Back Home NOW <3 My message to Ghana, From Kaylin

I have so much to say I have to write another blog entry.  I have too many ideas to fit them all in my Facebook status.  The first thing that happened when the plane landed in NY after two, 7-hour flights, was that my Blackberry powered on. I checked my email in a few minutes and I responded to an email from my Teach for America recruiter.  I also sent an email to my boss, and planned to come into work to tutor science in two days.  It is an incredible luxury to have my email right at my fingertips.  It also makes me realize that I will never complain about having slow internet ever again in my life.

Ghana taught me how to be calmer and more satisfied with the small joys in life.  The second I stepped off the plane, I stepped into the winter and the hustle and bustle of New York City.  Everyone is always rushing and running everywhere. What is the rush? If you constantly rush in life, you never take out enough time to enjoy the present, the here and now.

Ghana is overall a healthier place then New York.  As far as mental health is concerned, in Ghana you will rarely be stressed or anxious.  You learn to relax and you realize that certain things (like electricity and water) are not within your control or influence.  They will turn on and off as they please.  However, you will never go without water or power for so long that you cannot survive happily.  You can always buy water at the store in a plastic sashay, and you can always take a trotro/walk to the nearest internet café.  The weather is so gorgeous; you can usually hang outside with friends, so what is the need for power anyway?  In Ghana, rather then spending hours on facebook, you can simply walk next door and see your friends.  That’s the way life should be.

New York is so cold and dry.  My skin was a lot happier in Ghana. I never had dry skin in my life, and now my skin is so dry from the cold here.  Ghana’s main export is cocoa, so I continue to use cocoa butter lotion as usual.  I stepped off the plane in my AfricanWear and I felt fantastic! I love the feeling of bringing Ghana home with me.

It was never a secret—my boyfriend and I are engaged and we are in a long distance relationship now.  The first question my friends from home always ask me is, “Is he an American?” No. He is a Ghanaian. LOL that question is so funny to me.  Why would I want anything less then the best? I am engaged to the best man in the world for me, and I plan on spending the rest of my life with him.  Long distance doesn’t really faze us since we know we are going to be together forever.

I am not going to lie, the first thing I did after putting my bags down and taking a hot shower, was engagement ring shopping! I tell my friends over and over again, the ring is more for them then it is for me.  If I was in Ghana, I wouldn’t want an engagement ring because I would be with my fiancé everyday.  But in New York, I swear, the first question people ask me is “Where is the ring?”… As if a ring is supposed to symbolize my love for my future husband.. craziness. But then again, what else should I expect from USA?

I am not being critical of USA entirely.  I will admit it; I went on a shopping spree or two within this first week of being home.  New York is good for superficial things like good food, huge department stores, and a wide selection of everything!  I know there are fantastic school, job, and internship opportunities in New York too.  New York is the second best place in the world to me.  One amazing thing about New York is that it’s the home to my amazing family. I am very grateful to have the most loving, caring, open-minded and supportive family in the world (which I love dearly!).  However, as far as locations are concerned, Ghana is better then New York because Ghana has more of the deeper, meaningful qualities I love to incorporate into my life.  But New York is certainly the place I plan to go to get all of my degrees and to go to medical school.  My fiancé and I already have a plan to get an apartment together in the City while I am in medical school and while he is pursuing his masters in a NYC graduate school.

Ghana, Ghana, Ghana. Why are you so sweet, so beautiful? So deep so meaningful? Why do you explain the meaning of life in such simple terms, and why are you always right?  You asked me to return to my history, my roots, and my values.  You asked me to ignore all of the corruption and competition at home, and to open my mind to freedom.  You showed me a way out.  You held me by the hand and led me around the most beautiful land on Earth, and you introduced me to the most caring and loving people I have ever met in my life.  And for that, I thank you and I will be forever committed to you.  Ghana, I will do anything and everything to live a life full of meaning and purpose.  I want to make a difference for women and children, and I want to make this world a fairer place.  I want every child to receive a good education and good health care.  I know I am not superhuman, but I know I will do my part.  I love you and I thank you for inviting me to “study abroad” with you, in order to find myself and discover meaningful purpose and direction in my life.

Peace and Love. We are all one race, the human race. One love. <3

12 thoughts on “Back Home NOW <3 My message to Ghana, From Kaylin

  1. Hi Kaylin,
    Good to hear you are so happy! Congrats on the engagement! Could you give your readers some perspectives on class and race differences between Ghana and NY? It would be interesting to hear from your point of view.

  2. Within Ghana, like America, there are many socioeconomic differences. There are wealthy Ghanaians as well as poor. Some people live lavish lifetsyles, but a lot of people live somewhere in the middle (or are “working class”). The biggest general difference in the society is that Ghana is more collectivist and America is individualistic based on capitalism. However, these are generalizations and you will find a diversity of people with different family values and ideals in both places. As a whole, people in Ghana tend to care more about social relationships since the society was traditionally collectivist. For example, people will take out the extra time to chat with their friend rather than obsess about being on time to their business meeting. Also, students at University of Ghana tend to spend more time having fun and making time for their friends (at least this is how it seems to me). The overall vibe I get from being at University of Ghana is that the atmosphere is a lot more social and friendly in comparison to Cornell (I cannot speak for other US colleges and universities). The deep human connection I find in Ghana is large factor in my decision to move there and spend my life and career there. Some things you cannot describe in words.. like the warmth and interconnectedness in Ghana– I urge you to experience it for yourself.

    As far as the race differences are concerned, this could be a whole essay. I would say for African Americans like myself who are interested in connecting with their roots, discovering their identities, and living in a culture supportive of African success, Ghana is the best place in the world. Clearly I am bias and only speak from my own experiences, but there is a lot for all Americans to learn (regardless of race) when it comes to the history of slavery and the abuses of Africans. But beyond that, to observe and experience the joy, beauty, strength, and majestic aura of Africa, Ghana is one of the “must visit” countries. Not only does Ghana have a vibrant culture, there are also a variety of intellectual pursuits and humanitarian opportunities to get involved with as well. Ghana really is a land of opportunity that is rich in history and culture.

  3. what interested me most is your last paragraph, there was a poetic flow which i loved; and also thanks for the concluding statement which reminds us of what we are-brothers and sisters. hoping to share more with you.

  4. Good job Kaylin , just keep doing your thing girl . bless you and peace be upon you and yours

  5. I stumbled across your blog and just spent about two hours reading all of them. I Just finished my sophomore year at Madison, Wisconsin and I’m VERY interested in studying abroad in Ghana my spring semester of my Junior year. I loved all of your entries. It’d be great if I could contact you and ask a few questions. Here’s my e-mail:

  6. i am not sur ehow i happened upon this but, reading about your experience , your happiness, your awakening was so beautiful and inspiring to me……..i wish you and your husband to much peace, love and Jesus christ……… me i cannot wait to Go to Ghana…the only thing is I am afraid I will not! want to come back to USA … It is true what you say about Ghanians…even here is usa Ghanians are the best loving, sweet, calm, not troublesome at all…. I as a Black American have been blessed to know Ghanians and have learned so, so, so, much from them……………

  7. Splendid! Kaylin, you had me gushing with your beautiful writings again. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am Ghanaian and your stories are still riveting to me. Not only because of all the positive experiences you are sharing, but more because of your interpretation of your experiences. Thanks for reminding us of the real true essence of life. I love NY too but Ghana is Ghana! 🙂 God Bless.

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