My time in Ghana has come to an end – I flew back to the UK 2 weeks ago. Today is also my last as a VSO volunteer. I continued to volunteer remotely since arriving back, although to be honest, I didn’t have much to do other than fill in some end of placement reports and tidy up a few bits and pieces. I’ve been pretty exhausted since arriving home anyway so it has been nice to just relax.
In March I returned to the UK to see Faye, who’d returned in January for medical reasons. It was the longest we’d been apart and it was tough but I was reasonably busy with my project and had enough to distract myself most of the time. Being back in the UK and ‘on holiday’ was great – I caught up with family and I indulged in all the home comforts I’d missed: cheese, fresh bread, pizza, craft beer, walking in the countryside. Faye and I got engaged, which was a highlight of course. It was too much fun really: I reluctantly flew back to Ghana for my last stint.
With only a month left of my placement it was a case of seeing what I could get done. Before I left for my March UK holiday, a school had requested some basic ICT training – so I found an ‘open-source’ course, which had been designed for people whose first experience of the internet is through mobile phones. I adapted this course to make it more suitable for Ghanaian teachers and ran a session on my return. The training went well (although I would have liked more time). I handed over some pretty extensive notes and slides to the local education authority, so that they can repeat the course in other schools if they want.1
I then returned to Accra for my last week and spent a rewarding two days with OLE Ghana – the partner doing the bulk of the delivery on the project. We spent some time being quite honest about what had and hadn’t worked on the project and then planned some of the activities for the last 3 months. I was given a lovely Ghanaian shirt as a leaving present. I will really miss these guys – they are fantastic: enthusiastic, passionate and determined.
And with that done, I boarded my flight and returned home – arriving at a cold and wet heathrow airport at 6:30 am. I am slowly getting over my reverse culture shock. With our travels now over, at some point Faye and I will probably write a final blog for this site (unless we decide to do it all over again in a few years).