Six months. I have lived in a little Ghanaian village for half a year. With goats and chickens and lizards and really big spiders (and a scorpion, but that’s another story) and my little kitten Rosie Thomas. With gusts of wind, unbearable heat, roaring thunder and rain so hard and thick I wanted to hide under my bed with my cat. I have been robbed, cheated in numerous ways and countlessly lied to. I have been so sick that three days had gone by and I didn’t know it. I have screamed and laughed and cried and cried and cried. I have swam under waterfalls and danced until it hurt. I have traveled the length of Ghana, and to me, he is more beautiful everyday. I have struggled with my faith, my values, my beliefs, my worldview, my class, my race, my gender, my thoughts on development, my role in Sankpala, and if I should even be here at all. I have gained weight and my hair has grown a couple of inches. My skin is darker, my feet dirtier. I have learned what it means to be truly alone, easily the scariest thing I have yet to experience. And thus I am capable of anything, really. I can now recognize the difference between mosquito bites, bed bug bites, ant bites, and spider bites. I have learned that we all come into this world exactly the same, who we become is then dictated by our culture and surroundings. I saw a child born and have witnessed the grief of lost life. I have been lost and scared and home and safe. I have seen a starving child and could do nothing. I have given a child his very first book of his own, ever. I have lost my mind, more than once. I have missed home. I have dreamt of being back in NYC once again, where I belong.
I love you very much and miss you more everyday. Thank you for that day you told me I have what it takes.
All my love,Maria