Reverse Culture Shock

I know I know, my post is long overdue.
But I made it back–with limited jetlag!
Surprisingly I got back to my own comfy bed, went to sleep 10pm, and woke up 7am the next day.
But because I’ve gotten back right when Ramadan is going on, I’ve jumped right into my fasting and haven’t had much time to do many things. Except reorganize my room and sort my 1,300 photos. :)

But as I went about my first day back, I was fascinated with the things I saw that I hadn’t seen in a while! I was internally exclaiming at the things.
For example, when I arrived at JFK airport, I was exclaiming about the escalator (OMG! I’m on an escalator!!) and then the moving walkway. I was happy to have my usual at Dunkin Donuts–plain bagel toasted with plain cream cheese, and a medium iced coffee (I had to make the ice coffee myself though; never done that before)

On the plane home, I flew Jetblue. They had free Directv and XM Radio (Spoiled!!) And it was so nice to see South Florida waters and NY/NJ lands and water.

When I got home, I was happy to have oreo cookies! I actually sprayed and sniffed the Febreze spray that was in the kitchen (so refreshing!). And I internally exclaimed when I drank grape juice (my favorite fruit).

As I was sitting on the toilet, and then my bed…I was realizing that I am really high up (compared to squatting as low as possible to “urinate” and sleeping on a mat).

Before I went to the microwave to heat up leftovers, I was looking at it (and internally exclaiming) and slowly walked toward it excitedly (they had microwaves in Ghana, but we as a group did not have one–used the propane gas stove (that required a match to light it up) or ate it cold). The silverware is thicker and more sturdier here too.

The other day I was laying down on my bed, and I heard a train horn. Guess What I did?
Yep, got excited and had this huge smile on my face–internally exclaimed!
I LOVE trains. Have always loved trains. And missed the sound of them (even though it has been considered noise pollution previously, I have a new definition of noise pollution after being in Ghana).

It took a couple of days to get used to A/C blasting cold air (being used to having a fan or wind breeze as my air). I also drove for the first time in two months. I feel like I’m a better driver, compared to the wild driving I’ve seen and been a passenger of in the Ghana taxis. When I went to the grocery store (as they constantly make changes) I was winding up walking in circles going aisle to aisle, just to look for the specific items I wanted. That was fun. I felt like a newbie!

After being in Ghana, I have a new love for Malt (non alcoholic drink). I actually bought a six pack. And I also feel like I need to walk a mile everyday, since I got used to doing that everyday (excluding one day) for two months.

But overall, I am happy to be home. I am back with a new mentality and a new peace of mind. My heart is at peace as well–my mom can see it in me. Nothing can come between me and my happiness! :)
This photo below, makes me happy, makes my heart happy. I can feel the love through the photo and easily remember, and miss, my stage one class of 52 students.

For more information on Operation Crossroads Africa, visit

If you choose to apply, be sure to mention my name (Zaakirah Muhammad) as a referral. :)