There is no doubt that there are highs and lows when studying abroad. One minute, you can be having an amazing conversation with a Ghanaian, the next, someone may be trying to talk to you and they get frustrated because you cannot understand them. You can have a fantastic day at work, but get stuck in traffic on a trotro that is filled to compacity; no breathing room, no air condition, and the sun beaming directly down on you.
A month living in Ghana has taught me a lot about myself and the field of social work. It has allowed me to become more of an adult. But has also allowed me to be more humble, patient, and appreciative as well. I found that having a focused mine during the work week can be the hardest when you come into contact with obstacles. The easiest part is letting the obstacles overcome you, the hardest part is reframing your mind in order to continue your day from a positive point of view. It’s easier said than done, and sometimes its more than just eating chocolate chip cookies and drinking a coke after you come home from a long day. Sometimes it takes taking a whole day to yourself, and doing what helps you refresh and refocus your mind in order to prepare for the next work day.
For me, sometimes it is hard to remember the highs throughout my experience when I encounter lows that catch me off guard. But without the “lows” their would be apart of my experience that would be missing. Yes the heat can be draining, the food takes time to adjust too, you may be running late to work because the traffic is at a standstill for minutes at a time, and there may even be a bad apple every now and them who make take advantage of you because you are a “foreigner” and must have a lot of money since you are American. But these are an important part of the experience that allow me to learn, grow, and develop. This is what I wanted all along.