I’m at a loss of words when I try to think of words to accurately describe my experience in Ghana. I went into the program thinking that I was gong to change the world when in reality, the biggest impact that was made was on myself. If I came away with anything from this trip, it was the lesson that happiness can be found in the lowest of places and in the most humble of circumstances. These people, who were living with less than my basic needs, were some of the happiest people I have ever seen. Orphaned children-who had no family other than each other- were never without a smile. They laughed without hesitation and loved without boundaries. It didn’t matter the color of your skin or where you were from. We were all brothers & sisters. Being in Africa was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, but I wouldn’t take it back for anything. The bucket showers, aggressive flies, and blisters were all worth the endless “Ello’s” and tugs on my shirt from the little ones every single day.
One of the highlights of the trip was an Outreach program that was presented to us through Becky’s Home Foundation. There were 11 people in our service group from all over the world. Between the 11 of us, we were able to raise over $800 USD for this program. With this money, we were able to treat over 300 people in a neighboring village (most of them being children) for malaria, which is the leading cause of death in Ghana. More than 170 people were tested positive and were able to receive free treatment.
I’m so grateful for the lifelong friends and memories that were made on this trip. Although I was only in Ghana for a short time, I miss those kids like crazy. If any of you have the opportunity to serve abroad, I highly recommend it. It’s a experience you will never forget. It will change your life, I promise.
Thank you so so much to everyone who donated, sponsored, and supported me on this journey.
By Hannah Cook