As I prepared for my volunteering journey to Ghana, I found myself grappling with questions such as “How will I react to this new environment?” and “Will I have a good time there?”. Having never traveled beyond Europe, the weeks leading up to my departure were filled with uncertainty. I had no idea what to expect in a country with a culture vastly different from what I knew growing up. Nonetheless, I told myself “Oh well, there’s no turning back now”.
A Warm Welcome
On the 30th of August, I boarded the plane and landed in an unknown country with an unfamiliar culture. Luckily, I quickly discovered that Ghanaians are among the most welcoming and kind people on Earth, and it almost instantly felt like I had found a new home. Upon arrival, I was introduced to a term that would follow me throughout my volunteering journey in Ghana. The locals would call me “Obruni,” which translates to “foreigner” or, in my case, “white man” in their language. Given my towering height and fair skin, it was easy to understand why they called me that. To them, I was the perfect “Obruni.” Therefore, I thought it was very funny and had many laughs about it with the rest of my Obruni-gang.
During my volunteering journey in Ghana, I immersed myself in the local culture, getting to know many people with diverse perspectives on life. Engaging in conversations with them was truly refreshing and eye-opening, as I learned about their unique life stories. As a result, this experience instilled a sense of gratitude within me for the privileges we enjoy in the Netherlands. It also made me realize that even small gestures can have a significant impact on the world.
A Life-changing Journey
In retrospect, I feel incredibly fortunate to have embarked on this project. Not only did I explore a new country with a distinct mindset and culture, but I also delved deeper into my own interests and self-discovery. This experience was truly life-changing. To anyone reading this and contemplating participating in the Medicine Project or a similar endeavor, I wholeheartedly encourage you to apply. I am confident that you will not regret it.Why you should volunteer with AIESEC!