Tuesday, 29 September 2015

An English Girl in Ghana 

Even though I have only spent the last week living in Tamale, Ghana; attempting to mirror the lives of real people, living in very different conditions to that of my own, in Taunton, Somerset. 

I came here as any westerner would, filled with the stereotypes of starvation, poor sanitation and the people having a lesser life, to that of my own. 

However my short time here has already completely thrown that out the window. If there is any starvation... it is not here. It has got to the point, that, I have to refuse food off my neighbours, during the holy Muslim holiday Eid; which happened on Thursday. Which celebrates family and friendships and it involves a lot of food with a lot of people. Similar to our Christmas. I was very lucky to have had to chance to go Muslim prayer and a mosque with my host family; which was very humbling to do.

Tamale is a very thriving place. Filled with small business and entrepreneurs. This is shown in the charity I am working for. Create Change, an agency that works with the ICS program- which promotes rural education and education of young girls, and helps sustain communities with its own publics. for example, we are planning on holding a bilateral between teachers and parents; to combat the problem of children being prematurely taken out of school. 

Before I came here, I didn't believe my life was amazing. Far from it; however, now I see that my life is not far from those who live in Ghana; perhaps family bonds and community spirit is even stronger here, compared to the isolated world of England. with my host Mum shocked at the fact, I knew none of my neighbours names; back in small taunton. 

My host family, yet hectic, is a constant reminder that these stories are just stories, and are not a true description of Africa as a whole. With the houses facilities all working and the family always working hard to keep there house a home. 

So finally, as an English girl in Ghana, I feel truly embarrassed that I ever thought Africa was a place, in constant need for outside help and intervention. 

Isabella Cross

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