Monday, January 27, 2014

With Eyes Wide Open

With Eyes Wide Open

By: Alyssa Nedrow

“However big one eye may be two are better” (African Proverb). This proverb was shared  with our group by African University College of Communication’s Professor Kofi Asare Opoku. Among the many things Professor Opoku shared with us African proverbs was one of the main lectures that I will keep with me the rest of my life. This specific proverb simply implies that just by traveling to Ghana and living there for almost a month we have developed a second eye to experience the world. 

Professor Kofi Asare Opoku on our tour of his farm, Anansi Akura (spider village). 

Having been back in the United States for almost three weeks now I continue to think about this proverb and truly understand just how true it is. Before traveling to Ghana I was unsure of what to expect. Questions constantly ran through my mind leading up to my departure, mainly dealing with how will this trip change the way I viewed the world? I have always dreamed of traveling to Africa, probably since I was around 8 years old, never thinking I would actually be granted the opportunity to do so. When I was accepted to the study abroad program Ghana: Media, Society and Governance, I was beyond excited and my parents could not stop telling me how proud they were of me and they cannot wait to hear about all I will learn through this experience. 

So the question I have been repeatedly asked is, “what did you learn?” I never thought answering this question would be so hard. Mainly, because I have learned a wealth of knowledge, about myself and this new culture I became emerged in. The biggest thing I have taken away from this experience, though, is the simplicity of life. Having the opportunity to volunteer at both Street Sister’s Daycare and Christ Faith Foster Home I saw with my new set of eyes the amount of compassion these young kids have and just how happy they are when some of them have experienced things and conditions I could never have imagined growing up in. But no matter what they always held their heads high and had a smile on their face. I couldn’t help but think that if only a majority of the kids I know back home could witness their complete joy and realize that their life really is not that bad. Never once did I hear a kid complain about something. At the daycare when we fed them their lunch they were so thrilled to have food it did not matter that it was the same meal they were served the day before, because for all I know it could have been one of those kid’s only meal of the day. The amount of times I have heard people in the States complain about their food is absolutely disgusting. So when people ask me what I have taken away from this experience, it is that every day I need to strive to have more gratitude for all that I have in life. With my new set of eyes I have seen and realized that I ever thought my life could be so complicated is absolutely ridiculous. 

To read more African Proverbs visit 

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