My first time I flew to Ghana was October 2002. I turned on September 29 three years old. I can’t really remember how Ghana was. When I always look at my old pictures in Ghana, I can see that I had always been happy. My mother told me that I was always took my clothes off because it was too hot for me. I always said, “Mama heiß, Mama heiß!” It means, ‘Mum hot, mum hot!’ The end result was that I was always wearing underwear. I had a lot of fun with my sister and my cousins when I look at the pictures. Small Remolia had the confidence to play with the children in the neighbourhood. All in all, I didn’t realise that I have been in Ghana.
Some years later I got a little sister called La-liza. After 6 years, when I was nine and La-liza five to six (she turned six in Ghana), we flew the second time to Ghana. It was the first time for La-liza. My sister and I didn’t realise that we were flying to Ghana. We arrived in Accra and slept in a hotel for one night. The next day we took the VIP Bus to Kumasi. My Mum doesn’t like Accra so she was very happy to be in Kumasi. When we arrived in Kumasi, my sister started crying. She said, “Ghana ist hässlich, Ghana ist schmutzig, ich will nach Hause.” It means, ‘Ghana is ugly, Ghana is dirty, I want to go home.’ So we called our father in Germany and he said that he will pick her up tomorrow. But this was a big lie. I asked my mother if he’s really coming to pick her up. She said no, but I shouldn’t tell her. She was always asking when our father will come to pick her up and my mother was always saying ‘tomorrow’ ‘til we really flew back, and she believed it.
A few days later my big sister and my cousins came. It was weird because I haven’t seen her for a long time. My sister La-liza had never seen our big sister before. During the day we were so close that it didn’t feel that we were separated for years. We did a lot of activities in Ghana. One thing that will always remind me of Ghana 2009 was the Hotel Golden Tulip. I went there with my auntie, cousins and sisters. They had a special day with many kids’ activities. They had a dance battle and my sister and auntie said that I should be part of it. I said no because I was scared and I wasn’t comfortable with the language. After the dance battle they sold food and other activities were played. It was different than in Germany: all people were black and everything was big. Big trampoline, big jumping castle, and many, many children of my age group. I was very excited and wanted to go on every trampoline and every jumping castle. Food wasn’t important for me. After the dance battle, they served food and had other activities. As always, they played music and some people started to battle again.
When I watched the battle, I made three new friends. I can’t remember their names, but they were very kind to me. I had so much fun with them. After I had fun with my friends, I had to leave the place because it was getting dark. After that day, I have never seen my vacation friends again. On another day, we (my sisters and my cousin) went to a hotel to swim, but we were not alone. We had a weird situation. My sister stood in front of the swimming pool and one strange boy pushed her into the pool. We were very shocked and she started crying. My cousin talked to him and his excuse was that he wanted to impress her. Suddenly, because of a boy who couldn’t approach a girl in a nice way, we had to leave the hotel.
After days and weeks were over, we had to fly back to Germany, but I didn’t want to go back. I had so much fun and I wanted to stay there. At least I wanted my big sister to come with us to Germany. The day we should say goodbye was very stressful, because we were not on time, as always, and some family member had a disagreement. All in all I couldn't hug my family members, especially my big sister. It was very sad, but we had to get our flight. Thank God we were on time to take our flight, if not my mum would be very angry.
Nine years later in the year 2018, we flew back to Ghana again. I was so excited and happy to be there again. The first breath when I stepped out of the plane, it was like something thick, hot was getting into my nose. It was very hot, but wow, it wasn’t negative, it was positive. But I got used to it in a short period of time. My cousins and my auntie’s driver picked us up from the airport. (I saw them for the first time.) When we arrived at my auntie’s place, my big sister opened the door for us. It was a surprise. We were happy to see her again, but we were tired and were very hungry. So we ate a typical Ghanaian dish, jollof rice with salad, all together.
After we ate and bathed we went straight to bed and put our “AC’s” on. On the next day, when me and my younger sister woke up, my mother was not there. For about two hours later, she took her things and went to Kumasi. Like I said, my mother doesn’t like Accra. We were alone with my auntie, my cousins and my auntie’s housekeeper. My sister lives near my auntie’s place. During the week she was working, but after work she came to my auntie’s place and asked us if we want something or if we like to eat something. We did a lot of activities together.
But there were a couple of challenges that I had to deal with. I was very shy to eat in front of my family members, but for them it was not a big problem. So we ate together. Another problem is that I am left handed, that means in the Ghana community that this hand is dirty. I tried to do everything with the right hand. It was a challenge for me.
My auntie got married so we had to drive to Kumasi where the wedding location was. When we arrived there at my auntie’s place, I saw so many family members. I always got introduced or they were shocked to see me because I grew too fast. Some family members remembered one thing I did in the past when I was in Ghana. They were so friendly to me and very open. They asked me a lot of questions, for example, how Germany is or how the school system in Germany is. I also saw many grandmas. I have one grandma that is living with her sisters together. They are like a squad.
At the party location we ate and danced a lot. Generally it was very fun and it felt like I fit in. It felt like home. I was accepted by everyone and I was not excluded. For example, when they were eating something they always said, “you are invited” but I always said, “no thank you”. This is not common in Germany. Sharing food is something caring and beautiful to me. Everybody enjoyed their time and we were very tired. We wanted to go to church but we overslept. We all could not stand up. The food and the dancing from the party was too much. I had more good memories about Ghana, but this one had a special connection with myself, who I am and where I came from. One person helped me to make my story, my big sister. Without her, I don’t know if I would enjoy Ghana. She did a lot of things for me and I am very grateful for that. God will bless her. To sum my story up, Ghana will always be a big part of my life. It was in the past, in the present and will be in the future. Amen.