Uhmah Park


16. The 30 extra minutes that no one asked for.

The next day, it’s time to leave the Motherland. The words “I only love my bed and my mamma” by Drake, mean a lot more to me than when I first heard it. This is the longest I’ve ever  been away from home. The 6 days in Ghana, plus the 2 day trip, to and from. I was ready to be at home. I couldn’t wait to be at home. However, I also couldn’t wait to come back. I was excited to come back before I actually left. There are a lot of things I didn’t see and experience. A lot of my friends and family expressed genuine interest in visiting Ghana through comments and direct messages on Instagram. Coming back with more friends and family would be amazing. 

My long journey home involved a trip from Ghana to Dubai. Dubai to Seattle, Seattle to Los Angeles. During the layover in Dubai, news broke that the 45th president of the United States of America, who is not named Barack Obama, decided to murder Qasem Soleimani an Iranian top military official. I’m confused and have a ton of questions. I thought Reuters got it wrong somehow. Couldn’t be. That could mean war, right? Suddenly it occurred to me that I have to fly near Iran, in the next hour or two. Hopefully God wants me to visit Africa again. In the movie of my life, at this moment I would break the third wall and say something catchy like “That’s all I got.”

On the short ride from Seattle to Los Angeles, I sat blanket-less on a plane full of white people very satisfied and content. When I got back from Cuba, I was irritated that I had to be around white people again for a solid two weeks. It was very hard to go back to work. The only white people I could talk to were my friends when they called me to ask about Cuba. I shared my thoughts on how irritated I was with their brothers and sisters since I had returned. They are well traveled; they all understand. But here I am on this flight not feeling the same way at all. This time I realized I was getting away from the things I forgot about last time and I enjoyed it. I took it all in and I’ll never be the same. I wasn’t irritated being around white people at all. A complete relief. Being irritated because I was around white people is surprisingly exhausting. I usually walk around with the perspective that “white people think about me more than I think about them and I am constantly aware of that fact”. Experiencing that in reverse is something I never want to happen to me again. I don’t know how “some people” do it but it won’t be me. Not this time. 

However, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit dumb coming back to a place where Black people are openly disrespected. Back to racism and everything that comes along with it. But my Mom and my bed are here. Also, marijuana practically falls out of the sky in Los Angeles, so that settled that. I’m just a little bit of dumb. Not completely dumb.

Two weeks have passed since I got back from Ghana and I have not come down on my African high at all! A lot of that has to do with me sharing my experiences with my family and friends that would call and text. They’ve all seen the pictures and videos I posted to Instagram throughout my trip. When I was in Ghana, one of the ways I managed to get through the long wait times was posting to Instagram. A lot of people I talked to had no idea what Africa was like and what they should expect if they ever visited. Most of them knew that all the images they’ve seen of Africa wasn’t the full story. But the rest of the story was blank. The images and videos I posted filled in a lot of those blanked and inspired the majority to visit an African country or go with me when I go back. Mission Accomplished.


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