Sunday, June 24, 2012

This is really real

I have been promoted! That's right, I interviewed, and it came through. At about 8:00 am on Friday, April 13, which was a day off from school, I opened the email that has been the source of joy, questions, and tears. I am going to Ghana in for the 2012-2013 school year. I am jazzed, I am honored, I am terrified. I will be living in a host family and attending a fifth year of high school, which puzzles some. Technically speaking, this has very little to do with my interest in community service or my formal education. However, I will use the experience to better both. This is a time for me to learn the culture of a new a place. Oh, what a wild ride it will be! If I learned anything from my experience in Guatemala, it was that the best way to learn culture is to dive right into my host family's life, and keep in mind that nowhere on this globe is out of God's sight. I will cling tightly to my faith and my desire to meet new people next year.

Specifically, I am traveling to Ghana on the YES Abroad Program, a program that promotes communication between the United States and the Muslim world. The Department of State's Bureau of Cultural Affairs provides fifty-five scholarships to American students to live and study in countries with significant Muslim populations. Ghana is 60% Christian, 30% Muslim, and 10% traditional religions. Ghana was my second choice, but I am honored to have been chosen to go anywhere. 

The day after tomorrow, I am heading to Washington DC for a Pre-Departure Orientation. Among other things, I will participate in workshops, meet students from Ghana, and meet the Ghanaian Ambassador to the US. Wow! This is really real...

If someone had told me last summer that I'd be leaving for Ghana in a year, I'd tell them they were nuts. It's strange how things work out that way. There are many parts of my life I would not have believed in years ago, such as:

I have a best friend from Afghanistan, and we have a lot in common. I've been to Guatemala, and it is so full of life. Sunday is my favorite day of the week because of the deep fellowship I share with my sisters and brothers.

And I am one of fifty-five students...who will LIVE in a completely foreign country next year.

That surpasses my wildest dreams. 

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