Working_in_Ghana_with_ MOFA

Thursday, June 29, 2006

June 26th: Culture Shock Settles In

I am always sceptical of frameworks until I experience them thoroughly or have been proven otherwise, therefore the Culture shock curve, shown to us during Pre departure training, seemed unreasonable and far fetched. Although I still feel that I hit absolute rock bottom during training in Toronto, this past week gave me a blow that I was not expecting: maybe that curve has a little truth to it after all.

After coming back from Mole, I felt like there was a dark cloud lingering above me. Gloom crept through my mind and body. I could not help but feel melancholy. I didn’t think that I would hit the stage where I would be “depressed”, but that was exactly what it was. I realize that this was completely normal, and that it once again creates greater self realization and limitations.

I realize that being abroad with the primary goal: to work with MoFA, is exactly why I chose to come to Ghana representing EWB. I never thought much about how my social life would consist of me interacting mostly with my host family and compound neighbours (watching the World cup on the television or preparing dinner) with the occasional drum lesson and dinner with my Peace Corps buddy, Allison. Going to bed at 8:30pm is now regularly scheduled into my day. It is quite different than having entertaining resources, or the network of friends additional to family, at the tip of my fingers in Canada.

Although I am still getting used to the high carb staple foods in Ghana, they are beginning to be a lot more palatable. My sister Jane is super cool to talk to, we have become good friends during my stay here; I try to be honest with her, telling her about the ingredients that I have difficulty with, or in other words, ingredients that make my stomach unsettled (basically high levels of oil, animal skin, fatty meat, high amounts of pepe (chilli peppers)…). I realize that I am a foreigner, I am here for 3 and a bit months…I am NOT going to fully integrate into their culture. If I have not already gained their trust, then I am not going to at this point. I share my culture and language with them, while also making some effort to learn and practice Ganja.

With that being said, I have realized that I am content here in Ghana…it is a beautiful place to be. I feel that when you are away from your family and close friends (no matter where you are in the world) you can always find a time when you are under the weather.

The sun is back out and I am feeling much better, although I think my stomach will always have a little gurgle, and my legs will be spotted with bites, I hope to be climbing back up the culture shock curve to a fine state of satisfaction…


Post a Comment

<< Home