Coming to Ghana wasn’t an experience that I asked for but it’s certainly one that I feel blessed for. When I emailed my academic advisor in early November to tell him of my plans to go to Uganda this summer I was not expecting him to suggest that I stay even longer in Africa to do an internship in Ghana. Quite honestly, I thought the man was a little crazy when he suggested it, I thought absolutely not, two projects meant double the cost, double the time, and double the heartbreak when I left. I am so glad that I took a leap of faith however and entrusted in him that he truly understood what this opportunity would do for me.
So, why UBELONG? First off, there are very few internship partners that are located in Africa in comparison to other parts of the world. Since I am an International Studies major who is specializing in development with a sub focus in Africa, I whole heartedly wanted to keep my internship in Africa. UBELONG became a clear standout choice out of the African partnerships available though. Their program fee was very reasonable, their mission statement aligned with what I hoped to accomplish and I liked the projects that they offered in Ghana and felt like I could be happy in any of them.
As far as my expectations of this trip, internship and opportunity: I tried to have very little of them. I felt like if I had too many expectations that I would not be able to experience my internship and my time in Ghana in an honest way with no pre-conceptions of what it would be like where I could just take it day by day and appreciate the moment.
With this unique opportunity I hope that I am able to find out where my passion really lies in the developing world. While I know that I want to end up in an African country upon graduation to work on some aspect of development, I have yet to pick which specific sub area I would like to focus on: education, sustainability or politics. By working in the education system in Ghana I am hoping to have a better idea when I leave on what area I would like to focus on for my career and maybe even have a better idea on where in Africa I would like to end up post graduation. However, more importantly, I hope that by being in a developing country that is so different from my own, that I will begin to understand a life with more simplicity and I hope to lose parts of my personality that tend to be materialistic. At the end of the day, I just hope to come home a better person than the one who stepped on the plane to come here