Ghana: My Heartbeat

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Where do I even begin? First off, before going to Ghana I was extremely nervous. Every time, my friends asked me if I was excited to be visiting my homeland, I always responded “No, I’m actually nervous.” You may be wondering why I was nervous about visiting Ghana. Well, I haven’t been to Ghana in 16 years. I haven’t been on a plane ever since I stepped foot in the states. I haven’t seen my family members in so many years and the feeling of going back home filled me with so many emotions. The day before going to Ghana, I was a little excited but still nervous. I felt the Holy Spirit reminding me of 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” That same night, my friend sent me a text with the same verse. I felt a calm in my spirit.

The day arrived for me to go to Ghana. My suitcases were packed. Passport and everything settled. Arrived at the airport to check my luggage only for the luggage attendant to say that my luggage was above the limit (50 pounds). I stood to the side and situated everything. The crazy part was that my luggage barely had anything in it but I learned that the luggage itself consumes weight depending on the brand you purchase.

Airplane Experience:

So I flew with KLM.  I didn’t take a direct flight to Ghana. My departure flight delayed by an hour. Eventually, the plane arrived and we were all ready to board. Before entering the plane, you have to show your boarding ticket and passport. On the plane, they served us pasta, rice, fruit salad, chicken and desert (icecream, almond, apple crumb cake). I actually enjoyed the foods that were served on the plane.

Upon arriving at Amsterdam airport, I walked around and when it got close to time to board the flight to Ghana, my mom and I went to the flight hostess to check our boarding pass ticket to make sure that everything was intact. It was almost time to board our plane to Ghana so we walked over to our Gate. There, I saw so many Ghanaians alongside with Caucasians and other races boarding the plane to Ghana. We waited patiently and eventually it was time for us to get on the plane. Once again, our passport and boarding pass ticket had to be checked. I cannot count how many times I had to show my passport and boarding pass. Everything worked out and we walked a pathway to enter the plane. At this point, I was excited. Ghana here I come. I sat back, relaxed and watched Fences and Hidden Figures. Let me tell you about the movies they had on the plane; it was the bomb. I mean from African movies to Bollywood to Chinese movies. C’mon the plane was serving us well especially with all that money that was paid to board to the motherland. They were not playing when flight hostess went around multiple of time asking us if we wanted water, soda or tea. I wan’t surprised how many times I went to the bathroom. I enjoyed every moment. The clouds were beautiful. If you are ever flying, I would definitely recommend you to take the window seat. You will surely enjoy your trip unless you don’t care much about the view.

Let’s talk about the babies. Yes the children who cry throughout the plane ride that you can’t even sleep. To be honest, sometimes it’s the parents who cause the children to cry. For instance, there was this little boy sitting next to his father. He was watching his show. All of a sudden his father started asking him questions, then he started crying. Mind you this little boy was around 3 years old. His father kept asking him if he wanted to eat. He was asking the child too many questions and the child was probably already frustrated sitting on the plane for so long. The father couldn’t handle the child to the point that he ended up tapping his wife who was sitting in the front seat with his other child for her to come to his rescue. Sometimes, children want to be left alone. When they are playing games, they don’t want to be asked so many questions. The child cried until half way to Amsterdam before he stopped crying.

Arrival to Ghana:

I remember this like it was yesterday. The plane landed in Ghana at exactly 8:07pm. Upon landing, I loved how everyone was filled with joy and started thanking God for safe arrival. It was amazing. Compared to arriving at Amsterdam, the plane was silent. Though we landed at 8pm, we actually got out of the plane around 9pm. Apparently, the bus that was supposed to take us to Kotoka International Airport hadn’t arrived upon our arrival. I was waiting for the heat to welcome me as my fellow friend told me it would once I landed. It welcomed me but I didn’t think it was so hot as she expressed it but I also believe that it was due to the time of my arrival. If it was in the afternoon, the heat will seriously welcome me that I would need at least 3 bottles of Voltic water.

Our bus eventually arrived. I loved how the bus looked. It was very simple and pleasant. The airport was really packed. I wasn’t expecting that since we arrived on a Monday. It took a while before everything got settled. Some people had to stand in line in accordance to their stance (immigrant or citizen). While on line, I met a girl name Vanessa. I loved her braids and attire. She is from America but is currently doing her Master’s in Public Health in University of Ghana. I also met a couple who were coming to Ghana to know more about their roots. After taking their ancestry test, their results showed that their family were mostly from Ghana. Though the line was very long, our engagement in conversation made things more quicker and interesting. As we stood on line, one of the ladies that worked there, directed us to someone to take a look at our documents and everything. Eventually, everything got sorted out. Now it was time for us to go and pick up our suitcases. One thing that I noticed is that everyone wanted to help so that they can get money from you. There was one guy who kept parading our luggages because he wanted to help us but my mom didn’t want him to help.

As we arrived the waiting area, I made a plan with mom that I didn’t want my aunt to see me. I wanted to surprise her because as far as I knew, she didn’t know that I was coming to Ghana. So my mother took a different pathway than I did. When my aunt saw me, she started yelling. Mind you, it’s been 16 years of not seeing her. She was the one that raised me when I lived in Ghana. It was pure joy seeing her after all these years. Honestly, writing this post is bringing back too many memories.

So after all the yelling and hugs, we packed our luggages in the car. My aunt kept saying “I can’t believe it you.” On our way back home, my aunt showed me the schools I attended while I was in Ghana. She mentioned a few street names and junctions but I couldn’t remember them because years have passed. Close to home, tears trickled down my cheeks. It saddened me to see so many children sitting outside at past 10pm. The road was extremely rocky and seeing the neighborhood I lived in surprised me. As a child, your not aware of too many things. Your’e just living life without a care. In the same way, the children that were sitting outside, are most likely accustomed to their way of living but because I have’t been to Ghana in so many years, seeing children sitting around that time shocked me because in the states, you barely see children at that time of the night.

Meeting My Family:

Everyone was surprised to see me. My grandmother didn’t recognize me. Mind you, it was at nighttime so she probably wasn’t really aware. She was half asleep/awake but once she woke up, she was able to recognize me. We spoke for a short time then proceeded to do some few things.

This was Day 1 in Ghana. 🙂

There is so much I want to share but one post won’t do any justice. Watch out for the next blog post. Till next time, here are a few pictures I took while in Ghana.

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Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to my homeland Ghana. Today we have turned 60 years old. For the first time, I actually didn’t do anything to celebrate. I didn’t eat any African food. I wasn’t home. It was a beautiful feeling seeing the amount of posts that people shared online on how they were celebrating this day. I miss Ghana very much. I haven’t been there in 16 years. Soon and very soon, I will go. I’m telling you the plane ticket is like someone’s breakfast, lunch and dinner. To think of it, if we allow money to get in the way of going somewhere, we will never travel. Tell me, how did you celebrate this Independence Day? What did you chop today? Fufu & Light Soup, Banku & Okra or straight Ghana jollof rice?

Here are a few pictures I came across online on Ghana.

Picture Credit: All photos were found on Tumblr. P.S. Happy two years to my blog. (March 6,2015). We are in 2017 and we will continue to flourish 🙂

Questionnaire:

  1. Were you born in Ghana or another state/country?
  2. What do you like about Ghana?
  3. What do you dislike about it?
  4. What are some of your favorite foods?
  5. Do you see yourself living in Ghana if your not there?
  6. If there’s one thing you can change about Ghana, what would it be?
  7. What are some of your childhood memories living in there?
  8. What day of the week were you born?
  9. What tribe are you from?
  10. If there’s one place in Ghana you’ll like to visit, where would it be?
  11. What are some good restaurants you have visited?