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Archive for the month “May, 2014”

Thanks Mom


I probably should have posted this when it was mother’s day, but that didn’t feel quite right to me. I don’t want to appreciate my mom only when it’s mother’s day I want to appreciate her every single day.

Being here in Ghana I’ve learnt to appreciate her more and more every day, just because I understand her better every day. I go crazy if I don’t see my kids from the orphanage at least once every two days. I don’t know how my mom is even handling me being a continent away from her for this long! And then me selfishly not contacting her too much so I don’t get too homesick.

But there’s more to it than seeing the kids as much as I can. Every time I see them I have to give them an overload of hugs and kisses. I have to tell them how much I love them at least 3 times before I leave. They might think it’s too much, but for me it’s so important that these kids know that they’re not just a little part of my life. They are my life. They have to know how much I love and appreciate them. They have to know that I would do everything to keep them safe and happy. That’s also another part. A while ago one of the kids got sick. More kids get sick, it happens. So many kids here had malaria and typhoid multiple times. No worries, it’s no big deal. We buy some pills, they get better. This was different though. It wasn’t malaria, it wasn’t typhoid. Something that could actually be dangerous. Words cannot express how worried I was. I slept awful, I was tossing and turning. I couldn’t go to the hospital because my feet hurt too much. My kid was feeling bad and I wasn’t there for her. I am not ready to have anything happen to any of these children. If anything happens I don’t know how I would continue. Is this how my mom felt when I was sick? Was this how she felt when I had a fever, or a big cut from being too clumsy? Was she sitting next to my bed, biting her lips to hide her tears so that I thought it was going to be fine? Wow.

And then there are the rules. We went to the beach with the kids. Two kids run off to the sea without getting permission. No. No. No. I get angry at them, because they want to have a little fun. Harmless right? There are so many people at the beach. We take them there because it’s fun, but the moment we take them they are our responsibility. Why on earth am I being so strict with the kids even though I’m only a volunteer staying for a short time? Because I love these kids so much that I have no choice but to be a little strict dome times. When I ran off somewhere, is that how my mom felt? When I wanted to stay away from home way after dark, was she laying awake being worried? Wow.

On mother’s day I went to the orphanage and all the kids ran up to me as usual. “Happy mother’s day!” I almost cried. Orphans. They come up to me, a person they’ve known for a few months and they say happy mother’s day. Even though I didn’t raise them or that I’ve only know them for short. For me, I feel like their mother. They’re My children. They’ll always be my kids. I never knew that I could love this much. Being a ‘mom’ tot them is so much more than just the name ‘mom’. Being a mom means hugging, loving, caring, worrying, being angry, being happy, being strict, being loving, being so so much more than a friend or a sister. Being a mom means giving your heart away. If I feel this way about kids I’ve known for a few months, how much more does my mom love me after raising me for 19 years. Wow, thanks mom. You’re amazing. Not just on mother’s day, not just today but for the past 19 years of my life and for the past 48 years of your life, you are truly amazing. 


Home sweet home

So a while ago I started feeling really homesick. Really really homesick. I spent a few days inside my room, not talking to people, being really grumpy and avoiding all social contact. That’s not really weird I guess, since I’ve been away from home for more than 5 months now. I guess it’s different for every person, but in my case, I just freaking want to see my friends and family right now. I just freaking want constant electricity, to not be sweaty for a whole 24 hours and to have a comfortable bus ride to the nearest supermarket to buy their entire supply of cheese.  I just want to hug the people I haven’t seen for so long.

That was what was running through my mind two weeks ago, but that being said, I’m not ready to leave. At all. Not even close. I miss home, but here in Ghana, I’m making a difference. I’m actually helping kids get further in life. I’m not only their teacher, but I’m their mom, their big sister, their role model, their friend… I can’t believe that someone like me can play such a big part in someone else’s life. Since DACF started helping the new orphanage they got a new house, new beds, new fans, new towels, new classrooms, new clothes, new toothbrushes and new friends. Some of the kids even gained weight! They have it loads better now, just because we tried to help. These kids are my life now, I’m not ready to leave them behind.

So after a complete week of being antisocial a new volunteer arrived. Always when new volunteers arrive I see it as my job to have them know how much I love Ghana and how much they are going to love it. I spend time rambling on about all the nice things Ghana has to offer, sometimes I take them on their first tro tro ride, or their first time to the orphanage. For me that was the perfect moment to stop being homesick and start appreciating what I have again. I’ve got a good thing going on for me here. I’m surrounded by really genuinely nice, selfless people with big hearts who are all in it to make a difference and that’s more than I could’ve ever asked for. No more being homesick for me because Ghana is my home.

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