On this day 10 years ago, Cortney and I headed to JFK and boarded a flight to Accra, Ghana.
We volunteered to teach at the Ve Deme Orphanage in Ghana’s Volta Region, near Hohoe.
While we spent most of our time at the orphanage teaching kids Science and English, we also made plenty of time for exploring the countryside, and had more than our share of adventures along the way.
There was no shortage of daunting hikes, feeding monkeys, being humbled by massive waterfalls, bribing crooked cops in Togo, eating meatpies, getting tested for malaria after repeated fainting spells, teaching sex ed at a local high school, crushing Fan Milk, drinking palm wine with expats, and so much more.
This was in November of 2007. I was fresh out of college, had just gotten out of a long-term relationship, and the company I was working for shut down.
I had a lot to process, and the trip was exactly what I needed. It couldn’t have come at a better time, and was truly a transformative experience for me at that pivotal stage in my life.
I was writing a lot back then. I kept up with my travel journal while I was there, and blogged about my experience at length upon returning to the states.
I think of my time in Ghana fondly and often. I’d really love to make it back there someday to see how those wonderful kids are doing… And get some more FanMilk.
My video of orphanage kids playing with baby mice has almost 15 million views now, which is pretty crazy to me. Almost as crazy as the obnoxious comments on the video.
Oh yeah, and searching for “morning beers” on Google Images still returns a photo of Cortney and I crushing some tasty breakfast brews in Accra.
That’s my legacy. Cheers!