The decision to volunteer and to give time, money and my heart to those who weren’t quite so lucky in life turned out to be an AMAZING experience that re-shaped my view of the world.
I love to travel and to get completely lost in the moment. So also this time I didn’t prepare beside a Lonely Planet, all the vaccinations and Malaria medicine and a huge suitcase full of toys. It was just perfect, I did not need more.
I arrived in Ghana with no expectations and not knowing much about country or volunteering at an Orphanage. All I was aiming for was to make a contribution to the life of some children that I’ve never met before, not knowing what this means or how I can do that. All I had with me was an open mind and a wide open heart. I wanted to enjoy every moment to the fullest and share a happy smile!
“Bruni” is the Twi Word for white woman. Everywhere I went I got to hear: “Obruni! Where are you going?” I never felt any prejudice by people saying that. I was perceived as equal in every way, there is no racial divide here. I am simply the “Bruni”. There were even days where I completely forgot that we have different skin colors. How wonderful is that?
On my first day at the Orphanage I had mixed feelings. I was touched by a warm and loving welcome from the children and sad about their living conditions. At this very moment I saw their world through eyes with a filter born in a developed country like Germany. I could only see what they do not have and what they are missing.
My days there were filled with teaching which was English, Creative Arts, Math or Religion (yes, I couldn’t believe it either… ;-)) or taking care of the little ones. The nursery class was challenging from time to time. Too many 2-4 year olds throwing Lego or hitting each other and eating literally anything possible (eraser, pencil sharpener, chalk…). There were times I was happy I survived a day without completely freaking out, but then there were those moments when I made someone smile or laugh and everything was so worth it. I felt pure joy when these kids looked at me with their eyes full of life and love. My heart melted and they made me want to do so much more for them. The older kids were so hungry for knowledge and wanted to learn as much new things as possible. So great to see! What impressed me even more was the responsibility for each other. The older ones were taking care about the smaller ones with such seriousness and an ease that I wish more people in the world could feel that for each other. This bond and love is remarkable. Family that is not blood related and not chosen, but happens to be most profound and unconditional love every single one of them deserves.
Well, I fell in love with these children. They taught me what pure love means and I started to see their life through their eyes. I suddenly did not see anymore what they are missing but instead how fortunate they are. They are surrounded by generous, caring and giving people. People that revere family, honor and hospitality. Their graciousness cannot be overstated. Love is the core basic of all human beings, the most amazing thing in this world. It is so fundamental that when you feel it you can be happy with the simplest form of living as everything else seems worthless. What they have given me goes far beyond what I could give them. They filled my heart with pure love and I am so full of it that I cannot put it in words. I truly feel blessed. One day I would love to adopt a child from a less fortunate country and give him a loving home and childhood. Not now, but one day because in Ghana I’ve learned I can love unconditionally.
Everyone is so connected with each other; It’s hard to tell where family ends and mere visitors begin!
Some part of me felt I was leaving a home there. Everyone I got to know has taken me into their lives and families as though I truly belonged.
I hope that all these children will be among the lucky ones someday and have a bright future ahead.
I will always remember and never forget. I will carry this experience in my heart. I hope I left my footprints in yours too.
Thank you Love Volunteers for making this experience possible!