader, a friend, a colleague and yup, a backpacktivist!
Find your home this summer and apply for our West Africa Grassroots Education program today!