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Post Ghana aka Real Life Blog
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
First Semester of Nursing School Done

Hey People! I know it's been a loooooong time since I've written but I have a good reason. Just yesterday, I finished my first semester of nursing school. Of course I am happy to be done. Although the semester was only nearly 4 months, it was a rough road. My life was no longer run by the calendar, but by what assignments were do each week. When I say it was rough, I mean it was rough. Yes, I definitely feel it was worth it but it definitely tested my strength and faith and God. But thanks be to Him, I've made it through. This semester I had a good combination of book learning of nursing skills and theory along with hands on practice of clinical skills in our schools clinical simulation lab. Most of the lab work were self-taught (adding more stress) but I've mastered all the skills: giving injections, inserting catheters, and other good stuff. I studied every single night for back to back exams, quizes, papers and projects. I'm so glad it's over with and even though it was grueling, I can truly say that I've learned a lot.

Now I have a three-week break before I start summer classes at the beginning of June. During my break, I plan to visit family and friends, review some school work (to prepare for next semester) and read some leisure books. Today was my first day off and I was so happy to not have to get up to study or go to school but I felt soooooo lazy. I had no schedule, no plans and felt crappy, lol. But I'll try to keep busy with my plans. Oh yeah, I need to also apply for scholarships to get someone to pay for my education.

I'm excited about next semester. I'll be starting clinical rotations at hospitals in the Pediatrics unit and OB/GYN. I think it will be a fun learning experience and will allow me to see the real work environment. I think I will enjoy working with the babies. My dream is to work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) but I know as a nursing student, I won't be able to work there. I really hope that I enjoy it.

I'm getting sleepy now so I'll end here. Sorry for the long break but I hope u enjoyed the update.



Posted by pennstatepeanut at 10:55 PM EDT
Monday, 12 November 2007

Well, I see it's about that time again-- time to write an update on what is going on with me.  So, I'm still working at the same job downtown. It's getting kind of boring now doing the same thing over and over and over again but who am I to complain. I have a job and I am making money. So that's the end of my complaining. Ok, not really. I wish I were making full-time hours though. A few weeks ago, some other employees needed help so I came in and made some extra hours. My check was FAT that pay period...but now it has slowed down. So right now, I'm looking for a seasonal job to save some money while I'm in school. If you know of anything, please keep me in mind and let me know.

Now that the spring semester is approaching-- and very fast-- I have a lot to do to preare for school. I have to start making a budget for the year and put money away towards that. I also have to start buying school books, uniforms, nursing equipment and get ready for the new semester. I'm very excited and can't wait to start but at the same I always do...sometimes I go back and wonder if I'm making the right choice. I know I'm just questioning it because I am a little afraid of the unknown but as soon as I get in there, I think I will definitely like it. It's all in the mind! My other worry is how will I be able to work while in school. According to my spring schedule, I'll have Wed. and Thurs. free. It would be nice to be able to work during those days. Maybe I will get in touch with my former employee and see if he will allow me to work a few days a week. We'll see.

Other than worrying about work and school, I'm really looking forward to the holidays. This will be my first time in 3 YEARS celebrating Thanksgiving with my family and I can not WAIIITT!!! My mouth waters and my stomach grumbles everytime I think about all the turkey, candied yams, cranberry sauce, stuffing and so much more!!! I think I will be in heaven on earth that day. Lucky for me, I get to celebrate it twice this year since both my paternal side of the family and maternal side (since my grandma few in from St. Thomas) will each be holding Thanksgiving. It should be fun.

For those of you reading who live in the US, I don't need to tell you that the weather is getting colder and colder by the day. I guess I can't really complain since we were up in the 80's in October. But now the leaves are starting to change and we are now forced to turn the heater on in the house and take loong hot showers. Who knows? Maybe with this global warming thing, we'll see the spring time sooner than we think.

Well folks. That's all I've got for now. Thanks for checking in. 

Posted by pennstatepeanut at 5:54 PM EST
Friday, 19 October 2007
Nursing School!!!
Mood:  celebratory

I've been accepted into NURSING SCHOOL!!!! Yeah!!! I'm start in the Spring. I'm so excited!!!!! It's been a long road so far just trying to get the prerequisites out of the way and with good grades and it all paid off. To top it all off, I attended Dream day today.

 Dream day is a program for nursing students who are not sure which area of nursing they would like to work in but have some sore of idea. So the Washington Hospital Center has 'dream day' where the prospective nurses get to shadow an RN in a specific area they think they may be interested in. Of course, since I haven't even started taking classes I'm the youngest 'student'. Everyone else was graduating in December. I chose the post-partum area and newborn intensive care unit.

In post-partum, they assigned me to the nursery. It wasn't as busy and I thought it would be- mostly because the babies stay with their mothers in their rooms nowadays. I learned how to assess a newborn after birth. I checked for the soft-spot (I don't know the medical term yet) and learned how to check for any bruising or lacerations, discoloration, jaundice, and lots of other things. I tested a baby for physical distress in its new carseat. Of course, I had to change a pamper and dirty baby clothes. It was cool.

At the nursery, there was  this cute little girl whose mother left her at the nursery. I guess she didn't want her. She's been there for three weeks now. The social workers are trying to find a foster home or get her adopted. She's such a cute baby. I asked the woman if that happens often; She said sometimes mothers who are on drugs or don't feel like they can take care of the child would leave the baby. She said sometimes the mother would come back to check on the baby until the social worker could find a home for the baby. Unfortunately, this baby's mother never came back. I'm hopeful that someone will get her soon.

 My next stop was to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. That was interesting. It was a lot more involved. There were babies in incubators and others in regular beds all over the place. They were connected to monitors and feeding tubes and breathing tubes. They were all pre-term babies getting the extra help that they needed. I didn't get to do too much hands-on things with the babies because of their health status. But I definitely loved this area a little more because it's more involved and you can handle the babies more. One nurse said she loved being in NICU because you get to babies at their worse and nurse them until they're better enough to go home. 

I think I'd like to work in the NICU after graduating but I do have a lot of time. I'll experience a lot of different things in nursing school and would be in a better position to make that decision after I get that exposure. But I'm 100% sure that I'll chose something related to maternal and child health.

Well, I just wanted to share the good news.

Posted by pennstatepeanut at 5:09 PM EDT
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
Missing Ghana
Mood:  sad

Needless to say, my heart is heavy thinking about Ghana. I miss it terribly. Most of the time I think about my time there, but today has just been overwhelming. Reading the blogs of current Peace Corps volunteers and trainees took me back to my own memories of being a trainee and finally a volunteer. I can honestly say that it has been the BEST experience of my life.

I remember the day before flying out to Accra wondering what the hell was I getting myself into. I had no idea that I was embarking on one of the most influential learning experiences of my life. I remember after only two days in Accra, not knowing anything or anyone, and having to go out to the crazy capital with two other volunteers on a scavengar hunt. I was scared to death. How the hell are they gonna send me out here on my own for someone to kidnap me and I don't even know where I am or where I'm even going. But, God once again protected me and kept me safe in the crazy Makola market in the city of Accra. Even though I was safe, I still hadn't taken to Ghana yet.

I do remember clearly the day I met my host family after only one week of being in country. My host sister Rita spoke very little English and my Sister Faustina spoke even less. But after meeting them, I felt a little better. And after I moved into their only spare bedroom and started to get to know each other, they became my new family protecting and guiding me in my new community. I miss them and thank them for being that turning point in my experience. Before meeting them, I really didn't know if I would have been able to do two years in the country. I thank God for them and keep in touch with them very often. As far as I know, they've only had one volunteer after me and that person decided to leave early. So I'm still their special volunteer.

I think what I miss most is my social life and the friendliness of the people. No matter where you go, you can strike up a meaninful conversation and enjoy a relaxed social life meeting new people anywhere you go. Life for me was really simple but meaningful and I felt like my work and life made a difference in other's lives... people that I saw frequently.

I really don't know how to put it into words but to sum it up- my heart aches. I wish I could go back for just a day to see my people and enjoy some of the good weather and food...if only for just one day.

I will go back, even if it takes me a couple of years, I will surely go back to Ghana. That's a promise. 

Posted by pennstatepeanut at 5:38 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007 5:09 PM EDT
Friday, 7 September 2007
My roots...slavery

Today, I write this entry in a very somber mood. I'm in a somber mood because my mind is running, thinking and dwelling on the fictional book I'm currenty reading, "Roots." Ironically, the "fiction" is actually a reality and a history shared and suffered by our forefathers that were taken from their native land and brought to a new place to serve their White masters until the day they died.

I haven't gotten very far in the book. I'm at the point where Kunta Kinte is describing his passage across the Atlantic Ocean en route to North America. His descriptions are so vivid that they make my stomach turn and my heart wrench reading all that he and his brothers and sisters endured on the slave ship. The conditions- as I'm sure many of you are aware of- were horrendous: being made to lie down on your back for months chained to the person next to you by the ankle and wrist; rats and lice eating at your most private parts; having to defecate and urinate on yourself and others chained to you; suffering constant sickness without access to medical or herbal relief; as a women, being used whenever and however by nasty men; being whipped, cut, and scarred every single day. All of this on top of the agonizing thoughts of being torn away from your relatives, loved-ones, and the culture you're so closely connected to- the culture that defines you.

Just imagining Kunta's descriptions are sickening and leaves me with many questions: how could this happen and why did it continue to happen? As history already tells us, it started with after White Europeans landed on the shores of the beautiful continet of Africa (in the west) in search of the precious natural commodities and began to build fortresses -approved by local chiefs- under the auspices of posts for trading natural goods between Europe and West Africa. From there, the Europeans began to trade their natural and mand-made goods for human goods- our ancestors. It is known that many African societies practiced slavery, though it was different from that of the Americas. First off, both the slave and masters were of the same color -Black- and the conditions of their "slavery" were much more lenient. And even though these slaves were obtained from the enemy that lost the war, they were afforded such rights as to marry within their new socieites, to own property, and to end their slavery after a certain number of years of service. As more and more slaves were being captured and taken away from their homland, naturally, locals also began to get involved in the lucrative business and started helping the Europeans to take more slaves.

The European involvement in the slave trade has always conjured up feelings of disgust and anger with the White race -feelings I'm sure many other Black Americans still share today. Not only because of what they've done to my own people, but also to the natives of other lands; not only the ENTIRE continent of Africa but also the lands of North America, South America, Asian and numerous Caribbean islands. What gives a whole race the audacity to travel to places that were homes to millions of people and cause havoc and chaos that many countries are STILL trying to recover from today? Everywhere that colonial Europeans touched were raped and damaged by these intruders that were welcomed by the natives and instantly turned against for their profit and greed.

This ungodly greed and savagery is well-known and documented among many history books and in the oral histories of those that experienced their wrath first-hand. But what is confusing and saddening is how and why did our own brothers and sisters turn agaist their own to support the slave trade? What was it that made the locals turn from their culture of solidarity and a culture deeply connected to a long history of people to turn on their own and submit them to the Europeans. My theory is that one of two things happened: these locals were already slaves to the Europeans and made to participate in slave raids or they had somehow developed the greed for money and property from the Europeans and also became involved in the slave trade, immulating the Europeans. Either way, the consequences for the captured were a life-long suffering -whether short or long- at the hands of the European slave masters.

Unfortunately today, even though slavery has been abolished, the same racist doctrines still exist today in many communities, particularly in the south of America. Still today, there exists an unspoken barrier and hatred between Blacks and Whites in the US, of course, not everywhere, but it does still exists. On the contrary, today Europeans and Whites are still welcome on the African continent with open and arms and the relationship between locals and the Whites are amicable. I'm quite sure it has to do with the money Whites are perceived to have and give to the natives as well as aid in the form of money and food.

Very recently, there are ample examples to exhibit that racisms still exists today, blatantly. The situation with the Jena six in Louisiana where 6 Black kids are being tried for attempted murder and 2nd degree aggravated assault after a fight that broke out between the six boys and one White kids. The fight came after students hung 3 nooses were from a tree where White students usually sat during lunch but where Black students sat the day before. In another incident, a black lady in West Virginia was kidnapped by six White folks, held against her will and tortured for one week.

Is it just me or is it CRAZY that in the most free country in the world these things exist?

Posted by pennstatepeanut at 5:12 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 11 September 2007 4:30 PM EDT
Friday, 24 August 2007
I Just Need to Vent

Would someone please tell these White guys to stop capitalizing on these fake-ass "survival" shows they have on tv- Man vs. Wild, Survivorman, and stuff like that. I think it's so disrespectful AND unreal how they go out into the "jungle" or the "wild bush" or some deserted island and film a program showing how they "survived" a few days or weeks in these environments. Hello!!??!!! Obvioulsy if it were impossible to live in these conditions, these men wouldn't find locals and natives in the area. On top of it all, I'm 100 percent sure that these "survivormen" are extracting knowledge from these locals in order to "survive" during their time there- knowledge that these locals and their ancestors had to learn through trial and error experiences that I'm sure have cost many men their lives in order to learn from them, only for these "survivormen" to get that knowledge at the drop of a hat to make a tv show and get money for it.  In all reality, if these men were to truly go out in the "wild" and even TRY to survive on their own, they wouldn't last a couple of days.

Let's not forget the fact that these so-called "survivormen" have access to soo many luxuries and tools that the natives do not that are most likely being used to assist them in their survival, e.g, a medical kit.

It is sickening to see these programs. They completely ignore that fact that these same environments in which they lay claim to survivoring in for a short period of time are actually the HOMES to local people who are undoubtedly the experts at surviving in these conditions. I suggest we leave it up to them to show their expertise- film them and allow them to claim fame to what they have been able to perfect since time immemorial. AND at the end of the day, the locals continue and their generations continue to battle these environments, while the White man gets to go home to air-conditioning, a mattress, a fully-stocked fridge and daily entertainment.

I just really had to get this off my chest. I've cruised pass too many tv channels with white men bending leaves in a bucket to catch rain water to drink to let this go.


Posted by pennstatepeanut at 11:19 PM EDT
Thursday, 2 August 2007
Almost Done!

Hey folks,

So I'm almost done with my prereq.'s. I have only have one more week left of this Chemistry class and then I'll be FREEEEEE, not free of everything but just free of studying so much. I can't wait. As I'm sure I have expressed this to you all many times before personally, this class has been very difficult and time-consuming for me. I started off with basically failing grades and I wasn't sure I was going to make it. Now, with only one week left, I am happy to say that it looks like I'll be passing the class satisfactorily and very soon. I think in the beginning, I was trying to use my liberal arts background and make logical sense of the chemistry problems, which obviously was not working. I kept trying to figure out how is he solving these problems and I finally figured it out: JUST PLUG IN THE NUMBERS INTO THE STANDARD EQUATION TO FIND THE MISSING NUMBER! It was as simple as that and now it all makes sense to me... Ok, chemistry doesn't make sense to me but how to do chemistry problems does. Either way, I'm glad this will all be over soon.

 During this same semester, I took a three-weekend class in Psychology. The course was 'Human Growth & Development Across the Life-span'. Unfortunately, I don't feel like I learned much in the class because it was such a short time and so much material covered that  nothing really stuck. Not to mention, the teacher really didn't teach anything; he left us to 'teach' ourselves. But any way, I've fulfilled that requirement. I just hope it doesn't come back to haunt me later when I really  need this information for another class. That means I'll be struggling then to re-learn the information I should have already known to keep up with the new class.

The next step now is to apply to the University of Maryland Baltimore to the Master's in Nursing Program and graduate in 16 months with a Master's degree. So pray that I get in. This is a really competitive program, but I'm really hoping that my past experiences, interests and good grades will help me get in.

Things at the job are going well. I'm grateful because I get to study while I'm at work. That was my goal any way. I can't even imagine how much harder it would have been if I couldn't study at work and then try to go home and make sense of the chemistry at home after a long day. But now that the class will be over soon, I have to find something else to do that will occupy my time while "working" so that I don't lose my motivation. I have a couple of ideas but I won't reveal them yet until I get them started.

Other than school, I haven't really had a social life since my head is always stuck in a book. But I hope that will change for the better now that I'll have more time to do those things. I guess I can say the only social life I have are with my "Ghanaian" friends whom I talk to just about every week. It's funny how close I feel to them even though we are thousands of miles apart, especially my female friend Benedicta. We still catch up on each others live and talk about work, men, future goals and plans- all the same things we used to talk about under the stars in Ghana when I was there. I guess it goes without saying that I do MISS GHANA! and today it was made even worse when I found the blog site of some volunteers who are also working in my old town, Lawra, that posted pictures of the place. Those pics really got to me. But I've made the promise that I will go back to see my friends and family there and go back to the organization I worked with before. I would even like to work with them as a nurse after I get my degree...whenever that will be.


Posted by pennstatepeanut at 6:35 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 14 August 2007 6:10 PM EDT
Friday, 29 June 2007
A new addition to my life......(drumroll please)... It's just a job! What were you thinking?
Mood:  cool

Hey yall,

Yep, I'm happy to report that I now have a part-time job. I found a job downtown working as a receptionist. I know, it doesn't sound too exciting but it's exactly what I wanted; I wanted a job that would pay good money and allow me to study at the same time. And that's exactly what I got. So I'm happy.... For now at least. This week was my first week and it went very smoothly. It feels like I've been at the company for a long time. During the last two hours of my shift when I'm studying, I just think about where I plan to be in the next two years- getting through nursing school and then securing a job at a hospital first and then moving into public health nursing.

As I sit in the office with it's more than 150 employees, I watch them walk past my desk time and time again. When I look at them they all look like zombies, staring at their watches and hoping the time will pass quickly so that they o home. Every time I see them pass I wonder if they are happy. Yes, they are making big money and buying nice things but are they happy in their soul? If you ask me, they seem to be doing the daily grind, running up and down, stressing at work everyday and sweating the small stuff, I think not. But any way, I just feel sad for them sometimes. Enough about this.

As I've written in the last entry, I'm taking classes over the session and I'm half way finished already. I have just one more week of the anatomy and physiology part 2 class and then the following week I'll start Chemistry 101 and a Psychology course. After all that is done, I'll apply to the program at the University of Maryland's Nursing program. I'm working hard to make sure I get good grades and get into the program.

Other than school and work, life is still the same: unintersting and filled with running around and studying. I need to make more time for a social life to hang out and have fun every once in a while. I think it would balance my life out a little more. It's always good to have balance. I gotta make that happen soon.

In all this business, needless to say, I still miss Ghana A LOT. I always wonder what I would be doing there at this moment if I had decided to extend for a third of fourth year. I really feel like I've made a much more contribution to the lives of others during my two-year service there than I ever have here at home in over 20 years. A couple of weekends ago I called my old colleagues there when I knew they would be having the support group meeting for people living with HIV/AIDS. They were so happy to hear from me and one of my co-workers I was very close to cried while we talked on the phone because she missed me. It was sooo touching. I got to talk to another co-worker, Margarette, who I became close with even though we were both limited in our ability to speak each other's language, it was nice to "talk" to her on the phone. I also talked to a school girl, Tuakom, that I was also close to while there. She's awaiting her junior high school test results to see which high school she'll get into. I plan on help her financially with school once she knows which one she'll be accepted to.

I just wish for one moment I could go back even if just for a day to see the faces of my friends and community members; to ride my bike through the town on the dirt road; to wake up to the beating of the school drum or children running past my house to get to school on time. Ohhh, my Ghana.

But I guess this week I've had my share of "Ghana flashbacks". The other day, I was walking from the metro to the office and a guy called out to me, "Hey lady!" When I turned to look at him, he said, "I love you." I nearly feel on the ground laughing. The only time I've heard someone I don't know tell me they love me was when I was in Ghana. I didn't know that happened here. It was really weird. Then today in the metro station, a guy was walking through the station with two bags on his arms and one on his head. I guess I had become so used to seeing it in Ghana that I didn't even think anything of it until a few minutes later when it registered  in my mind that he was a white guy, lol. It was just funny how my perspective has changed. Earlier this week too I almost got caught in the rain without an umbrella. Lucky for me, just outside the metro stop a guy wearing a muslim cap was selling all kinds of things- bags, sunglasses, umbrellas- at a cheap price. Since the clouds were threatening to drop rain I decided to go ahead and buy one. The guy was selling them for only $5. I have no idea why but my Ghanaian skills came into play and I decided to ask him if he could drop the price of the umbrella. The guy couldn't believe his ears. He told me, "Darling, I can't come down off of $5." So I paid him the money. It didn't phase me much that he didn't come down on the price until later when I thought about it. Even if he did reduce the price, how much more could he come down on such a cheap price, lol. It's funny now that I think about it but it came so natural to me when I saw those umbrellas sitting on the table looking CHEAP as hell. Ha ha ha.

Any how. I hope you enjoyed reading this entry. Keep on the look out for the next one.

Posted by pennstatepeanut at 10:23 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007 11:05 PM EDT
Monday, 28 May 2007

My mini, two-week vacation is here and is half way gone already. And so far I've done what I've planned to do during this short vacation break: get some little rest and relaxation. In the beginning, I felt a little weird not having to think about studying or reading a book but I got over that pretty quickly. For the most part, things have been cool.

I'm still on a job hunt looking for a part-time position as either a receptionist or customer service position, preferably at a call center. So if anyone knows of anything, please get in touch with me... a sister is broke for real. I'm getting scared, lol. It's funny but it's not funny at the same time.

During my vacation, I've been doing a lot of thinking. I've been thinking a lot about the future and how I would like my life to be. In the next 4 years I see myself finishing school with a Master's in nursing and start getting some experience in the hospital first before I move out into community and public health. I also see myself married and with at least 1 child within the next four years. I've dreamed it and now it's only left with putting it into action and I'm ready!

I've also been reflecting, reminiscing and comparing life for me in Ghana and life here back at home. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to be back with my family and starting this new chapter in my life in school, but I sure do miss my Ghanaian life. What I miss most is people having time for each other and a life that is not focused on work, work, work. No matter how tough a day's work can be, I can always count on someone coming by to check on me or being able to go to a friend's house anytime. I always wonder how things would be in America if we adopted some of the Ghanaian social culture. What if we didn't have to focus so much on work and relied on each other more for moral and financial support and work came secondary. Now, this is not to say that in Ghanaian culture people don't focus on work but  people make sure they have time for their family and friends and socializing. That, in my opinion, seems to be one of the priorities in Ghanain culture and one that is very good for the human heart and soul.

I have been able to replicate some of my Ghanaian lifestyle here. I've made a few dishes, which still need to be perfected, but have worked well in curbing my cravings for some Ghanaian foods. I have a bike now too that I've been riding for exercise and it feels really good to get on and ride, except I never have a destination. Sometimes when I'm riding, I just wish I could be transported for just a minute to my rural town of Lawra, riding my bike to town to by ingredients from the market or to visit my friend or to a client's house to see how they are faring.

Well, enough about Ghana. I need to bring myself back to the present. The present is filled with bills, no money and the job search. My most immediate focus is to find WORK! Then finish these prereq's and move on to the Master's degree program. I just hope this time once school starts, I'll be able to be a little more balanced. But then again, I have to remember these are science courses, not liberal arts stuff.

Ok Ok, let me get out of here. It's 1am and I feel like I'm rambling. Check in soon for more blog postings. 

Posted by pennstatepeanut at 12:58 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 28 May 2007 1:09 AM EDT
Wednesday, 16 May 2007
Semester is over = relaxation

I'm HAPPY to report that......FINALS ARE OVEEEEEERRRRRR!!! I don't think ya'll know just how happy I am. For the next two weeks (before the summer session) I will have some freedom, fun, and relaxation away from school work. As you've read from my previous posting, my head was in my books practically 24/7. I had no life, no entertainment... nothing! Everyday after class I would come home and do more studying and reading and then wake up and do it all over again. When I was working, it was a little more balanced because I had a  "social life" in the office and it got my mind off of school for a little bit while I interacted with my hilarious co-workers. So now one semester down, and about 5 more to go. I just hope my classes get more practical and hands-on. And I hope that I'll enjoy a career in nursing. I've heard some stories about current nurses who aren't happy with their field.

So now that I'm freed up from classes a little bit, I have to get some things together. I have to look for a new part-time job. I'm hoping to find something along the lines of a receptionist. Hopefully something slow-paced. I would like to also visit the college I would like to transfer to after completing my prerequisites. Along with that comes looking for scholarship monies or someking of financial aid to help pay for schooling. Then, I want to start studying for the GRE's. I really wanted to try to study for the GRE in one-2 weeks and then take it afterwards but my bother thinks it won't be feasible, so I'll try to study over the summer months and take the exam near the middle to the end of the summer. I'll work out a plan and try to get all these things done in two weeks.

After finishing my exam tonight, I was talking to some of my classmates who are from West Africa. I was telling them how I struggled to pass these courses this semester, reading day in and out and how difficult and frustrating it was for me at times. They just amazed me with their stories, all the struggles they've been dealing with for years just to get to where they are today. One lady was telling me how she came to the U.S. after  graduating with a degree in education back in her home country. She came here and decided to change her degree to nursing and jumped from many schools until she could find one that wouldn't require her to have a green card, only to have things change on her and after completing a year at that school she had to leave. She was finally able to get her green card and was able to finally complete an LPN degree. She's now an RN and is pursing a BS in nursing. In her pursuit her degree, she's struggled raising three kids, taking care of a husband, and pregnant with child number four and working full-time while going to school too. She says she doesn't know how she was able to survive it. Her story sent chills down my spine. I mean, here I am trying to take care of only myself with minimal responsibilities and I'm complaining about the little bit of stress compared to what this woman went through. Her story has inspired me and reminded me how strong women are and wondering what the world would be like without them.

 I don't know if it has anything to do with all the stress of studying and work, but I've been missing Ghana A LOT lately; missing some foods like banku and okra stew, missing my friends, the heat, the social life and the non-chalantness of the society of the rural life. Sometimes I just wish I could be chillin' under the mango tree in front of my friend's house sitting on a blanket and just chatting about life in general. I miss riding my bike and buying fresh vegetables from the market and greeting almost everyone I pass on the way to town or on my way back home. OOOHHHHH, and I especially miss my favorite food, santanpion and tz from Lawra. I would die to have a taste of it right now.

I think I better stop now before I go put myself in someone's suitcse and find myself at the Koto airport. Oh, how I wish.




Posted by pennstatepeanut at 10:31 PM EDT

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