Tuesday, May 4, 2010

everything i need to know about life i learned from traveling on a bus...

Several months ago I typed an email update listing all the “worldly things” I missed while being away from home.


“Well, here I am sitting on my bed typing this email to you...It has been 65 days since my last diet coke, or brewed coffee. I can hardly believe I am making such a statement...it sounds flippant, but I never savored these small enjoyments, and now I miss them dearly in their absence.

66 days ago I boarded a British Airways airplane and left my diet coke, brewed coffee life behind. I left behind my salary, my car, and all my high heels. I left behind pedicures, and blonde highlights, and even wifi. I left behind my expensive taste, and my comfortable lifestyle. I left behind everything I have even known for 24 years of life! I boarded an airplane to leave it all behind.”


While my time in Ghana is coming to an end, my mind is swirling with all the “worldly things” I will get to experience once my feet touch American soil again. It’s pretty invigorating. Hot water, Venti Mocha Frappechinos, a microwave... what more could a girl want?

When I came to Ghana I had one desire. My desire was to leave everything behind in search of meaning and purpose, in hopes to follow the example of Jesus, in expectation to help the world become a better place.

Mother Teresa’s words became my mantra,

“I can do no great thing, only small things with great love.”
I wanted to love so fiercely that the world would have no other choice but to call for change.

I came to Ghana in hopes to “change the world”, and here’s what happened...

"The world changed me!"

This revelation came to me while riding on a bus. I don’t know how significant the bus is in this revelation but,

“Thank you, bus!”

I once read a book about Taoism and one if the author’s points fits well here so I will quote it. The author said,

“Knowledge and experience do not necessarily speak the same language. But isn’t the knowledge that comes from experience more valuable than the knowledge that doesn’t?”

While I have been in Ghana I have made many mistakes (confession) and someone made the comment that my mistakes where due to the fact that I am young and simply naive... well DUH, that’s an observation worth writing home about! My response to this person (after I suppressed my young, naive initial thoughts) was...

“It’s okay, you might have learned all these lessons through your life experiences, but this is my life experience, so when did you think I was going to learn it?”

When I said those words aloud in my young, naive defense to being young and naive they took resonance (well, to me anyway).

And so I will end this message in a spirit of gratitude, since I can’t actually write a thank you note to the country of Ghana (my mom would be so proud to hear those words, “thank you note”). I will write a thank you blog and share to with those of you who have followed me through this journey over the last 10 months... here it goes...

Thank you Ghana.

This journey has been sweaty, dirty, intolerable, and impossible.

Thank you Ghana.

This journey has been exhausting, invigorating, depleting, renewing, and heartbreaking.

Thank you Ghana.

This journey has been undeniably terrifying, yet unforgettably transforming.

Thank you Ghana.

This journey has been a life experience that has changed my world forever.

Thank you Ghana. Your presence forced my world to change, and for that I am ever grateful!

Mark Twain was right, finding out is better!

Thank you Ghana.

** and a special thank you to everyone who has read my emails, blog notes, and has been thinking of me... your thoughts and prayers have been nothing short of miraculous, because God has answered them all. thank you.**

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