Aside from the cultural encounters I experienced abroad, the emotional impact of my travels were felt in great depth. I felt most every adjective and action verb in the dictionary. At times I was saddened and humbled. At other moments I was astonished and filled with great gratitude and excitement.
My friends and I visited the people’s market in Ghana. It was clear that we were not supposed to be present; however, for the most part the people were welcoming. As we walked through maze-like halls under hanging tarps and fabric I noted the food for purchase was scattered across the ground. It should be noted that although these types of conditions are improper for us in the States, the Ghanaian people have build up immunity to this different set of sanitation rules.
I often wondered how I would return home after viewing such poverty and be able to continue the blessed life I lead. So many of the people I came into contact with in Ghana owned less than I had carried with me onto the ship. Although the Ghanaians had little material possessions, they were very rich in spirit and presented a carefree attitude. I contribute the joy the Ghanaians possess to their modest lifestyles. The Ghanaians taught me to appreciate and value the simplicities of life–family, work, and the blessings of health.