Many ZIS students decide to travel back to Ghana after their first trip to BCS. Ghana returnees Ben Lindgren, Anja Doolan, Sandra de Giorgi, Ania Milligan and Aline Aronsky were interviewed about their experience:
Ania – My first trip to Ghana was a culture shock: my first time in Africa, my first exposure to poverty, and my first opportunity to fall in love with the raw generosity and kindness of the BCS students.
Anja – Going back to the school was incredible. The moment we drove up to the school and saw the walls around it and the new buildings, I immediately knew that things had changed for the better.
Sandra – The school is doing amazingly well on its own and our service isn’t so much a necessity as it is a joy for both BCS and ZIS. In my trip we still taught all day; now our kids only teach for half the day. This in itself shows how self-sufficient the school and how capable the teachers are becoming.
Ania – I am grateful that my initial trip to Ghana encompassed the culture and history of the country, offering cultural context to enrich the primary focus of the trip that was working at BCS. It is for this reason that I believe my second expedition with a CWW group was so successful. Consisting almost exclusively of being at BCS, my second trip left me with magnitude of attachment towards the students and staff and school exceeding that of my previous visit as a result of my increased knowledge of their situation.
Sandra – It really taught me a lesson in the differences we can make, no matter how small.
Ben – I feel as if I helped BCS in a far greater way than I had during my Team Ghana trip, as if I am a part of the history of BCS and have helped the students get more out of their education and future prospects.
Sandra – In that first year I was imbedded with a love for Ghana and BCS that only grew stronger when I visited again. A return visit provides a new experience, one where you are no longer a newbie, and know your way around. It provided an experience for me in which I felt even more welcomed and loved by the community and truly felt part of the school.
Emma – Returning gave me the opportunity to know what to expect, know what needed to be done, and to enjoy myself to the fullest. I hope everyone has the opportunity to return and feel the same way I did because that feeling is hard to come by.
Aline – After my second time to Ghana I knew for certain that I wanted to pursue something which would let me experience different cultures in such a personal way, which is why I chose to spend a gap year after I graduate travelling the world and volunteering in different cultures. I’ve also decided to study Anthropology afterwards, so I could continue learning about our diversity in the way that I learned about it in Ghana.
Ania – Essentially, the emotional significance of my second trip stems directly from the first, and I struggle to find words honest enough to depict just how grateful I am to have ventured to the breathtaking country of Ghana twice.