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Return to Ghana

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

A masked Sister Agatha and masked Lisa Ghigliazza lean together for a selfie

I was excited to be returning to Ghana, after being forced to leave because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The sun, heat, smells, and traffic all felt comfortingly familiar. The difference - this time I was returning to collect belongings I had left behind instead of moving here to work and live, and to bring school supplies to students at Infant Jesus Senior High School. I was greeted at the airport by the smiling, friendly face of Sister Agatha Christie Mensah, a nun who works at the school. Sister Agatha would become my friend and companion over the next two weeks, as I would stay with her and the nuns at their convent in the Cape Coast. Checking off two new firsts for me – staying at a Covent and seeing the Cape Coast. Of course, I would also be consuming a lot of my favorite Ghanaian dish, Red-Red, which consists of beans cooked in palm oil and tomato sauce and served with fried plantains.

Sr. Agatha was a gracious host, whose enthusiasm for sharing everything Ghana was contagious. She showed me her hometown of Moree, took me to Kakum National Park- where I walked among the canopy of trees at 30 meters above the forest floor, and then paid my respects to all the lives lost and destroyed at the infamous Cape Coast Castle - the gateway for the Trans Atlantic slave trade.

This trip was filled with many 'firsts' but also felt like coming home to Ghana.

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