Written by: Jorin Gerloff (Jojo)
Hello everyone, my name is Jorin but as people struggle a lot with pronouncing my name I prefer to go with Jojo 🙂 I’m 18 years old and from Hamburg (the beautiful city in the north of Germany). Since I’ve been working at Fafali for about a month now it’s time to share my experiences with you through this blog article.
I believe it was at the end of 2022 when I started thinking about what I want to do after my A-Levels in June 2023. At that time I had no idea where the journey would lead me to. I got to know AFS and they recommended Ghana to me as it was an English speaking country and suitable for the topics I was interested in. I think the only thing I knew about Ghana back then was where it was located and that they played amazing against Germany in the world Cup tournament in 2014. But as time went on I did more and more research and got more excited for the next year. Full of anticipation I went to the preparation camps, got the vaccinations, applied for my visa and finally started to pack my things. The 25th of August was supposed to be the day of departure. Was supposed to be…
It was really a shock for me when my visa didn’t arrive in time. The next week was probably one of the most stressful weeks in my life: making calls with AFS, canceling the flight, driving to Berlin, driving home, driving back to Berlin the next day because there was still an issue with the Visa… Anyways, in the end everything eventually worked out. The new date of departure was the 5th of September. The flight went well. Once I arrived in Accra everything was different: the colors, the smell, the noises. As all the other Germans were already done with their arrival camp I had mine with some Italians and some people from France. They were super fun, we had an amazing time and even met Mr. Drew (A musician from Ghana)!
Four days after my arrival it was time to meet my host-family. For that reason, Randy and Ivy from Fafali picked me up from the AFS office. The moment I met them I knew it was about to be a great year at Fafali as they were super friendly and already joking around. So they took me to my host family, where I was welcomed by my host mother with open arms. I felt at home there the moment I got there, I truly love all of them and they give me a safe foundation to discover the world of Ghana without worries.
On the next day I went to Fafali for the first time. I had a great video call with Selassie back when I was in Germany which left me with very high expectations and I have to say that I’m not disappointed. The working attitude at Fafali is driven by motivation and the urge for change. What I immediately liked is the openness towards new ideas and also the interest towards the proposals and wishes of us volunteers. That’s why I quickly felt integrated into the team. My tasks in the first month were very versatile. Because of the 2-unit classroom launch, which was about to happen in the second week, we worked a lot at the Fafali house. We cleaned everything up and screwed the tables and chairs together. I have also checked out all of the programs Fafali offers. Soon I started to plan the literacy class that we want to start as soon as possible. I also joined Randy with the football project. The thing that completes the Fafali experience are the lunch breaks at Mamas. The Jollof with beans… Incredible!
Currently I’m very happy with my situation. I enjoy going to work everyday and meeting new people everytime I walk through Kisseman. I’m curious about the next months and hope that I will have a big impact. Thanks for everything so far! <3
Thank you for reading!