Preparing for Re-Entry into USA

Posted on November 22, 2010 by Kaylin LeMelle- Thomas.
Categories: Re-entry Into USA.

It’s funny how I thought I would get homesick while in Ghana. In reality, there was not a single day this entire semester when I felt like going home or I missed USA at all. Now, I am slightly worried about how I will adjust to being back in NY and back at Cornell. I have to get used to being on my own again and being surrounded by constant competition and stress. However, there are particular aspects of my feelings and experiences that I do have control over.  I think I learned a lot from being in Ghana. I learned to be more laid back, to live comfortably but not extravagantly, to be satisfied with life, and I learned what it is like to enjoy each day.  I have learned ways of eliminating stress and I learned that I can chose to have a positive outlook and state of mind regardless of the situation I may find myself in.  I learned not to worry about people, things, or situations that I cannot do anything about. Rather then being constantly bombarded by my friends’ issues and choices, I have learned to take a step back and not allow their issues to become my problems.

I feel a lot more focused and level-headed now that I have lived in Ghana for 4 months. After speaking to some American friends, it is clear that we have really grown as individuals and have taken out the time to discover ourselves during our stay in Ghana.  We have really developed clear career and social-life goals that we plan to stick to.  It is inspiring for me to realize that I have the potential to do whatever I want in life.  I needed to take a step outside of my usual, hectic life in NY in order for me to really see the larger picture.

You only live once. Life is all about happiness, fulfillment, making a difference for others, and love. Every time I speak to my African friends or to my friends who decided to relocate permanently to Ghana, it is clear that the deep human connectedness (that I often write about) is in its actuality, the true meaning of life. Also, there are so many opportunities here in Ghana to open your own non-profit, youth center, business, health clinic, or make a significant impact in any field of interest. In NY we are competing so much because we are so overcrowded with specialists and our individual impact on society is often overlooked or diminished since there are so many educated professionals concentrated in a small area. We need to spread our knowledge and potential to other areas where people are under-served. We should embark on missions to empower the people from the grassroots level, encouraging them to reach their full potentials and make a difference in their communities.  There is so much that can be done outside of New York City and outside of USA. The world is open to possibilities.

It is clear to me now that the reason why I will not experience reverse-homesickness when I return to NY is because I know I am coming back to Ghana. I understand it may take 10-12 years for me to complete my educational goals first, but I will eventually return and get a job and a house here in Ghana.  I am grateful to have met so many amazing people through the CIEE program, on campus, and also from around Ghana. I plan to keep in touch with all of my friends and I will visit again during my vacations.

Peace and Love. Take a deep breath and experience the joy of life <3 <3 <3

3 comments.



  Tilden J Le Melle
Comment on November 26th, 2010.

Hi, Kay..We’re glad the experience has meant so much in your development as a person. There is nothing like the liberating of traveling and experiencing other culture. It helps to put your own in a broader perspective and appreciate the commonalities and differences and also realize that people everywhere have the same basic values even though they may express and pursue those values in different ways…Love and Prayers, Pop

  Therese
Comment on November 27th, 2010.

Hi Baby-girl, I am so pleased to read about your experiences in Ghana and how you plan on bringing the peace and joy back to New York with you. As a family, we have been taught to give back to our communities and by doing this we in turn will benefit. You have learned well and have added greatly to all who you have served in your 21 years. We are all very proud of you. I know that your last semester at Cornell will be a good one because you have prepared yourself to deal with all that will come your way! I love you, Tezzie

  Sarah Abiola
Comment on October 6th, 2013.

yes, being in Africa you feel that sacred togetherness that you would not feel in America… I stayed in Nigeria for a month and I was over welmed with what I felt… the deep human spirit my soul had been yearning for … I want to return and Ghana is next on my list… I dont like it here in America because of the negativity at hand… I am from upstate NY and I saw the difference in myself from both places… I plan to return one day and permanently stay

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