MEMBERS of a group who have returned from a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ trip to Ghana have spoken about their experiences.
Deb Holland, deputy head teacher at the Pingle School, in Coronation Street, Swadlincote, joined up with dozens of others from across the area to head to Africa with the Burton Albion Community Trust as part of a volunteering missions.
Now, after enjoying a well earned rest upon her return, Mrs Holland and other teammates spoke to the Mail about their trip.
She said: “The whole experience from the planning of the trip to the 12 days spent in Woe, Ghana, were amazing, funny, exciting and a whole range of other emotions.
“The one emotion I had expected though was to be upset when I was in the deprived West African nation but it is really impossible to be upset when the people are so warm and friendly.
It would be easy to write the usual clichés about being a life changing experience but it is difficult to describe why and how.
“I just don’t know the answer. I do feel different though. I actually feel like I can do anything now. I want to smile every minute of my life. I want to appreciate everything I have.
“I would recommend the trip but it is hard in so many ways. The basics of life are so difficult.
“The things we take for granted such as water, electricity, transport, education, and health care are all much more difficult to have access to. The heat is hard to cope with, the bites are pretty horrendous.
“Everything is slow, much slower than what we are used to, but embrace these differences, embrace the people and Ghana is one of the most wonderful places on the planet.”
Dani Coltman, student of the football and education programme run by Burton Albion Community Trust, said: “The visit certainly has opened my mind to how other people live around the world and then as a result reflect on my own life.
“It has given me a more positive attitude.”