To all the old men with missing teeth who asked me to marry them…
To the children who shouted “Obrunnnniiiii How are youuuu” at me…
To my taxi drivers who, despite little english and the desire to rip me off, provided me with an insight to the workings of Ghana…
To the amazing interns, AIESEC LC Members, WAAF Volunteers & Natives who all affected the way I think and see the world…
&&& To the people that read my blog ;) …
Gooooooddd bye! Thank you everyone! I won’t be writing on here anymore but it will still be active so I can always come and look back on it :)
Facebook: Anjelica Mantikas
[Ghana- A Third World Country] Yes. It is true that, according to International Standards, Ghana is a third world/developing country. However, it doesn’t mean that it is a bunch of dirt roads, mud huts, and wild boars. Many of the people, poor by our American standards, are happy. They thank God for their lives, not for their material goods. Accra, the capital, is alive with culture and excitement. I don’t know how I will be able to convince my friends to come to Ghana.. at least for a vacation!! Perhaps I will have to trick them into thinking we are going to Aruba ;)
[The whole experience of meeting people] From my time in the AIESEC House to the plane ride home, I’ve met some of the most interesting, charismatic, and funny people from all different countries and backgrounds. I’ve learned that it is possible for a Chinese, a Norwegian, an American, and a Ghanaian to become close, engaging in long and meaningful conversations. We are all human- we’ve all got good days, bad days, fears, pride… A big thank you to every single guy and girl I have met on my trip to Ghana. You all shaped my view of the world into a more positive one.
[It is just Me, Myself, and I] Before this trip, I liked myself. I was a bit reserved, nervous, naive, and a tiny bit lazy. Now… I love myself! I’m independent, tough, happy, strong, intelligent & not so shy anymore… I can really call myself my best friend (sorry for the whole boosting my ego up just now ha ha). Every single great moment, horrible moment, person, tro tro ride, tourist attraction… it all had a great and positive affect on me :)
My flight was supposed to leave July 17 at 10pm but we were delayed until 5am.
By the time we got on the plane July 18 and left it was 6am… at 6:30 we turned around to go back to Accra because it smelled.
It turned out that it was just a broken toilet.. departed for the longest flight ever at 7:30.
I WAS not getting annoyed or impatient yet.
As we are ready to land in New York, the pilot says we have to detour to philidelphia because of weather. I start crying like a baby (gooooosh i just wanted to go home!!!) and then, by some miracle, the pilot was going to take the chance and land at JFK.
Now I am home :) and feeeelin goood <3
Asana, the new bride, and I :)
How do I begin to talk about Asana?
A couple of weeks ago, Asana took some of us to an African Wedding. She actually designed all the dresses the bride wore - an amazing seamstress!
She is really amazing because she is making change in her community!
About 5 years ago, Asana noticed that in Jamestown, 14-15 year old muslim girls were being forced into marriage. Their families are poor and cannot support their daughters so the girls are given to older men as brides. Many are taken advantage of & die during labor (their bodies are still not fully developed). Identifying this as a serious problem, Asana sought out to help them.
In her own words, “I wanted to teach them a skill so they don’t have to rely on anyone but themselves. A skill is something that nobody can take away from you”
She has taught over 15 girls how to sew - many have become seamstresses & are moving forward in life. Last week, Asana asked me to help her sell some clothing in the US - their shop is very small & a higher income means more girls can be helped. The reason I really believe in what she is doing is because it comes from the heart. I’ve been to Asana’s home .. it is a room with a bed - she may not have tons of money but she is really rich in life. Always happy, always smiling, and always willing to give.
Still thinking about how I can help - but wanted to share this awesome story about this amazing woman.
Last night, the interns and the locals had a small party to say goodbye to me. It was unexpected and so nice of them. Being here feels like home – It should be interesting to see how I adjust back home with no music playing at all hours, nobody sharing my room, and always having water (ha ha).
I arrived here as basically the only intern and when Wen came… I was SO happy that I finally had a buddy! Of course, I am really happy that I was here the first week alone now that I look back because it helped me become more independent & learn the ropes in Accra. However, it was really nice to have Wen to share the cultural experiences with!
When I had three weeks left, even more interns came, a lot from china (neeeehow) and Europe. Everyone is just really funny and cool… I got to break some stereotypes here and I’m glad I gave off a positive imagine of American girls! There are so many countries I have to add to my list to visit & I am happy to say I have great friends I can live abroad with!
The best part about this experience is that I came to the conclusion that anyone can be friends- no matter which corner of the world they are from. Whether you are a Chinese, an American, a Norwegian, a Swede, a Dutch, a Canadian or a Ghanaian… we all share similar experiences, interests & fears.
It has not hit me yet that I am leaving. In AIESEC, we don’t say goodbye. We say see you soon. So, to all the AMAZING interns and the more than welcoming LC members… I will see you soon! Every single one of you promised you would come visit the US- I got your visa invitations alllll ready ;)
Took my last bucket shower today.
Meeting Alfred Addo - July 14 2012
Rescued on my birthday: January 20 2008
Age as of 2012: 12 years old (Younger than I thought!)
I fought back a lot of tears as I walked up to the mud house and the tent like structure that they use as their kitchen. Despite our funding given through The IOM, the family of six boys, a mother and the father is still in poverty.
Alfred is in 2nd grade.. at age 12. He was really shy at first and has lost some of his English language skills but I still managed to get him to smile as soon as we started talking about Futbol. Also, He loves Math and English- he wants to be a bank manager :)
Alfred (and his brothers) wants a soccer ball, a chelsea jersey, sneakers, a toothbrush and a hairbrush (even though he has like no hair, so cute!)
Alfred’s parents, well really his mother, needs a basic microfinancing plan. She wants to open a small store to sell provisions such as milk, sugar, bread.
There is so much to help them with. I don’t know how I am going to do it but I will!