My first blog post comes from New York City at the JFK airport! I have said goodbye to Ohio and now I am waiting to board my plane to Accra!
Today has been filled with mixed emotions. I woke up quite groggy this morning with very little sleep, and I was in disbelief that today actually came. Saying goodbye to my family was sad, but also warming because of how supportive they are. As soon as I entered security in CMH and was officially “on my own”, my disbelief turned into sheer busting excitement and happiness. I have not been able to stop smiling all day! I feel strong, independent and adventurous. It is incredible that after 8 years of dreaming to travel to West Africa, and 2 1/2 years of planning my study abroad program, today has finally come! All of the stress, roadblocks, challenges and worries seem so belittled compared to how satisfied and proud I am of myself. I am also so, so grateful to my family, friends, professors, coworkers and sorority sisters for the unwavering support, love, and belief in me!
Even my first flight and layover have been an adventure. I have never been to NYC before, so seeing the city (and the smog) from the plane was an exciting sight! Also, this airport has been great for people-watching and conversing, especially since there is such a diverse mix of people. I have heard at least five different languages spoken in only the few hours that I’ve been here. I have also seen several birds flying and walking among the travelers, mainly pigeons! Between the pigeons flying above my head and my Dunkin Doughnuts coffee, I’d say I’ve had somewhat of a legitimate New York experience. 😉
Just in this afternoon I have fallen in love with traveling. I’ve learned quickly that it is so easy to meet people and talk with them if you are willing to smile and strike up a conversation. People are friendlier than we get credit for. 🙂 I cannot wait to practice my people skills with the welcoming Ghanaians!
As the sun begins to set in New York, I am anxiously awaiting my departure to Accra. When I set foot off the plane I will be in the hot, humid tropical region that is beautiful Ghana (the motherland!) I cannot wait to hear “Akwaaba” (“welcome”) from those living in my new home.
Peace and Love!
Au revoir, America (for the first time in my life)!