The reason I have not been able to post anything for a long while is because life been crazy, unpredictable, and exhausting. I knew that April was going to be a LONG month, but no one expected just how long it was going to be. As Food Security president, I and other members of the task force were in charge of planning this years All volunteer conference; a 3 day conference for all volunteers in country to come together and learn about what we have been doing at site and gain new project ideas…..also just to get together and have fun. The conference went well, and I had three days to make sure my next programs were ready to go. Because of scheduling issues, I had two programs running at the same, in the same place. The first was our regions GLOW-Girls Leading Our World- camp, where girls from all over the Eastern region came and learned about AIDS, Malaria, Food Security, confidence, and leadership, while having a blast playing games, tie dying t-shirts, and running around. On the second day of the camp, my other program started, my Cross Sector Boot Camp, where the newly sworn in PCV’s come to learn about the other two sectors and how they can apply them at their sites. This is one of my proudest accomplishments in Peace Corps; the fact that this is now a permanent part of the training program makes me swell with pride. So for the next three days, I ran back and forth between the camps, making sure both were going well. I Loved it, staying busy, doing things, it was a great week.
After finishing these two programs, I headed back to site to work on my project there, training community members on different food security topics. I was at site for about a week, when I received a call that would change everything. I was on my porch at around 8am, making calls about my next big program I was planning in May, when I get a call telling me that Danni Dunlap had died. At first I think it’s a late April fool’s joke, but after hanging up with her, still in denial, I get another call, it’s an official Peace Corps call telling me that she has passed away. I didn't know what to do….where to go or how to handle something this unexpected. There was only one young girl in my compound when this happened, I am sorry to say I think I might have scared her. Within 15 mins of the call, I was headed out of my village on my way down to Accra where I could be with other people and know what steps to take next. Over the next 5 days, the whole of Peace Corps Ghana came together and planned an Amazing memorial for her; never have I been touched like I was during the service. Danni was truly the best of us, there is not one person who met who she did not touch, that was just who she was. I know that none of us will ever forget her, and will live better lives because she was in it even for the short time she was here. I think of her every day and know that I will try harder to be a better person because of her.
Right after the memorial, the 50th group, that’s my group, headed to our COS-Close of Service- conference in the Volta region. Danni was also in our group, so it was nice that we got to spend more time together after something this unexpected happened. I learned that I will be heading back to America on July 31st and will arrive in Indianapolis on August 1st. After this conference, I went back to site for a few days, and then had to go to another and my last conference called STARS-Students Taking Action Reaching for Success. This is a weeklong conference for 60 form 2 students or juniors in high school, to come together from all regions in Ghana to learn about what it takes to be a good leader. It was fantastic….totally exhausting and tiring, but went very well.
So this has been my past two months and why I have not written till now. It has been two years since I stepped foot in America…..and I have no idea how time has flown by so fast. One minute I’m waiting desperately to hear back from the Peace Corps to see where I might be placed, and the next, I’m packing up and closing my life up here In Ghana. My close friend and I are sitting on her bed, listening to music and writing her friend a letter since he just sent in his Peace Corps application and wanted to know what he is getting himself into, what the “real Peace Corps” is like. The past two months have such a roller coaster of emotions, events, and gatherings that it was a perfect time to think back on what my life has been like, and damn, I do not regret a single thing I have done. I love where I am in life, I love where life has taken me, and I can’t wait to see where and who I will be in the few years. Peace Corps was the best thing I did in my life, no matter what my expectations were, they were wrong and thankfully so because there is nothing more boring than a predictable life. Thank you to my Peace Corps Family, Thank you to my true family, and Thank you to all my friends, I would not be who I am today with you…