A Month in Ghana

Describe a life altering experience.

For the first time, I was an outcast. The minority. The one who didn’t fit in. I was a speck of white in a sea of black, and everyone around me made sure that I realized that. I was in an unfamiliar country, across the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by people speaking a different language, and above all, physically, I stuck out like a sore thumb. “So, this is culture shock,” I thought, as I lay down for the first time on my bed in my host family’s house. My excitement had worn off and I began to feel isolated and disoriented. I didn’t want to go outside, see anyone, or do anything that night. I just wanted to listen to Michelle Branch on my iPod, the only connection that I currently had with the “world” that I came from. I was awakened the next morning at 5:30 A.M. by the loud singing and clapping coming from the Anglican Church service taking place literally outside of my host family’s house. I tried to cover my ears with a pillow, but to my disappointment, it had no effect whatsoever. I stayed in bed and my mind began to wander; I thought about where I was and what I was experiencing.

Going to Africa had only been a dream, and seemed to be a silly one at that, considering all of the violence occurring in Africa. My parents had...

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