We decided to live in Ghana… Permanently.

Posted on October 28, 2010 by Kaylin LeMelle- Thomas.
Categories: Adventures Abroad.

Why should we go home? Why do we want to go home? Well, if you speak to some White Americans in my study abroad program or to some Black Americans who live in my hostel, you will receive a very interesting answer to these questions. They do not want to go “home” to America because Ghana is now our home. Earlier in my blogs I wrote, “Living here is 100 times better than living in New York because here in Ghana there is a deep human connection you find with others, even with strangers and new people. I feel like the human spirit is more alive here in Ghana then it is back in America.” Once you come to Ghana, you experience a deep love, connectedness, and passion between people that is very rare to find in the United States. Deep, meaningful conversations pop up everyday and you do not have to wait until the weekend or the holidays to see your best friends.

It is very hard for me to articulate in words the warm feeling inside of my mind and my soul. I was unhappy in New York because I was never satisfied with things. I could teach inner city youth full time and even volunteer teach an additional 6 hours a week in the evenings. I could shop and party and go to bars. I could travel to see friends on occasion and visit my family on the weekends. But still, there was a cold and empty feeling inside of me, despite my struggle to live a balanced and fulfilled life. I felt like a deep person who was searching for a deeper human connection, but since I could not find what I desired, I settled for less, and I participated in meaningless, superficial things. I was hoping since other people were satisfied with clothes, money, and many superficial friendships, that maybe I would be satisfied with these things as well. I was wrong. They say everyone has to find what’s best for them and pursue that interest. Well, Ghana is everything I could have ever dreamed of, and more.

When I speak to some Americans about why they want to live in Ghana permanently, it has partly to do with the deep human connectedness. Two of my friends really enjoy teaching Ghanaian students. The children are very respectful and very passionate about learning as much as they can. They love participating in class and they always ask for more homework! Although some Ghanaian teachers still use physical punishment, my American friend decided to use “tickle punishment” with her kindergarten students instead. Whenever a student misbehaves or doesn’t do what they are supposed to in class, she tickles them for a while and they giggle and giggle until they agree to behave! The children are so grateful for their education. Their outlook is so positive, despite many obstacles that may be in their way.

The difference between life in Ghana and life in America is that here, people are satisfied. Maybe people are not rich or they do not drive fancy cars, but people have meaningful relationships and share love, laughter, and conversations, even with strangers. Yesterday I sat down for lunch with two African American women who live in my hostel that I have never spoken to before. They both told me that they are moving to Ghana permanently. One woman said this was her 11th time in Africa but her second time in Ghana. She planned to move to the Eastern Region and get married to her fiancé there. When she told me her plans, I felt the joy radiating from her smile, and I smiled with her. What a beautiful life! It makes so much sense that people should be happy, satisfied, and in love. It makes sense that people should love openly, without regret and should trust each other and build a future together. To me, love is the greatest joy in life. Although my career is important to me too, love is equally (if not, more) important. Why are American’s so dissatisfied with their love lives and why are they so obsessed with their careers? I realize that after feeling immense, unadulterated joy in Ghana, I can never return to the unhappy, dissatisfied, restless state of mind I experienced in New York.

Now, you could argue I am simply in love with my Ghanaian boyfriend and that’s why I do not want to leave Ghana.You could argue that my internship at the West Africa Aids Foundation has inspired my career decisions to be a doctor, and that Dr. Naa has become a positive mentor and role model and I want to become exactly like her. Or, I am so in love with the cute 3 year-old babies at the Daycare Center where I volunteer on Mondays, and I want to continue spending time with Ghanaian babies. Or you could say, since I am living a SuperStar Lifestyle, appearing in music videos with Ghana’s top hip-life artists, V.I.P., that’s why I do not want to leave. But my connection to Ghana is even broader, and deeper then that. My boyfriend told me, “Ghana is your home. You are always welcomed here”. Americans never told me, “Welcome home”. What is home really? It should be a place of comfort, love, joy, and satisfaction. The only thing I miss at home is the food. I think I can get over that with time. I love my friends and family at home, but it is obvious to me that I was not satisfied with the limited amount of time I got to spend with them when I was in the States. I feel like everyone in New York is constantly competing, trying to advance their careers, and reach their goals. I realize these are can be positive attributes and aspirations in moderation, but I personally think that taking out the time to be with loved ones and sharing deep moments is more important. You only live once, so why spend your life feeling trapped in a superficial “battle to the top”?

So where do I go from here? Do I still want to apply for Teach for America and attend post-baccalaureate pre-medical programs in New York City? Do I still want to go to medical school in New York? Well to be honest, I am not sure anymore. I have to see how things go. I know that foreign students attend Korle Bu Medical School in Ghana and it only costs about 6,000 a semester (WOW, no debit after medical school)! So at this point, I must say, I am very open to new possibilities. I am sure if I follow my heart, then all of my love, passions, interests, and my dedication to making a difference will steer me along the right path. From day one, I knew I wanted to be different from everyone else and I knew I was open-minded to everything the world had to offer me. I no longer think solely as a New Yorker, New Rochellian, or Cornellian—my mind is now open to a global perspective and global possibilities.



Comment on October 28th, 2010.

I’m sooo proud of you!!!

  Kaylin LeMelle- Thomas
Comment on October 29th, 2010.

Thanks Cyre! I am so happy here :-D I am glad you are getting a chance to read about my experiences <3

Comment on November 20th, 2010.

Wow, you just touch my spirit with all these nice things you saying about my country. It is my wish every one on Ghana could take the time to read this and now how much this country can help change the life of other people hence the need for us all here to help keep the spirit of the land high and do for ourselves what’s right and help build mother Ghana. In the spirit of Ubuntu we can make it. Peace.
Thanks Kay

  muhammad amin bhatti
Comment on January 20th, 2011.

it is very nice to read your article well can you help me to re locate in Ghana?
i am a pakistani business man

  rhan ahmed
Comment on June 1st, 2011.

Thank you so much, i agree 100% . i have always felt the way you feel ,and yes it is very important to find ourselves in this life , for we cannot live for others and be happy . Life is so short and you can,t recieve any new time on our life clock ..thank you for this beautiful letter Kaylin ,salam

Comment on July 11th, 2011.

Very interesting and very insightful…if I could go back and do things over, I would love to have had some of the experiences you have had when I was in my 20’s. We get so caught up in our jobs and being “successful” here in the U.S. that we often forget about what’s really important in life. Good luck to you whatever you decide to do and thanks for sharing.

Comment on October 30th, 2011.

It really a great decision. You have shown your love to your love to your country Ghana. And I’m also agreeing that your life in Ghana more better than busy life in New York. In Ghana you will live as man with the other feelings and in New York there is no value of feelings; everyone is too busy here.

Comment on February 23rd, 2012.

You touched my heart! I’m planning to move to Ghana too!

  Zola Morris
Comment on February 24th, 2012.

WOW,WOW and WOW! Thank you, I felted everything you said. My name is Zola from Memphis, TN., who one day soon will be moving to Africa. I went to Kenya in 2007, and that is where I left my heart. Black American would never understand Africa until they visit for themselves with an open heart. Since 2007 – all I think about is Africa, my life will never be the same. Africa will teach you humility and it will show you (you). I love the people in Africa and I long to go back soon. I met another lady from America who go to Ghana at least 3 to 4 times a year and her family is moving for good, around 2014. We found a connection when we talked about Africa. I will be taking my next trip with her this September 2012, to see if Ghana is the place for me too. Our goal is to start a Medical Clinic serving women. Bring breast cancer awareness/HIV/Aids Prevention and immunization shots and much more with the help of the people already there. We are not coming to teach the women anything, but we are coming to learn from them. My first trip taught me to shut up and learn from them, and I did just that,(not shut-up, but I did learn much. Also, I found out a year ago through family reunions here in the United States – My descent are from Benin,Sudan, and I hope to visit there also.

  Kaylin LeMelle- Thomas
Comment on February 24th, 2012.

That is amazing. I hope to meet you one day. I am
Going back to ghana this summer to intern again at west africa Aids foundation

Comment on March 7th, 2012.

That’s a beautiful touching story, wish I were there. I have been ready to make Ghana my home there but I’m not sure how much money I would need at minimum. I’ve never been to africa, but I feel my spirit pulling me there. What is the minium amount that I should have saved up before packing up my things and planning a move? I have no family there and no one to come with me, I would be a single american woman. What are the upscale areas, how secure would I feel, how would I get around, where could I apply for jobs, would I need a car or could I afford to hire a driver, what about attending university to study computers or teach although I don’t have a teaching certificate? What is the cost of living and the best area to live in? How long would it take to become a citizen? Are their others whom I could connect with so that I will know some people there? Thanks so much

  Kaylin LeMelle- Thomas
Comment on March 7th, 2012.

Please email me directly at KML65@cornell.edu and I can put you in touch with some of my friends and give you some pointers. I am hopefully going back to GH for a month this summer :-)

Comment on May 20th, 2012.

I am also thinking about shifting my area. I don’t wanna go outside the country but I will go country side the expenses here is unbearable day by day. Best of luck for your Ghana House.

  Zola Morris
Comment on June 16th, 2012.

Hello Kaylin, this is Zola from Memphis, TN., again. I will not be able to come to Ghana in September, but I am still hoping to come soon. Missing Africa! anyone needing to talk to someone about Africa – contact me please. zola.morris@yahoo.com

Comment on August 21st, 2012.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH,WHY!yesterday i think to will go ghana when i see good story.
so how to live in ghana when i am Tanzania?

Comment on October 2nd, 2012.

I feel the same, Ghana has my heart. Can I contact you?

Comment on November 29th, 2012.

Great Story my name is Jay I’m also from NYC I visited Ghana in Sept 2012 along with my wife and daughter we all loved it. We visited Techiman, Cape Coast, Accra areas and Volta Region it was one of the best experiences. We also talked about relocating. We had a plan to moved but the problem was finding employment to sustain the upkeep. Do you have any ideas. I’m a correction officer and my wife works at a hospital. Thanks in advance.

  Suzanne Tarver
Comment on January 15th, 2013.

Excellent blog Kaylin

Comment on February 11th, 2013.

O wow. I am sooo happy for you. Im currently in the process of volunteering with the peace corps. Departure date is August 2013 My region is AFRICA but I pray thatn I get placed to Ghana!

Comment on March 10th, 2013.

Hi Kaylin, i am moved by your story. I hope everything works out well for you and the very best of luck with everything. I am Ghanaian living in NYC and i have to say that i agree with everything you have said. I would love to assist anyway i can should anybody have any questions about Ghana. Kaylin good luck and Welcome Home! :) Asterixx_10@yahoo.com

Comment on March 24th, 2013.

This blog was very interesting…I am actually leaving for Ghana at the end of next month but everyone here has me so scared about going. Please email me if you can Shanne2009@aol.com. I would love to hear about positive experiences and any pointers that someone might have :-)

Comment on March 30th, 2013.

i would love to move to ghana,wondering how much money I may need for living.What about work their and pay.When I come I will be alone,I hav nt had that kind of feeling you spoke about sounds great.Pls pray for me to get their soon.Thx

  Charles Walker
Comment on April 13th, 2013.

I am preparing for my wedding in Ghana this summer. I hope to spend over a month there with my future wife. I have considered staying longer, any suggestions on finding an entry level IT job in the Accra, West Ghanna area for an American?

Comment on June 11th, 2013.

i went to ghana 2013 in april for one week i love the country so much i want to go back a week wasn’t enough i want to live among the people and also help with the hiv programs where kaylin would i have to go to get started.ajuke2004@yahoo

Comment on June 17th, 2013.

I’m Bruno from Burkina Faso, I will go to Accra next week, but I know nobody there and I’d also want to know where I’ll go to have fun. Please email at: tadoa@ymail.com

Comment on July 10th, 2013.

Anyone who has questions about Ghana or wants to visit Sometime. i can assist you in everything, If you are in contact with someone and want to know about the person too , i could be of help.My email is bans.linda@gmail.com

  Lisa Selena
Comment on July 19th, 2013.

Hi Everyone! I am so happy that I found this blog and as I’m typing, I’m hoping it’s still operational. I tried to find a few of you on Facebook, but no luck.

I’m moving to Ghana, November 2013. I’ve visited of course, but need advice, tips, important people to meet and know in the area! Any guidance would be appreciated! My email is lisasel1998@gmail.com

  kavita iyer
Comment on July 26th, 2013.

Hi my husband is planning to move to ghana in business prospects. It was wonderful to read your post. I would like to know if it is a safe place to start a living and family as we are newl married.

  Nicholas Haynes
Comment on August 20th, 2013.


My name is Nicholas Haynes and I just learned about a lot of African Americans who are leaving for Ghana. I am highly interested in a move like that, some information would be appreciated. I was told that its alot of opportunity for African Americans and I have been looking for somewhere in the world to move long term and really feel at home. I’m from Detroit, MI and will be following your blog to gain insight.

Comment on August 27th, 2013.

is it good place for doing job at ghana for Indians.. and have got vegetarian food there. how was safe living there.. pls

Comment on August 28th, 2013.

I simply delighted about what everyone thinks about Ghana. I am a Ghanaian myself and trust me Ghana is fun. I was in us 2009 and I felt the cultural shock like a volcano. Everybody there is busy one way or the other. I enjoyed my stay there, but I grew tired of some people asking me ridiculous questions about Africa and starting some questions with the F* word which by my upbringing totally wrong. USA is nice if you are a millionaire and don’t think much of tomorrow and Ghana too is nice just as you are.

Comment on October 19th, 2013.

Great blog. It would be nice if you can update your experiences so far.

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