somewhere like home


Elaine Jeanette


Author of this post:

CBS Volunteer 2016 Jeanette


Sometimes, home can be a fluid notion. Last Tuesday I went on an after dinner walk with Gordon and Melanie. They showed me some nearby shops, and eateries. But there is one shop that I can’t get out of my mind.

This particular shop had bread and other small snacks, it wasn’t special or eventful. But the shop was run by a woman who gave me a feeling of home. This woman reminded me so much of my aunt back at home in the U.S. that I couldn’t help but gasp when I saw her. I smiled shyly at her (I was in awe) and she looked at me noticeably confused. “Do you want to buy anything?” I stuttered a little no and told her she reminded me of my aunt. She was not effected by such precious information. For me it meant the world, but for her it meant very little.

This interaction gave me a small glimpse of home and was honestly the highlight of the entire walk for me. We passed a beautiful cathedral, and met other important people, but I couldn’t shake that small glimpse of “home.” I kept thinking about the woman at the shop. I’m a reflective person, sometimes I can sit quietly in a room and get lost in my thoughts (this is often a pass time for me here in Navrongo). So this woman flooded my thoughts for a while. Where was she from? Does the rest of her family look like her?

Sometimes when I see people who look like my relatives here (which is very frequently) I wonder if I have ancestors from the Navrongo area. The Transatlantic Slave trade erased so much of my history, but seeing that woman at the bread shop makes me wonder if this really was home…

About the author:
Jeanette is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was our first volunteer from the United States. Jeanette conducted a Public Speaking Skills class from May until July 2016. She also helped with publicity of CBS to the local community, writing newsletters and she conducted interviews for the newest CBS video on volunteering opportunities.

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