I received the notification that I have been placed with a host family in San Ramon, Costa Rica. I am overwhelmed by so many emotions. I’m excited because, well, I get to form new relationships with people so alike and so different from me. I can’t wait to learn from my host family.
However…I am also full of memories of my Ghanaian host family. Around this time four years ago, I learned that I would be placed with John and Agnes Adinkra in Kumasi. I knew they had three sons, Derek, Seth, and Caleb. I didn’t know my brothers’ ages, or understand the reality that Ghanaian households are full of additional relatives, so I got a few sisters in the mix.
Wow. Four years ago, John and Aggie were strangers to me. Now the Adinkra family is a part of me. I am defined by them in the way I am defined by my own parents and brothers.
|Me, Maa Aggie, and Daddy, Christmas 2012|
They took such good care of me! I was so young then. So unsure of myself and the world. And they knew things about me I didn’t even have to tell them. When Maa Aggie came to visit me in Colorado, she nodded knowingly upon finding out that I was an RA. “You’re always taking care of other people,” she said. “Half of your year in Ghana was spent taking care of the other exchange students.”
|Maa Aggie and Me at Poudre Canyon in Colorado, May 2015|
That was the same year I took what I now consider “my best trip to Ghana.” My second time back after my exchange year, I knew who I was and what I was doing there. Kofi didn’t let go of me all summer. I didn’t even realize how much joy my simple presence brought him, until then. He wanted to be a part of everything…my friendships, Enliven Mama Africa, and my silly activities.
Now that the shock is fading, I can look at things a bit better from his perspective. To me, he was one part in my story of Ghana. A big part…an essential part…but just one part. I was everything he’d ever know about Colorado. I was the most interesting thing that had happened to him in the past three years.
|Kofi Painting the Enliven Logo, July 2015|
Since my last post, I’ve gone to see my host family in Atlanta. That was a wild experience. It was fun. I got to meet my brother Derek and niece Abby for the first time, and we visited a lot of interesting places in downtown Atlanta.
|Kwame and Me at the Georgia Aquarium, May 2016|
|Me, Abby, and Maa Aggie in Atlanta, May 2016|
And it was also challenging. Because now I know…
The details. Which don’t belong here.
Oh, Kofi. In January, I was seriously considering dropping out of my college study abroad. Because I didn’t think I could risk getting so close to someone in such unexpected ways…not if I could lose them.
But no. I will do it again. I want to. I deeply want to. I think about the Adinkras every single day.
Sometimes I believe that my relationship with them is a fluke, something that cannot happen again.
But I think that’s wrong. I am capable of creating awesome relationships wherever I go.