Ag Elsewhere: Ghana, Africa

Thompson’s team at an irrigation test site at the University of Cape Coast.

Photos and description by Tiffany Thompson

My four months in Ghana were filled with so much. It’s been four months of excitement, joy and laughter. Four months of frustration, nervousness and challenges.

Four months of blood, sweat (so much sweat) and tears. Four months of failures and successes. When I accepted my fellowship with AgriCorps and decided to move to West Africa, I knew that it would be an opportunity to learn about different agricultural systems, experience a new culture and meet a lot of people. I had no idea; however, how much I would learn about myself and how much personal growth I would experience.

Here are the top three life lessons I realized over the course of my fellowship:

  1. Be patient and persistent. One of the major challenges I faced in Ghana was adjusting to cultural differences with scheduling. I’ve lost count of the times I made plans with someone and had the plans fall through. Meetings were rescheduled time and time again, people didn’t always show up when they said they would, and at one point, I
    even had a fellow teacher tell me to give up on an event I was planning. These moments tested my patience, and without being
    persistent and staying committed to my role, I would not have made it through my fellowship successfully.
  2. Celebrate the small victories. There were days when it felt like nothing went right. I would go home feeling defeated, exhausted and hopeless. On these days, it was so easy to get swept up in how badly things were going and how it seemed like nothing I did mattered. 

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