A Day in the life of a YAALI Fellow (Kakum National Park)

Today, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. That seems to be a theme on this trip for me. I’m trying new foods, making new friendships, and learning so much history that I never took the chance to; so new knowledge. Today I pushed myself in a new way. I am extremely afraid of heights, and have been for as long as I can remember. On the way to Kakum National Park, I told myself that there was no way I would be walking across the canopy bridges. I saw pictures, heard all about it and even looked it up. I decided that this was one risk and one adventure that I would not be taking, and would be watching from afar. That all changed when I arrived at the park. Most of the group took a hike through the woods up to the canopy. I wanted to go along for the hike, so I joined along.

img_1358

Before I knew it, I was at the top, where the canopy bridges were. Sadijah, Tori, and Mackenzie tried to persuade me to go across the bridge with them. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity” They said. “You didn’t come this far not to go across the bridge.” I realized they were right. I did not hike up that high, and come all the way to Ghana to miss out on this experience. I took a leap of faith, and went across the canopy bridges! I didn’t take the short-cut, I walked the long way and enjoyed every moment of it. Looking around me and seeing my friends encouraging me the whole way. This moment for me was more than just going across a bridge; it was conquering my fear with the support of my sisters. I’m proud of myself, and would do it all over again.

 

img_1357

A Day in the life of a YAALI Fellow (Day3)

There are no words to describe the beauty of Ghana. Upon stepping off of the plane, the warm air and the bright sunshine welcomed me into the Motherland. I knew that I was in for an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.

img_1352

Today was our third day, and it was nothing short of amazing. We had the chance to meet and interact with the kids at the day care. They were so thrilled and excited to spend the day with us. We read books with them, ran around on the playground outside, and just enjoyed each other’s company. The best part of today was the genuine joy, genuine laughter, and genuine fun. People brought their camera’s, but I found that everyone spent most of the time taking the moment in rather than taking pictures. Whether we were teaching the children how to say certain animals, shapes, and numbers in English or blowing bubbles, we enjoyed the moment and left in high spirits.

img_1347

After interacting with the children, we got the chance to meet some of the middle school/high school aged girls. They taught us songs and chants and were thrilled about the care packages they received form the YAALI fellows. The care packages included feminine products and hygienic products. Despite the cultural differences, it was so exciting to see everyone bonding, building relationships, and just laughing, talking and exchanging stories and aspirations. One of the students I met, shared her aspirations of traveling to the United States and playing tennis; which happens to be my favorite sport!

fullsizerender