Annie Bergman, World Ark writer and regular contributor on Heifer Blog, is in Ghana this week. Internet connections are unsurprisingly spotty, so she passed along her first impressions of Ghana to me, with the promise of more (and photos) soon.
I arrived in Ghana on Sunday afternoon eager to get out and get going. This is my first trip to Africa, and with it came all of the nervesand jitters that go along with a first trip anywhere, foreign or not.
It didn’t hurt that I had heard nothing but rave reviews forthis West African country. I had done myresearch and I felt prepared. But, like with each trip I take with Heifer, there’sonly so much that research can tell you about a country.
Other than the initial shock of the near-90-degree temperaturesin December, what has stood out to me about Ghana is that Ghanaians really areas warm and kind as people will tell you. I’ve been greeted everywhere with“You Are Welcome” and known each person has genuinely meant that statement. Forthis American who hears her elders talk about the demise of person-to-personinteraction and has rolled her eyes at such statements, such a small gesture assaying “good afternoon” makes me think maybe we really ARE missing out onsomething with our addiction to screens.
So far I’ve met with five Heifer farmers—two small dairyfamers, two grass cutter farmers and one goat farmer. I’ll tell you more aboutthese people in later posts because another thing I’ve noticed is thatGhanaians are quite enterprising.
I know I have much more in store for me in the days I haveleft, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of the country and meeting morefarmers as I make my way to Techiman tomorrow. But I already know I’ll betaking one thing back from my time here: greeting others genuinely. And I urgeyou to say “hello” or “good morning” or “good afternoon” even to a perfectstranger.
It may have more of an impact that you might think.