An old post from my brief stint in a refugee camp in Ghana.
You know sometimes when you just have one of those days?
When things are frustrating and the weather is bad and you are just annoyed and grumpy and irritable and what not?
Had one of those the other day, just getting sick of ALWAYS having faces staring in the windows, and sick of eating rice and fried chicken and cabbage stew. I’m over the heat and the frogs and the mice and having no power etc.
Thank God for our dear housemate Sarah, she brought along a video Ipod with the entire series of Grey’s Anatomy. I’m now officially addicted. It eased the frustration but has made me a little more emotional (we just watched the end of season three and Meredith is close to dead and Christina’s just got engaged and George got married and oh-my-goodness its been a roller coaster of emotions!)
But seriously, made me think I’d like to get some of my feelings about everything down in a blog, not just regurgitating up what we’ve done each day.
So here goes…
…to have this experience, to be learning and seeing in reality what I’ve been studying in theory, to be rooming with some really fantastic girls from all around the world, to have the chance to hear the personal stories of a handful of people who have seen so much than I could ever imagine, to eat fan-ice icecream, to be able to escape the camp on the weekends if things get too much, to be part of the journey towards something better for some of these people.
…that there are no easy answers at any level – for the child that gets beaten at home, for the kids whose parents can not afford school fees even though they are no more than $10, for the families that have been split up over the past 17 years, for the girls who, in order to feed clothe and care for themselves and their children, must sell their bodies in a region with the highest AIDS infection rate, for the community of 40,000 people who are not accepted here in Ghana, are too scared to return to Liberia and live in false hope of leaving for the US, Canada, Australia etc.
…that an entire generation are growing up with a handout mentality, that so many of the organisations that are here to help are either unable or unwilling to provide the extent of help needed, that Ghanaians are denying the refugees opportunities and jobs but making money off them instead, that Liberian’s themselves are making a profit off the suffering of their people, that I don’t really understand how this place works and probably won’t ever, that three months is not enough time to even scratch the surface of this unsettled society.
…in the beautiful, smart, funny, intelligent, cheeky kids, in meeting individuals and getting to know them day by day, in being able to contribute even a little, in trying some delicious food, in seeing an amazing country, in water fights with the kids, in seeing a bunch of boys brighten up when they hear they will go to school for the first time in a long while (and all due to their own efforts), in eating Nutella and Brie and bread, sometimes all at once..