Friday, July 12, 2013

Goodbye Sandema......

Yesterday was my last day in Sandema.  Yep, that’s right.  It was just two weeks ago when I wrote a blog post explaining how happy I was to be staying and receiving a new team of volunteers.  Unfortunately, in the space of a couple of weeks everything has changed.  Sometimes bad things happen.  Now let’s be clear, bad things happen all over the world, not just in Ghana or in Africa.  There are people everywhere who commit crimes; just a couple of weeks ago my local newspaper reported a schoolgirl was attacked near my family home in Manchester (by a boy I went to school with no less).  Bad things happen everywhere.

Unfortunately, I had my bag stolen (whilst I was still carrying it) whilst on the way to meet the new team of volunteers, which resulted in a little fall and a broken ankle.  In my (almost) 7 months in this wonderful country this is the first incident of crime that I, or anybody else I know, have been affected by.  In a way, I am glad that it happened to me and not one of the volunteers or new team leaders who have not yet had the chance to experience how wonderful this country is, and how welcoming and friendly the (majority of the) people are (in fact even criminals are nicer here….they gave me back most of my stuff!).   

I had every intention of carrying on in Sandema and hobbling around somehow on crutches, but unfortunately I need to have surgery to put my ankle back in place, and so it is with a heavy heart that I made the decision to go home.  But at least I am going home with 7 months of memories, so many new friends and a whole new family.   So, if you are a prospective volunteer, or a parent, and are now having second thoughts on coming to Ghana or sending your child here, then please don’t.  This is a wonderful place with wonderful people. 

To my new team:  I am sorry I will not be there to help you, but after spending just one week with you I know that you will each add something special to the project.  I am sad I am missing the opportunity to watch 4 incredible people learn and discover new things, and I am sad I cannot share all the good times I know you will all have (as long as you can stop locking yourselves out of your rooms long enough!).  I am happy that the sports element of the project is in very capable hands.  Work together, and be confident in your abilities.  I know you can do it.

To my colleagues and fellow volunteers at CBR (past and present):  Thank you so much for being so wonderful, for teaching me so much and making every day so happy, and for helping make the LIFE project so successful. 

So whilst this is goodbye right now, I know I will be back in Ghana, and definitely in Sandema again, and be checking up on the LIFE project!!   I expect a Builsa to be taking part in the Paralympics in 2020!

- Tracy

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