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Story of Marije, (Netherlands)

One year ago I started my preparations to go to Ghana. Now one year later I’m back home again and had the most amazing summer of my life, with the biggest and most beautiful experience I will ever have. 2 days before leaving I packed my suitcases with all the stuff I got from my sponsors for the children in the orphanage. I was so excited to go to get my experience to Africa, finally!

When I was in the airplane, I was thinking by myself what on earth am I doing? Alone, to Africa?

But as soon as my plane landed I was excited to see my family and the children in the orphanage. I was placed in Kumasi and my workplace was in the Kumasi Children’s Home. A big orphanage with different units for a lot of children. In the beginning of the trip I really had a culture shock. It was hard for me to see how many differences there are between Ghana and where I live in the Netherlands.

On my first working day I was pretty nervous, didn’t really know what to do, but when I got there they were all very nice and lovely to me. It felt like home to me. The children were screaming and yelling ‘’Obroni, Obroni’’ which means white people. They all wanted to play and when I said that I brought some balloons with me, they were all going crazy!

The family I was placed by was the best family of whole Africa! In the beginning they helped me out when I missed home or didn’t know what to do anymore. They were all very helpful and lovely. I had two little brothers and a little sister. I had the greatest talks with them and every time they wanted to play and just making fun.

In the Children’s Home I painted the walls from the unit for disabled children. We did this with 3 volunteers and a lot of children from the home. They really loved to do it and where very happy with the results. I did also work in school in the children’s home, where I had to prepare homework for the children or where I gave some lessons for example in creative art. Every day I came to work, the boys and girls from my class were waiting for me, showing me their homework and of course I had to revise his or hers first! They were all so proud at what they did!

Each week I had my weekend off so I could travel around in Ghana. I did this with an amazing group of volunteers from all over the world. We have been to Cape Coast, which has the most beautiful beach and good markets. We have also been to Mole National Park and the waterfalls. That all was very worth it and I had the most wonderful weekends I have ever had.

When I had my last days I started packing and saying goodbye to all the children in the Children’s Home. That were the hardest moments I had. Especially the moment when the children are asking you when you’re coming back and telling you to stop crying and that they will miss you. It was just the most wonderful and beautiful month of my life!

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