Real People

“Janine showed me what it looks like, the meaning of integration.”

I seem to be alternating between a feeling of emptiness and one of a heavy weight pressing down on my chest, causing the tightness there to push up and leak out of my eyes.

For me, integration wasn’t my focus. That word never really entered my mental vocabulary until I received this toast from my coach and working partner, Don, a few nights ago. I was in this thing, from the beginning, to meet real people. To move beyond the vague conception of “the poor rural farmers” that I was working for, and to have real people that I am invested in, as people, that will work with me to make change in this world. I have this wonderfully in Canada, and this fullness of inspiring friends now extends its roots deeply into Northern Ghanaian soil. For me that is less integration, and more an emotional solidity in an expanded number of people in this world.

Gani and I one last time

The JF placement for me was a leap of faith, to choose a path that I thought was going to work, and that I was going to commit to try to make work. This path has more than provided for me; I had some amazing company to walk along it.

I’m feeling not so much that I’m leaving my friends behind, but that we are having our lives split apart, and that we will all grow down different paths for some time. And the hope is that they will at some point converge again.

As my best friend Arimiyaw said to me, “The problem is not missing you for now. The problem is missing you forever.”

My two best friends in Ghana, Arimiyaw and Max


About Janine Reid

What is Janine? -board game enthusiast -political observer -Vancouverite -questioner -listener -health provider
This entry was posted in Life in Ghana. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Real People

  1. Hey Janine!

    I just caught up on your blog, and I have to say that you’ve written beautiful posts my friend. Welcome back to Canada, and see you in about a month! Oh, and congratulations on the interview, that rocks.


  2. Deg says:

    Beautiful summary to a challenging subject, oh man! Integration can be contested and discussed, but I feel like it really is about the emotional connection to awesome people until you love and care about each other.
    I’m certainly back with family here in Zambia. It’s a beautiful time.

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