Tuesday, June 2, 2015

So Long, Farewell, Auf Weidersehen and Goodbye from Cohort 12


Dear International Service,
                I would love to thank you so much for placing me on the LIFE project and meeting new friends. I might have eaten food I never did ,tried weird stuff I never did, said words I never took the time to learn and sweat like never before but I loved it like never before. Riding up the hill to work was exhausting but having it at the back of my mind that I would be with friends at work and have a good day made me ache to go to work each day even when I was ill. Smiling and laughing with my team and the community was the best change for me. It’s so strange that I meet the team everyday but still wake up excited to see them every morning. If I was given a chance to make a wish, I would ask for this cohort to start all over again. Though I wouldn’t change anything I would enjoy being with friends who I can change the world with. Am not sure if I made an impact in their lives but they surely made an impact in my life. I will miss you all! Hoping to miss them more.
Au revoir  
yours truly,

Coming to the end of our time here in Ghana I cannot believe the amount that we have achieved together. The friendships we have made, the impact we have had on the community of Sandema and the impact it has had on us! It will seem bizarre to drive to work and not cycle in the 40 degree heat. To walk to the super market and not have every small child shout “smally smally!" in exchange for a wave. Not seeing team LIFE every day, laughing at each other's accents and imitating YouTube videos. The biggest of change will be eating all my meals without my counterpart and Ghanaian sister Fatima sat across from me, talking about the gossip of that weekend or trading stories from our homes. This has been the most rewarding and incredible times of my life and I feel so lucky to have been part of it. "Who can say if I've been changed for the better, but because I knew you I have been changed for good".   Farrell.

Ooh luwaaa!!! This is the final whistle of the game between volunteers and International Service of cohort 12.its an interesting game but very hard and tedious to blow the whistle for the final game but cannot be prevented. The most difficult aspect of friendship is the time to say goodbye, but sometimes this goodbye sends one to a promise land where She/he would succeed in life. Based on these I have the courage and confidence to say goodbye to everyone and a very big thank you for the hard work done on ICS programme and never give up in life. May the good lord richly bless us and replace every pinch of energy we have lost through this programme and may he send us to our various homes till we meet again. “Once we’ve met, there is the chance of meeting somewhere, sometime, someday again, bye bye for now." God bless ICVs, God bless UKVs, Long live ICS.


I can honestly say that I don't want these 10 weeks to end. It's impossible to believe that I ever felt nervous about meeting this team. They've been my support, my motivation, my inspiration, my friends and my family.  They made me laugh every day, made me smile, made me proud and made my first experience as a Team Leader as easy as it could possibly be. My time with cohort 12 has been incredibly successful, emotional and enjoyable. I dedicate this blog to them.

To David, my counterpart and my friend. I couldn't have done this without you. To Rita, our chef and the most caring yet passionate individual I know. To Josh/Mr. Finn, my replacement leader, our impressionist, who works so hard, makes everyone laugh and who will make an amazing teacher one day. To Fatima, always with a smile and a dark laugh waiting behind it, the beautiful writer and ultimate hard girl. To Virgo, 'my guy', the ICT wizard, report master ,crazy dancer and the one I count on for help in all situations. To Farrell, who reminds me of friends at home, who makes me laugh hysterically, who knows so much about everything and who does any task with absolute passion. To Morrison, whose name comes from a fellow Scot and whose patience and warmth kept us all calm (until you put a drum set in front of him that is). To Muniru, whose smile is contagious, who’s calm and eager to learn about new things and who I secretly know is a total lad. To Misha/Mish Kebab who when you get to know, his calm persona and relaxed smile gives way to a fierce knowledge, intellect and dark, dark sense of humour which matches my own and makes me happy. To Sophia, who’s always been there for me and would be there for anyone in need.  Who works crazy hard at everything and never lets anything or anyone (not even Maxwell) stop her. And, finally, to Jack, our fantastically talented film director and my closest friend. Whose absolute life enthusiasm, positivity and personality make him the kind of person you constantly want to be around. I'm going to miss them all tremendously.

After spending 9 weeks here in Sandema I can truly say that I love this place and I will miss it a lot when I leave. I remember my first night with the host family eating Banku in the dark because there was no power and then sleeping outside in the yard. How differently I felt that night to how I do now. It wasn’t that a felt badly then about my placement then but I did honestly wonder how I would get used to this life. And now, preparing to leave, I honestly wonder how I will get used to life back home. I no longer miss the things I did in the first weeks of being here. When I walk around my host home it feels like my home and that’s something I couldn’t have possibly imagined at the beginning. I didn’t expect love this place as much as I do and I’m so sad to be leaving but more than that I’m so grateful for the experience. I could have gone through my life without ever knowing this random town existed and it makes me think of how many other towns in the world there are which I will never visit or have any knowledge of. Well, I’m happy that I was able to experience at least one. Next week I will be back in London with a 24 hour Tesco 2 minutes down the road from my house. How different the life is. That’s crazy. 

All too soon the project has come to an end and it’s hard to say good bye but I have to say it. I have had an amazing time working with my team members and on the project as whole. Even though we have to depart to our various homes and countries I will dearly miss you all. I will be sitting down all by myself and will be smiling and laughing to myself and someone will tap me and I say am I ok and I will tell the person that am reminiscing about my stay in Sandema and the wonderful people that I meet. There will be no monthly meeting but I will miss when we all have to give Maxwell some figures and explanations on what we have been doing for the month. Anyway such is life and there is no shadow of doubt that everyone is the best. Love you all.
“Goodbyes are not forever. Good byes are not the end. They simply mean I will miss you, until we meet again somewhere”.

So the end of another unique experience! These last nine weeks in Ghana have been filled to the brim with a range of varying emotions and memories; from the complete frustration of ‘lights out’ and heat rash, to the ecstasy of completing multiple nationwide journeys to beautiful places, and finishing off successful events within the community. I am actually going to miss this cool little town, the people in it more so, and especially the members of the LIFE team who have been my dysfunctional family throughout my experience. I didn’t expect that everyone would get along as well as we have whilst sat working in close quarters daily, there’s always going to be bumps in the road along the way, but overall it’s been a pleasant journey to our destination! In conclusion; only positive thoughts and memories from my time spent with ICS, International Service and in particularly, my friends in Ghana.
Love from Josh.

I'm currently sat in Sandema hospital waiting to see if I've got malaria. I've forgotten my much needed sweat rag but luckily the fever sweats have stopped. I don't even mind as the great time I've had in Sandema, Ghana more than makes up for it.
Before we all came out to Ghana we were warned to not expect to make that much of a difference due to our short placement. However, every week it's felt like we've achieved something noteworthy. It wasn't always easy, especially with regular power cuts, but we worked on regardless and it's felt like we've made a positive difference.
Someone recently asked me what my happiest moments have been in Ghana. At first I thought of the time I saw wild elephants or found a secluded waterfall in the mountainous Volta region. When I thought about it more I realised my happiest moments have actually been here in Sandema like at the end of our first community sensitisation or inclusive sports workshop. Seeing our work make an immediate positive impact was something very special.
The whole experience has been so much more than it expected and I feel privileged to have met the brilliant people from the UK and Ghana on this project, Misha.

I cannot believe that I am now writing my goodbye paragraph, these 10 weeks have gone so quickly, and what a team to spend my 10 weeks with! As a team we have bonded amazingly well, experienced so much together, achieved loads and laughed hysterically. Our team would not have been the same without our team leaders, David with your wisdom of Sandema and kind-hearted nature and Carlyn you’re not just our team leader but our friend with your wonderful outgoing nature, hilarious humming of ‘Skater Boy,’ and caring personality, you will be truly missed! Enjoy your next cohort but not as much as us! This experience has been utterly incredible, I have learnt so much about myself and have truly challenged myself to make a change in the Sandema community. I am also extremely grateful to have been welcomed into my wonderful Ghanaian host home, I’ve become part of their family, adopted as another daughter and will be so sad to say goodbye to them. I’ve learnt how to cook traditional Ghanaian cuisines such as TZ, Banku and I’ve even learnt how to pluck a guinea fowl and fillet a fish. My host home experience wouldn’t have been the same without my wonderful, thoughtful and hilarious roommate, Rita. You made sure I didn’t have to eat fish every night, taught me so many things and have become a wonderful friend to me, you will do so many amazing things in your life and I will see you in England! So goodbye to Sandema, but I am sure it will not be goodbye forever to everyone. “Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.” (Benjamin Franklin).
Love Sophia.

Hi everyone, I must confess I’m very happy for being part of the ICS programme. Indeed the programme has helped me gain more experience which will guide me in whatever I do or where ever I go. Thanks to the team leaders and the entire team mates for being so supportive for their co-operation.it is very unfortunate that we have to say goodbye because everything that has beginning has definitely had an end. But let’s not forget that such is life and life is a teacher, the more we live the more we learn. I am proud of each person and also to say that I love you guys with all my strength. Eyaaah!!!! Am going to miss you guys, May God richly bless and guide us through our endeavors. Insha Allah respect to I man. Muniru.

Alas, here I am again. 10 weeks have flown by and it seems like it was just yesterday I was here to introduce myself and now I have to make an exit. It’s been a wonderful experience working in a cross-cultural environment. We blended well amongst each other both professionally and personally, making our workflow smooth. I don’t want to say much lest I get all emotional so I’m just going to end it in the words of Fatima, “…it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.” One last quote before I leave,
“work for a cause, not applause; live to express, not impress.”
I will now make my exit. *bows*

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Also opportunity comes but ones. These are not mere idiomatic expressions in language but real. The joyful and happy opportunity that begins some time ago is coming to a halt. The ending does not matter, it is the lovely and caring faces that fade away from memory that is very painful and not wish to think any longer. However, I comfort myself with they believe that the same people u meet when climbing are the same people you will meet when coming down. So, painful moment in saying Goodbye, but hopeful we may meet another time. Let’s keep the flame of success burning in all other future endeavors. Wen naak ni meena (God bless you all).


                                                 BYE EVERYONE!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment