Last summer, I embarked on a journey half way across the world to the West African country of Ghana. I lived, breathed and embraced the Ghanaian culture and lifestyle for four weeks, teaching, learning, helping and growing along the way.
When I left Busua, I knew I wanted to return as soon as possible mainly because of the many wonderful people of Ghana whose warm welcomes, clever handshakes and vibrant personalities embraced me with open arms and seemed to say, "Welcome to my home."
I am blessed with the opportunity to return with Teach on the Beach again this summer, to teach and live the happiest of lifestyles among my Ghanaian friends who now seem more like family.
As I sit here in the airport in New York, soaking up my last few hours of unlimited internet access and free nation-wide phone calls for the month, I am anxiously awaiting my touch down in Accra, GH (the capitol city) Tuesday night. I'm ready to jump into the wide open arms of my Teach on the Beach scholars who I've only been able to contact via Facebook and Skype the last 12 months. I can almost taste Florence's lemon pancakes while I watch the local children skip, sing and hop along their merry way to school in the mornings. I'm dreaming of the smiley faces of many young children who walk in and out of the doors of the After School program every afternoon, always eager to learn. I am looking forward to family dinners around the candle light when the power is out, cool and refreshing showers after a long day on the beach, and the stories shared around the bonfire at the Blackstar Surf Shop at night. But most of all, I can't wait to be back in the presence of the people and the country who opened my eyes to a world of infinite compassion and happiness.
Teach on the Beach is a non-profit dedicated to creating sustainable education in places where it does not exist, particularly a small fishing village, Busua, on the coast of Ghana in West Africa. It is through Teach on the Beach that volunteers from all over the world travel to Ghana to develop and maintain educational programs which include: teaching in the local village school, running an afterschool program for all ages, and supporting the young adults of the community with an evening program called News Hour. News Hour is a student run program aimed at exposing young adults to current events through the news and giving them the tools they need to think critically, form opinions, and become contributing members of their society. Since Teach on the Beach started in 2010, we have hosted over 75 volunteers from various countries around the world and have logged over 10,000 service hours. In 2013, 20% of our volunteers from the previous year will be returning to work with nearly 200 children in the village of Busua.