It’s the Little Things

Hello all! It’s been 18 days since I’ve left my life back in America. Sorry for the absence of blogs, but wifi has been unpredictable to say the least 🙂 The first 10 days was spent in a beautiful part of the Volta region of Ghana, called Dzito (jito). We stayed at an eco resort called, “Meet me There”. It was a wonderful introduction to this unique and amazing country. The people here are so welcoming and friendly. Everywhere you go, people are smiling and waving to you, as well as trying to touch you. (I was explained that this is not to be taken as creepy but more as a loving gesture, although it’s still a bit uncomfortable at times). I have done so much in the past 3 weeks it’s insane. I’ve learned how to build a toilet, I’ve bartered with locals in markets, I’ve eaten a snail (unknowingly, but it was pretty good), I’ve been attacked by every mosquito in Ghana (don’t worry, I’m taking my malaria pills!!), I’ve been proposed to, I hiked up a huge mountain, I’ve seen what public health looks like in Ghana, and I’ve learned what it feels like to be a minority for the first time in my life.

Just in these 18 days I have learned more than I ever could in a classroom. I’ve already made life long friends, and the support that I’m getting from the other students and my AWESOME program leaders, Jaci, Patrick, and Peter, is something I’ve never experienced before. My host family is so lovely and open and fun. I have 5 siblings under the age of 13 and the house is a zoo, but I’m learning to love my zoo, and immerse myself into their lifestyle. This weekend my mom, Gifty, is taking me to go get a dress made and then on sunday my roommate, Georg (Gee-org, he’s from Germany and such an amazing roommate to have), and I are going to church with our family. Me and my gf Emily are work partners at a local clinic where we get to participate in nursing classes and observing the mental health unit. It’s SOOOOO different that what I’m used to and I’m so thankful for the care that I have in America. Being here puts everything into perspective! Me and some of my friends have started an ongoing joke called, #itsthelittlethings. I’ll give you all some examples:

  • When you only have 10 bug bits on your legs instead of 20…#itsthelittlethings
  • When you remember not to brush your teeth with the tap water…#itsthelittlethings
  • When you don’t get attacked by the many stray dogs roaming the streets bc you don’t have the rabies shot….#itsthelittlethings
  • When wifi works for 5 minutes instead of 3…#itsthelittlethings
  • When your host brother calls you a loser because you don’t have a cellphone..#itsthelittlethings
  • When the water shuts off during a shower but you remember you can take a bucket bath..#itsthelittlethings

There you have it! By the way, these are all a joke and we are trying to sound spoiled on purpose, it’s just a way for us to make light of all the situations we aren’t used to and to bring humor to some not so humorous things 🙂

I love everyone and miss my family/friends more than anything but I definitely made the right decision. Thank you for all of your support through this journey ❤



6 thoughts on “It’s the Little Things

  1. Wow – Tessa. You sound so awesome. So glad things are going so well for you. This is a life changing experience and we can’t wait to see who you have become upon your return. Not that you weren’t great before – just now you will be great-er. Your parents are so psyched you are happy and so proud of your decision. Oh – and HAPPY NEW YEAR.

    Much love, Deb (and the rest of the cooks)


  2. You rock! Did you accept the proposal? I love hearing about your adventures! I’m living vicariously through you since I’m stuck here at home. Keep the awesome updates coming! 💕


  3. Tessa–this is wonderful! What an amazing adventure. It takes courage and moxie to open yourself to such experiences! Thinking of you!


  4. Dear Tessa,
    Ah, the world. The mosquitos, the hole in the ground called a toilet, the warmth of children’s hugs and those huge smiles! Africa. You are in a special place on this planet; a complicated place that shines with great love and big spirit. Breathe and open your heart and soul to every nuance of life. You will be filled.
    love, marcia


  5. Hello to our AMAZING granddaughter. We miss you but are so happy that you are able to have this wonderful experience. Can’t wait for your next blog. HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! Love you to the moon and the stars…to infinity and beyond. GiGi & Pop


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