Just yesterday, I was in the operating room to observe a surgery for the first time. It was a thyroidectomy, a procedure that involves making an incision on the neck and removing either part of or the entire thyroid. I thought I would feel nauseas after seeing someone’s throat cut open but it turned out to be quite the thrilling experience for the premed junkie inside me. It was hard not to feel comfortable given the kind-hearted nature of the staff in the OR. Let me not forget that initially I was denied clearance as a nonmedical student. After speaking about this with the surgeon I met during orientation, he offered to walk me in himself.
This friendliness also translates outside of the professional world and into the social scene…even when the social scene happens to be the US beating Ghana in the 2014 World Cup. Whereas most opposing fans tend to get silly and fight, the Ghanaians and Americans proceeded to intermingle and have fun despite the outcome. Even at a young age, the little children are friendly and outgoing calling you ‘obruni’.
I’ve also been fascinated with the interest of many Ghanaians in America. They love learning about life in America and are always plenty eager to ask many questions. There seems to be a sort of mindset that views life in the West as perfect. It’s hard not to feel a type of way, because the truth is there are problems everywhere. It’s just that the US tends not to face the same issues as Ghana does with money, infrastructure, and corruption—whereas Ghanaians don’t seem to suffer the way Americans do from the day-to-day issues causing stress.