Overall, Ghana was of course an amazing experience. I can't get the eyes of the beautiful children out of my head. When I think about my sweet R, I physically ache. I can't wait for the day Chris and I can bring her home. Ghana was the most amazing experience of my life, and I can't wait to go back. But there are a few things I would personally have done differently.
Some people say regrets are stupid. While dwelling in the past just leads me to guilt, I am a fan of evaluating things and seeing what works and what doesn't. But for future reference, I do want to make sure I don't make these same mistakes twice!
1. Been more conservative in the culture. This includes dress, but also in speech. While we were given a lot of responsibility with the kids, I wish I had asked John and Irene, the awesome director and his wife, more advice, even when I thought I knew exactly how to handle the situation. Because no matter how much GMI sometimes felt Westernized, it was a different culture, and I sometimes should have handled situations in the way a Ghanaian would.
2. Not been afraid to take initiative. For tasks in the mornings, I was always scared I would overstep boundaries or make someone feel like I was taking their job. I wish I had gone in and asked the Aunties to teach me to do laundry. We asked them once or twice, but I wish we had been more consistent. I think I really missed an opportunity to minister to them and serve them consistently.
3. Had more one on one time with the kids. During the last few weeks, we made sure each girl got a "mommy date," whether that was a sleep over or a movie during nap time. These moments were so precious to us, and I know the girls loved it. I wish we could have implemented that from the beginning. It was very hard to minister to the kids in a large group setting (example: VBS fail) because of the language and cultural barriers, but one on one the kids loved to hear Bible stories and be prayed over. When I go again, even though it will be for a shorter time, I think I will definitely try and do as much one on one time as possible.