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Monday, 23 March 2015

I wanted a perfect ending....

‘I wanted a perfect ending. Now I have learned the hard way that some poems don’t rhyme and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and an end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what is going to happen next’ Gilda Radner.
 
Williams – It is true they say that, for everything that has a beginning has an end and so does my time with International Service.  It is really sad to depart from this short but eventful journey coupled with great teamwork and successes. During this short while, I have seen transformation in my thoughts, creativity and teamwork.
          
On a personal level, I feel fulfilled because I have been part of a team that brought about positive change in the communities we worked with through our activities. Taking up lead roles in some activities in a group of so many talents and intellectuals was a bit challenging at times but I thrived in these circumstances and this has boosted my confidence level immensely.
          
I must say that, the climax of this programme has been coupled with bittersweet experiences because we have achieved all that we set out to achieve and wish we could do more but it’s time to end and our hands are tied. I will really miss everyone on this ABC Create Change team because I learnt a lot from each one of them on both personal and work levels. I LOVE YOU ALL GUYS (especially Jenny Henry).

RuthThe memories of the ICS journey are still fresh in my mind like they were in my dream last night, surprisingly it has been two months already and it feels like it was a week ago. Though I feel sad that I will miss my new family I’m still happy because I met such awesome people. I get inspiration from Dr. Seuss’ quote which says ‘don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened’.

          
From my perspective the project was great and will remain in my mind because of my experience; sensitisations, workshops, visits to literacy and girls clubs had a massive impact on me. I gained and improved on skills like IT, communication, and teamwork most importantly feedback from the communities made me fulfilled. In spite of the stress and frustration in the midst of few challenges; power cuts, unavailable Internet access and conflicts, which is common among friends.
          
I will sum this whole experience in one word - AMAZING!!! The best things said come last and these words come with a rush from my heart I LOVE YOU ALL guys and will miss you A LOT!

Fozia - I find it hard to believe that it’s already the last week. Nine weeks have flown by and in a few days we’ll be flying back to England. I cannot express the sadness I feel at the prospect of leaving, but I am extremely proud of everything that we have accomplished together over the past few weeks.


I feel I have grown as a person and, living with volunteers from both the UK and Ghana, I have learnt as much about English culture as I have about Ghanaian culture. My time on the programme has been an extremely fulfilling experience that has increased my ambition and determination.

Suraiya – At long last the battle has finally come to an end. We are in the last week of our program with International Service, Ghana. It is really amazing because it just seems like yesterday when we were all gathered at the premises of Gilberts for our induction training and project briefings and now within a twinkle of an eye we are saying goodbye to the program to allow space for the next group of volunteers.

It really hurts me to even think of the fact that our time of stay on the International Service program has reached its peak. Despite the fact we sometimes have differences among ourselves, as expected of any group, the program still serves as a very great platform for me through which I have gained life experience and skills which have helped to develop.

I was also able to impact the lives of many people through the sensitization programs, organized by our marvellous team in our host communities; in fact I will stand out boldly to recommend this program to every able individual because it is so incredible and beneficial.

Chris – It feels like only yesterday I was writing my introduction in our cohort’s first blog. The last 10 weeks have flown by so quickly and I can't believe that it is coming to an end already.


Although at times the adventure has been tough and had its ups and downs, the ups outnumber the downs drastically. I am so happy with the impact that we made in the rural communities. We visited to spread our message of how important education is and hopefully have changed parents’ attitudes in these communities so that they will now prioritize their children’s education over farm work/water carrying.

I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to visit such a beautiful country, filled with such amazing, friendly, welcoming people. Along the way I have made some friends for life that I have shared memories with that will last forever. I am sad to be moving on from Ghana and will miss so much about being here as it has taught me many important life lessons, and I know now what not to take for granted. T.I.A Bro.

Jenny – After standing at Heathrow airport with a bag stuffed with home comforts, I had no idea how quickly my disregard for these items would become.  Drinking coffee from plastic bags, having to sleep under a net, eating with my hands, navigating goats rather than cars on the roads, constant power cuts and water shortages were all annoyances that I grew to love. 

The Create Change team has achieved such a huge amount in our short time together; assisting the interns with CV writing, first aid training and developing their teaching skills were our main focus but the sensitizations we conducted in rural communities would also be events that remain close to our hearts forever. The extreme gratitude that the communities showed for our visit was an incredibly touching and humbling experience that gave such value to all our previous office work and was something that we would never forget. 

The friends I have made here have taught me so much, not only about the stark differences in our cultures but also about myself.  After living, working, travelling, laughing and crying together over the past months it’s difficult to remember our training weekend in York when we nervously introduced ourselves for the first time.  I have thoroughly loved living in Tamale, travelling around Ghana and immersing myself in a culture so alien to my own, the whole of the International Service scheme is something that I know I will value forever and am so grateful to of been selected to be a part of. 

Salaminga over and out.

Jemimah – This Saturday morning we fly to Accra, that evening at 6:45pm we fly to Dubai. At 7:30am we fly to the UK. We arrive at Heathrow on Sunday at 11:35am.


Then, no more cockerel morning calls, tro-tro rides, or drinking from water sachets. No more lights out, cold showers, no more Dagbani lessons on the porch with my neighbours, random morning greetings with strangers or invitations to join them in eating. 10 weeks have gone too fast and it is crazy to think I am actually leaving my new home. I have had an amazing experience, filled with memories made alongside some lifelong friends.  The time has come when children shouting “Salaminga bye bye” really means goodbye.  




If you want to seize the moment and discover your own perfect ending to this year then apply to go overseas as an ICS volunteer...


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