Let me just say upfront that I'm not very good at being PC. But for the sake of diplomacy, maturity and internet responsibility (once it's out there, it's out there), I'm going to try my best.
After months of discussions with my parents, my host family and the two men who run VARAS, I made the decision to leave the organization and stay in Ghana independently. I will continue living with my family, working at the same school and will fly back home at the end of May just as planned. The only difference is that I will be the one arranging my food, schedule, etc. instead of using a middle man.
I left VARAS because of a lack of clarity and financial responsibility on their part, and it was not a mutual decision.
So, folks, it looks like I'm on my own.
...Except not really.
As a young adult fresh out of high school, on her own for the first time and in a VERY foreign country, I can tell you that there is no greater blessing than a good host family.
"Good" doesn't even begin to do to justice to Worfa and Victoria though...
Worfa and Victoria aren't my parents- no one could imitate that role in my life- but they are without a doubt my family. I trust them, and that is the anchor I have relied on more times than I can count. In Ghana, finding people I can trust has been challenging at times. But Worfa and Victoria have always provided a shelter for me to come home to no matter how bad the storms have gotten outside our front gate. I trust them to take care of me, to be honest with me, to help me learn how to function in Ghanaian society- and they've never let me down in any of those respects. Worfa teaches me songs in Ewe and gives me advice when I have trouble at work. Victoria is always willing to play a cutthroat game of Ludo and loves to cook my favorite foods for me.
As the relationship between the VARAS coordinators and myself became more and more turbulent, it was Worfa and Victoria's loving, unwavering support that has made it possible for me to stand up for myself and get away from an increasingly negative situation.
I am more grateful to them than they could possibly ever know.
In the words of one of my best friends:
At times I may be by myself in Ghana,
but I'm never alone.
PS: For those of you who had the PO Box 218 address in Ho, please do not use that one anymore! If you would like to send me any letters (I love mail. Not that I'm dropping hints or anything. I'm just saying that mail is more valuable than gold and there's nothing better on a bad day.) please wait until I've gotten my new address from Worfa. :)