Off-Campus Study

2012 Worldview Photo Contest

1st Place

Andrea Wrobel '13

Beposo village, Ashanti Region, Ghana

I believe an excerpt from my blog from the day the image was taken is the best written representation of my image.

The beginning of the walk was dry but we could hear thunder in the distance. That’s usually a good sign that we’re about to get soaked. Halfway back the rain really started, but we were as prepared as we could have been. Though the rain was rough, our coats and umbrellas kept it manageable. The real fun began when the street lights went out. Here we were: a group of Americans dragging their mud coated sandals through the clay-like dirt – more often than not losing a shoe in the process. Our light source: head lamps, which in the rain are similar to a car’s bright lights. They just light up the sheet of water hitting you in the face. The lightening was so close and so phenomenal that at least every thirty seconds our walk was flooded with full daylight shot of the road. We were quite the sight. And the best part? We got back to the village to find that the egg sandwich stand was still open. I’ve learned to not be miserable in those situations. You just have to laugh at your state. There’s not enough time to be upset about it, and it’s just not worth wasting emotional energy on the rain.

Today, a similar thunderstorm occurred. I saw it approaching as I walked to my basket weaver’s house. Realizing my outside meeting was going to be cut short, I went to Olivia and Kenzie’s room to wait the storm out. The sky was incredible as usual. Every time it is about to rain, you get a warning by the wind. Gales whip across the top of the hill and blow clothes off the lines. We scurried to collect the laundry as the rain began to pelt us. Seeing the rain as an opportunity for a shower, Olivia, Kenzie, their host sisters and I grabbed some shampoo and soap and lathered up. I snapped a few pictures of our shower-turned-water-fight and then joined them. I have not been that clean since I’ve been here. The water pressure was just awesome. We picked up buckets and threw water and each other. I have always loved playing in the rain. That half hour of rain was just too perfect. The elation I felt is incomparable to anything else I have felt in my life. I will never ever forget it.

The bond that is shared in an instance like that is different from any other that I have experienced. Language barrier or not, there is a permanent connection created during a moment of complete elation. This was not a moment or occurrence that was exclusive to Ghana. However, it let me realize the consistency of the human spirit and that everyone, no matter the culture, has the capability of pure, utter delight. Our joy came from something free and simple: a rain storm.