When I first came to Ghana I met a German man. He was living rough with not much money and a drink problem. When asked why he didn’t go home he said that when he wakes in the morning, looks out and sees Africa he feels happy.
I can relate to this. I still feel a sense of wonder and excitement to realise I’m really here, even after 7 years. I sometimes wonder if I’m dreaming as I look around at the familiar streets which, with my distancing gaze, start to take on that unfamiliar appearance of when I first arrived.
Through all the difficulties of being a foreigner and the very real frustrations unique to Ghana, I feel at home and am living the life I want. My foreignness is also an enabler.
My turning away from the UK, I initially interpreted as an act of defiance. I no longer wish to see myself in conflict with my birth place. I hope I have matured enough to see the positive values of the culture I have left behind. Ironically, the negative values I rejected seem to be the ones many Ghanaians wish to embrace! I’ve always found it hard to be a cheer leader and am not able to start now. But my absence of flag waving should not be interpreted in purely negative terms.
I wanted an adventure. I closed my eyes and jumped before I had time to think. Through accident and circumstances I believed Ghana was my future. I’ve not looked back and have no regrets. My dream continues.