Sunday, May 24, 2015

Final Thoughts

Meaghan here....

This week has brought us many more events that I could have ever anticipated when looking at our original itinerary. On Saturday, we had planned to go to the beach, but the rain decided to pay us a very welcomed visit that morning. After the storm, the humidity lifted and we felt ready to face the world outside of the Center. For us, this meant going to our third and final funeral of our trip.

The other two funerals we had been a part of were nothing like what Joss has described or shown us in class, as the circumstances surrounding those who has passed were not ordinary. Saturday's funeral, however, was just as I imagined, only so much larger. There were four different groups playing music, two of which were very large. There were some places where you could stand in one spot, but depending on which way your back was turned could join a different group and musical style. The atmosphere was festive and everyone was using this funeral to truly celebrate a life. I have found that the funerals in Ghana are so much more cheerful and strangers like us are not a confusing occurrence, but welcomed guests.

I have found that this trip has flown by for me. I think what has impacted me more than anything on this trip is that I have seen so many small similarities between my culture and Ewe culture. Kids all act relatively the same, begging for attention and acting off around one another. Goats will always be cute. There are ways to communicate that aren't through verbal language, but with a smile that can mean so much more than an empty "hello". As everyone practices drums and bells and singing, it brings me back to the chaos of practice time at the music camp I attended as a kid. I have found that maybe the world is not all that large.

There are things that I will certainly miss when I'm back in the states that cannot be replicated: being surrounded with all of the talent and music found in Dagbe; automatically turning my head when someone yells "Yevu!" ("Foreigner!" or "White Person!") and knowing they mean me; being surrounded by a language I cannot understand, save a few words; and most of all, the friends that I have made here. There has been so much encouragement and support from the staff of Dagbe that have fostered an environment that I immediately felt comfortable in, and I cannot thank each and every member enough. It is hard to think that in just two short days I will be in a different part of the country, and then preparing for my trip home, but I have a strong feeling that I will be back.

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