Reflections on Ghana while in Spain

I´ve discredited the time I spent in Ghana.

Most of you know that I had excessive and embarrassingly petty drama with a few of the other Americans, which really put a damper on the whole trip.

In addition to that, there was too large of a communication/cultural barrier to actually really get to know Ghanaians well.

By the end of my 4 months there, I wanted out.

Well, now that I am living in another foreign country–and this time for 9 months–I am realizing that Ghana did have an impact on me for the better, even if I still wouldn’t give it a raving review.

For one thing, being in a country with no museums or old monuments makes you use a travel book.  And in Ghana that means you end up doing a lot of nature stuff.  I saw 4 waterfalls there, went hiking, saw elephants…the type of stuff I didn’t look into doing on my trip to Madrid this past weekend.  But I did use a travel book here to hilight what I was interested in.  Before that I would have just googled “things to do in Madrid” and gone from there.  And because of my positive environmentally-oriented experiences in Ghana, I plan to seek out the same thing in the more remote places of Spain.

To sum it up, Ghana changed the way I travel: travel book + nature stuff.Wli Falls

The other thing Ghana changed–which is something I realized before–is that I am now very comfortable talking about differences between people–cultural/racial/religious.  As a white person you always stand out in Ghana.  Everyone knows you’re not from there and because most of them (sadly) idealize Western culture, talking about how different I am from them does not carry negative connotations.

Sure, every person is an individual, but I have destroyed my p.c. upbringing to make massive generalizations, assessments, and public sentiments about cultural groups.  And it feels great.  Putting people into a more or less accurate box is awesome.

So now that I am in Spain, I know some things are different than the way things are in the U.S.  And I feel comfortable saying, “I like this.  I don’t like that.”  I don’t have to feel like just because it’s a different culture I have to respect everything and reserve my judgment.  It’s enough to just accept that it’s different and that’s the way it is.a whole store in Madrid with needlepoint pillowsPlaza Mayor

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s